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Of penny pinching and asking for help

Of penny pinching and asking for help

The financial pressure on charities means that most are now means test, and will only be able to help if you earn below a certain threshold. However there is help available if you know where to look for it.

1. Know your tax credits – Even if the answer is no, it pays to find out… we didn’t think we were eligible but we are, for child tax credit due to the severe disability element. So, apply.

2. Don’t be too proud or ashamed to ask for help – charities are there to support families like ours, if your child needs something and you can’t get funding anywhere else, find a charity who can help.

3. Apply for DLA, and don’t be afraid to appeal a decision if you disagree with it – the DLA form is, I grant you, hideous. Even the helpline staff agree that its hideous! And its tough as Hell having to write it all out in black and white but it really does take a strain off you financially.

For years, we assumed we couldn’t apply to charities like Family Fund because we weren’t getting child tax credits. It was only after a chance comment by another SN mum and friend that made me look again at the awards letter; we’re paying off an over payment made in error y’see, so don’t get a penny in tax credits… but there it is, in big letters on the front page – we ARE eligible, it’s just that the money goes to pay off the over payment. But after double checking with FF we are indeed eligible.

Don’t fall victim to assuming that you can’t get any help or support because you earn a set amount or because (like us) you don’t think you’re eligible – one thing I’ve learnt from having Sam is that there is a phenomenal amount of good in this world, and the number of people who want to help are far greater than you could have imagined.

Don’t struggle on in silence – if the OT or PT says your child would benefit from x, y, z piece of equipment but the local authority etc can’t fund it, don’t assume that its hopeless and you’re child will suffer because they don’t have to :)

The help is out there, we just need to ask x

Firefly Blog

Real life stories, issues and experiences of day to day life by special needs parents and
healthcare professionals.

Carolyn Voisey

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Mum to one incredible little dude, I work full time in higher education and have my own small business as a jewellery designer/creator. I love nothing more than having time with my family, being outside and with my animals (chickens, cats, dog..!). While I love my work it's not an easy juggling act, and on occasion things can go wrong in truly spectacular and often funny ways...

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