Welfare benefits

Depending on your circumstances, you may be entitled to financial support from the government. Welfare benefits are available to help those living with macular disease, and their families, with extra costs.

Disability Benefits

There are disability benefits available to cover the extra costs of living with a long-term condition like macular disease. These benefits are dependent on your age and whether you meet the criteria to receive the benefits. If you meet the criteria, you will be awarded the benefit regardless of any other income - for example, your salary from your job or pension payments. You may even be entitled to further support from the government.

Personal Independent Payment (PIP)

Personal Independence Payment is a disability benefit paid to people over the age of 16 but under pension age. The benefit is paid in two parts: Mobility and Daily Living. Both of these are paid at either standard or an enhanced rate. The benefit can be for Mobility or Daily Living at either level, or a combination of both.

To claim PIP the applicant completes a form and has a face-to-face assessment with an independent medical professional. This process establishes whether the applicant meets the criteria to receive an award of PIP.

For more information watch our PIP videos or see our Personal Independence Payment page here.

Attendance Allowance (AA)

Attendance Allowance is a disability benefit paid to people over pension age. This benefit pays for the extra costs of living with a long-term condition or disability like Age Related Macular Degeneration. AA is paid at two levels: Low and High, which is dependent on meeting the criteria for the benefit.

To apply for AA the applicant needs to complete a form and send further evidence to DWP (Department of Work & Pensions).

The decision to award is based purely on the form and evidence provided; there is no face-to-face assessment. The form will ask the applicant to explain how their condition impacts their daily life. 

It is always advisable to find specialist support to help when applying for Attendance Allowance. Your local sight loss society, Age UK or the DWP home visiting service can help with completion of the form.

For more information, please see our Attendance Allowance page.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Disability Living Allowance is paid to children over the age of 3 and up to their 16th birthday. DLA is split into Mobility and Care, and has different rates. Mobility is awarded at either Low or High, and Care at Low, Middle or High. The child is awarded either Mobility or Care, or both, at varying rates depending on how the child meets the criteria.

The DWP award DLA to a child based on their completed DLA form and from additional evidence included with the application.

The decision to award is based on all aspects of the child’s life. This ranges from their physical and learning abilities both at home and school, and other activities. The child’s development is compared with where a child of a comparable age would be in order to inform the decision.

For more information, please see our Disability Living Allowance page.

Carers Allowance

Your carer can only receive this benefit if you receive:

  • The Daily Living component of PIP
  • Attendance Allowance at either rate
  • DLA Care component at either Middle or High rate
  • 35 hours a week of care

The person applying for Carers Allowance will only receive the payment if they earn under £100 per week. If they earn over this they will receive no benefit; Carers Allowance has a direct impact on other benefits you might be entitled to.

It is essential that you seek specialist advice before claiming this benefit to ensure it will not have an impact on your income.

For more information talk to our Advice & Information Service.

Other Welfare Benefits

The UK government can offer financial support to families for day-to-day expenses depending on your circumstances. Family circumstances could include:

  • You care for somebody in your household so you are unable to work
  • You are a parent and looking after young children
  • You are out of work
  • You are unable to work due to a disability or illness

Depending on your circumstances, Job Centre Plus will determine what benefits you are entitled to. This is based on how much the government states you need to live on. These considerations are:

  • If you are married or living as a couple
  • If you are a single person
  • If you are a single parent
  • If you are a disabled person

There is plenty of information available about the benefits that you are entitled to online at gov.uk. Some of the benefits you may be entitled to are:

  • Universal Credit - which includes child tax credits, housing payments and personal allowances
  • New Style Employment and Support Allowance – which is an allowance paid if you are unable to work due to ill health or a disability
  • Child Benefit

For more information about benefits you may be entitled to, please contact our Advice & Information Line on 0300 3030 111 or email help@macularsociety.org.