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Last updated: April 2024

England and Wales have the same benefits as outlined in the tabs below.

Scotland – most benefits are as in the tabs below. However, there are some important differences. The Child Disability Payment replaces new claims for the Disability Living Allowance in Scotland. In November 2023, Carer’s Support Payment started to roll out to replace Carer’s Allowance


Northern Ireland – most benefits are as in the tabs below, but there are some differences.


This is the main benefit for children who have SMA. DLA helps to meet the extra costs that you might have because of your child’s disability. It is paid regardless of whether you are working or not. It is not means-tested so it does not matter what level of income or savings you have. Your child will also have to meet certain rules linked to their immigration status and the length of time they have lived in the UK.

DLA is made up of two components:

  • Care component 

This can be paid from age 3 months (or if a child is terminally ill, from birth). If your child needs a lot of extra watching over or help with personal care, they should qualify for the care component of DLA. It is paid at one of three different rates –lowest, middle and highest – depending on how much extra care your child needs.

  • Mobility component

The lower mobility component can be paid from the age of five. This is for children who need extra guidance or supervision out of doors.

The higher rate of the mobility component can be paid from the age of three. This is for those with severe walking difficulties.

Contact for Families with Disabled Children:

This is the main benefit for carers. You may qualify for this benefit if you provide at least 35 hours of care per week to your child who must receive the care component of Disability Living Allowance at the middle or highest rate.

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The Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme provides assistance with travel costs for hospital visits for people on low incomes. It only covers travel for treatment, not to visit patients. You can find out more for:

If you are travelling to access an assessment or for a drug treatment, you may be able to obtain additional assistance. Ask your clinical team or, if you are travelling for Zolgensma treatment for your child and are in touch with them, ask your OneGene Therapy Nurse.

You may be entitled to other benefits, for example to help with your income, any childcare and housing costs. This will depend on your individual circumstances. By September 2024, the government expects to have completed the transition to Universal Credit (UC) which replaces all the following legacy benefits and tax credits:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Working Tax Credit

If you currently receive any of these benefits, you cannot claim Universal Credit at the same time.

Unless you have a change in circumstances, advice is not do anything about moving to Universal Credit until you hear from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Anyone whose entitlement to Universal Credit is assessed through the DWP’s ‘managed transfer process’ will have their income protected, but anyone who moves prematurely or as a result of changed circumstances will not. So if you are considering applying for Universal Credit it is important to get specialist advice (see below).

Scottish Choices – for those receiving Universal Credit (UC) and living in Scotland – allows you to apply to be paid twice a month. It also allows for the amount in UC that is for rent to be paid directly to your landlord:

Scottish Child Payment may be another possibility if you live in Scotland. It is a weekly payment of £25 that you can get for every child you look after who is under 16 years of age. You would get the payment every 4 weeks if your application is successful.

Carer’s Credit Is a UK-wide possibility. This is a National Insurance credit which you are entitled to if you are caring for someone for at least 20 hours a week. It helps with gaps in your National Insurance record. Your State Pension is based on your National Insurance record. See Gov.UK/Carer’s Credit

The Gov.UK website has up-to-date information on all benefits including an online benefits calculator.

It is extremely complicated to work out what you are entitled to. It is well worth seeking specialist advice from one or more of the following organisations: