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Social Security Benefits: Disabled People

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 3 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what support is available through the benefits system to parents with disabled children between the ages of 16 and 18 to help them with childcare costs. (249346)

[holding answer 19 January 2009]: Jobcentre Plus pays childcare costs within the limits set under the child care element of the working tax credit, on behalf of parents who are claiming out of work benefits who have a disabled child.

For children in receipt of disability living allowance or who are registered blind, child care costs can be paid up to, but not including, the first Tuesday in the September following the child's 16th birthday.

Parents are eligible to claim the cost of registered child care when they are undertaking certain activities in connection with their search for work or when they are attending work focused training. To qualify for child care payments, all activities must be approved by a Jobcentre Plus adviser.

Parents can claim tax credit for a child who lives with them, up to 31 August after the 16th birthday. Child care costs can be claimed through the child care element for a disabled child until the last day in which 1 September falls, following the child's 16th birthday. The age limit is otherwise the child's 15th birthday.

The Aiming High for Disabled Children review found that more needed to be done to co-ordinate services for disabled young people in transition to adult life, and to ensure young people and families can access high quality information at key points. To address this the Government announced £19 million over the period 2008 to 2011 to develop a ‘Transition Support Programme’ for young disabled people, which will seek to raise the standards of transition support and provision and achieve greater consistency in all local areas.