The cost of raising a child with disabilities is estimated to be around three times more than the usual cost of raising children. Additionally, since it is usually the mother who is engaged in taking care of the child, she may either reduce her working hours (if she was previously employed) or convert from a full-time worker to a part-time one or have to quit working completely; which would obviously reduce the household income. This, bundled with increased costs of raising a disabled child may bring a disbalance to one’s finances.

However, there are many government-supported schemes and allowances to provide financial support to families who are struggling to meet their living expenses due to a disabled child. In addition to this, there are a number of grants and contributions through charities as well that aim to provide support (financial and material) in such cases.

Can I Get Council House If I Have Disabled Child?

Yes, not only will you qualify for council housing if you have a disabled child but you will be put on priority so that you may receive council housing at the earliest possible. 

However, not everyone who has a child facing disabilities will be looking for a council house. Depending on the needs of their child, they may make modifications to their existing home and claim state benefits such as Disability Living Allowance.

It is in cases where the parents’ previous home becomes unsuitable for a child with disabilities or they can no longer afford it due to reduced income (in case one of the parents had to leave their job to tend to their child), would they be in need for council housing.

In addition to council housing, you will also be eligible for the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to tend to your child’s care and mobility needs.  DLA is a monthly allowance paid directly into your account to tend to the needs of your disabled child. Depending on the extent of care and their individual requirements, claimants may receive anything between £23 to £89 for the Care Component and between £23 to £65 for the mobility Component.

Additionally, your local council can help you with short breaks, holiday play schemes, care at home as well as financial help. They can also help you Apply for direct payments if you claim benefits. These may include the following:

  • Disability Living Allowance  
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit (CTC)
  • Working Tax Credit (WTC)
  • Child Benefit
  • Universal Credit
  • Family Fund
  • Disabled Facilities Grant
  • Housing Benefit 
  • Council Tax Reduction

Through the following passages, we will try to answer the following questions about council housing:

  • Can I Get Council House If I’m Pregnant?
  • Can I Get Council House If I’m Single Mum?
  • Who Is Eligible For Council Housing?
  • Who Gets Priority For Council Housing?
  • How Should I File An Application For Council Housing?
  • What Happens Once The Application is Accepted? 
  • Can Applicants Choose Their Own Homes?

Can I Get Council House If I’m Pregnant?

Yes, you can get a council house if you are pregnant. In fact, you will be considered to be in “priority need” which means that you can expect to receive an offer for transfer to council housing much sooner than a lot of other people. During this transition, the council will arrange temporary residence for you until suitable and permanent living arrangements are made.

In addition to council housing, you will also be eligible for the following state benefits:

  • Universal Credit: This is applicable if the applicant is pregnant and also without an income
  • Housing Benefit: This will help you with rent and housing costs
  • Discretionary Housing Payment: This is a non-refundable one-time payment to help with rent/deposit/advance
  • Sure Start Maternity Grant: This is a £500 grant to help expecting mothers with the expenses of their first child
  • Free NHS dental care and prescriptions  
  • Child Benefit: These are regular payments made after the child is born up until they are 16 years of age (in some cases it may be up to 20 years if the child is in full-time education)

Can I Get Council House If I’m Single Mum?

If you are a single mum with a dependant child or children, you will be considered on high priority for council housing. In addition to this, if the applicant is a teenage single mum especially between the ages of 16-17, or they have fled domestic abuse, they will be assigned a higher priority band for council housing.

Being the sole adult in the house will also qualify single mums for council tax reduction, due to which they may be able to budget for other living expenses. Additionally, they may also qualify for the following benefits:

  • Employment and Support Allowance 
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Housing benefit
  • Child benefit
  • Child tax credit
  • Working tax credit
  • Help with rent/mortgage payments

Who Is Eligible For Council Housing?

Generally, each council has their own rules for the provision of council homes. This is called an “allocation scheme”; according to which applicants’ eligibility criteria and priorities are assigned.

However, as a basic rule, anyone who is above 18 years of age, low on income and savings can apply for council housing. Some councils also require a “local connection” of the applicant. This means that either they have lived in the vicinity for a number of years or they have a family or job in the area.

Key criteria for council housing eligibility include the following:

  • the applicants hold British or Irish citizenship
  • they have indefinite leave to remain
  • they fall under settled status (under the EU settlement scheme)
  • they are refugees or under humanitarian protection
  • they are a Commonwealth citizen with a right of abode

Who Gets Priority For Council Housing?

While each council has an individual allocation scheme to follow in terms of assigning priority to council housing applicants, claimants who fulfil any of the following criteria are expected to be higher on priority:

  • if someone is legally homeless 
  • they have to move homes due to a serious medical condition or disability
  • due to hardship-anything from medical treatment or potential danger to changing jobs
  • currently residing in an over-crowded house or under poor living conditions

However, as per a recent news report, foster parents and key workers will get higher priority for council housing in some areas. Foster parents and adoptive parents are being assigned Band 1 to extend the maximum benefit to their children. In recognition of their work during the pandemic, key workers have been assigned a Band 2 (The total number of bands is 4 with Band 1 being the highest on the priority list).

How Should I File An Application For Council Housing?

To apply for council housing, candidates are required to apply to their local council (mostly online), who will then consider it based on their criteria for awarding priority to those from certain demographics and or social classes. To find out details about your local council click on this link Find your local council

Candidates are advised to share as many relevant details as possible in their application and also include any supporting evidence to back up their claims. This may include medical reports or doctor’s notes, in case the application is being raised on medical grounds. 

Details of the following may be required:

  • income and/or benefits
  • employment history
  • long-term medical conditions or disabilities
  • savings 
  • assets in possession such as automobile
  • visas or immigration documents (if the applicant is not from the UK)

What Happens Once The Application is Accepted? 

Once an application is accepted, the local council assigns candidates to a group (also referred to as or ‘band’) and assigns a level of priority.

A high priority indicates that the candidate can expect to be assigned a home urgently. However, there are chances that despite being assigned a high priority label, some individuals may have to wait a long time. 

Can Applicants Choose Their Own Homes?

Applicants will need to check with their local councils whether a place of residence will be chosen and assigned by the council or the residents be given the option to choose. In the case of the latter, once the application is approved, the local council may share an online platform where the process of “bidding” takes place.

If a candidate finds a suitable home and prefers it as their residence, they may inform the council of their intent by applying for it online. This is called “bidding”. The council may then direct them on how to proceed with the next steps in the bidding process.

A bid is merely a show of interest from the candidates’ side and does not guarantee that they may be assigned the premises. Depending upon the priority band and the time taken as part of the waiting list, the council decides whether the property is to be assigned as a housing facility to the bidding candidate or not.

Conclusion:

There are many government schemes to support parents with disabled children. Firstly, they are on a priority need for council housing, then they are eligible for a number of state benefits, then there are many grants, charities and non profit organisations that offer financial and material help to overcome the challenges that such parents face.

Its is best to seek advice from your local council office to learn the benefits and facilities that you may be able to claim. You may also contact your local citizens advice bureau.

FAQs: Can I Get Council House If I Have Disabled Child?

How can I get a council house fast?

Claimants who fulfil any of the following criteria are expected to be higher on priority:

  • if someone is legally homeless 
  • they have to move homes due to a serious medical condition or disability
  • due to hardship-anything from medical treatment or potential danger to changing jobs
  • currently residing in an over-crowded house or under poor living conditions

However, as per a recent news report, foster parents and key workers will get higher priority for council housing in some areas. 

Is a disabled child entitled to their own bedroom?

Yes, if the child’s disability prevents them from being able to share a bedroom with a sibling, they are entitled to their own bedroom. You can obtain a doctor’s note in this regard and add this to your council housing application.

Does a child with autism need their own bedroom?

Since a child with autism has very individualsitic needs and finds it very difficult to communicate them, it is preferred that they have their own space which is adapted to their own needs and preferences. However, there are cases where autistic children enjoy the company of their siblings by sharign a room.

Can a doctor’s note help with housing?

Yes, a doctor’s note that explains the medical needs of the applicant ort heir family members does help in proving to be supportive evidence when claiming housing on health grounds.

What is Band 2 housing?

Band 2 housing refers to medium priority for council housing and includes poeople with medical issues or who are facing overcrowding in their current house. It may take anywhere from 38 to 70 months to remain on the waiting list for council housing if you are assigned Band 2.

References:

A Guide to Benefits for disabled children – Working Families

How much Disability Living Allowance will my child I get?

Help if you have a disabled child

Check if you’re allowed an extra bedroom for Housing Benefit

Pregnant and Homeless: A Guide to Pregnancy Support | Centrepoint

Pregnant or Homeless With Kids Support | Centrepoint

Financial Support for Single Parents | Benefits | Information | singleparents.org.uk

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John has 22 years of experience in financial services. This spans across financial research, financial services (As a qualified mortgage broker and underwriter), financial trading and sales at global investment banks. While working as a publishing research analyst, he covered European bank credit and advised institutional clients on investment strategies at both JP Morgan and Societe Generale. John has passed all three levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme.

John has 22 years of experience in financial services. This spans across financial research, financial services (As a qualified mortgage broker and underwriter), financial trading and sales at global investment banks. While working as a publishing research analyst, he covered European bank credit and advised institutional clients on investment strategies at both JP Morgan and Societe Generale. John has passed all three levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme.