BENEFITS EXPERT: Blue Badge rules have changed
My wife and I are in our seventies with an income of Â£344.96 from our weekly State and private pensions. We are bringing up our 18 year old grandson as our own. He has ADHD and has been down the wrong path in recent years. He is doing a year's apprenticeship training for which he receives Â£100 a week. Because of his health problems, he also has Personal Independence Payment of Â£416.40 a month. We own our own property and pay full Council Tax of about Â£900 a year. We were receiving Child Tax Credit for him but that stopped about three months back and we must repay Â£1,900. Is there anything else we can claim?
Apprentices do a real job, working alongside experienced staff to gain job-specific skills, usually receiving off the job training towards a nationally recognised qualification. Apprentices aged 19 plus, who have been an apprentice for a year, must receive the appropriate minimum wage for a person their age. There is not a benefit that could be paid to you or your grandson in these circumstances. But you should satisfy yourself that the Department is entitled to ask for the Child Tax Credit back. These overpayments usually arise because of a failure to report a change of circumstances that has occurred during the award. If you reported a change that the Tax Credit Office did not act upon you are not required to repay any resulting overpayment. Also an overpayment need not be repaid if the person is on a low income.
What benefits do you have to be on in order to qualify for a disabled parking permit under the Blue Badge Scheme?
There is a list of circumstances that can apply if someone is to be eligible for the Blue Badge. Entitlement used to be closely linked to the rules for the old Mobility Allowance but other conditions have gradually been added. The benefit-related rules include receiving the higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance, or more recently having scored a certain number of points for mobility- related problems in their claim for Personal Independence Payment. The badge now may be awarded because of the nature of your health, where you live, and there are special rules for children and different rules for Wales and Scotland. For more clarification telephone 0844 463 0213.
I have been receiving Statutory Sick Pay from my employer but this is due to run out next week after 28 weeks. How shall I manage after this?
You can claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) with a form SSP1 which your employer gives you five weeks before your SSP ends.