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Money, benefits and SEND

Benefits for people with SEND

These benefits cannot be claimed by parents or carers of children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND).

They must be applied for by people with SEND.

Access to Work

People with SEND can apply for an Access to Work grant to help make their workplace more suitable.

You should first speak to your employer to ask if they can make reasonable adjustments to help you do your work.

If your employer is unable to do this, an Access to Work grant can help you pay for:

  • special equipment, adaptations or support worker services to help you do things like answer the telephone or go to meetings
  • help getting to and from work

Read more about Access to Work and eligibility.

Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance can pay for extra costs if your disability is severe enough that you need someone to help look after you.

Read more about Attendance Allowance and eligibility.

Employment and Support Allowance

People with SEND can apply for an Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if their disability or health condition affects how much they can work.

ESA gives you:

  • money to help with living costs if you are not able to work
  • support to get back into work if you are able to

Read more about Employment and Support Allowance and eligibility.

Personal Independence Payment

People with SEND over the age of 16 can apply for a Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

This is to help with any extra costs you have to pay because of your SEND.

To see if you are eligible for PIP, you need to be assessed by a health professional.

PIP replaces the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for adults.

If you are already claiming DLA, you can keep doing this until the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) asks you to apply for PIP.

You do not need to do anything until DWP writes to you about your DLA, unless your circumstances change.

Read more about Personal Independence Payments.


You can read about travel help for young people with SEND who are in education.

Other SEND travel and transport discounts include:

Public transport

Disabled person’s bus pass

This gives you free travel in the local area. You can apply online for a pass if your SEND is covered by one of these areas:

  • blind or partially sighted
  • profoundly or severely deaf
  • without speech
  • without the use of both arms
  • learning disability

Read more about the disabled person’s bus passes.

Disabled Coachcard (National Express)

This gives you one-third off fares on National Express coaches. Most coaches are wheelchair accessible.

Find out more about the Disabled Coachcard.

Disabled Persons Railcard

Get one-third off rail fares to travel across the UK, and one-third off for a parent or carer who travels with you.

You can buy cards that last for 1 or 3 years.

Read more about the Disabled Persons Railcard.

Cars and personal transport

Blue Badge scheme

The Blue Badge scheme allows you to park close to shops, clinics, leisure centres or other places you need to go.

People with hidden disabilities, including anxiety disorders or a brain injury, can also apply for a Blue Badge.

Find out how to apply for a Blue Badge.

Vehicle tax

You can apply for exemption from paying vehicle tax.

Read more about vehicle tax.

Motability scheme

The Motability scheme helps you get around by swopping your higher rate mobility component or allowance for a vehicle.

This could include a wheelchair accessible vehicle, scooter, powered wheelchair or a lease on a new car.

For more details see the Motability website.

Community transport

Community transport is run by volunteers. It helps people:

  • get around in areas where there is no public transport
  • who have trouble using normal public or private transport

Use our directory to find community transport near you:

Show me community transport