Benefits and financial assistance

Many people find that their financial situation changes after they have a stroke. The below describes the main benefits, grants and other financial help available, and where to go for specialist advice.

Financial changes after a stroke

Coping with the aftermath of a stroke can be tough. You and your family may suddenly be faced with financial difficulties, especially if you are no longer able to work. If you have a disability, you may need to pay more for things like heating, transport and specialist equipment. People tell us that this is a real worry.

Financial help is available through the benefits system. You can also get help via your employer, local council and other organisations.

Benefits calculators

Many people are not aware that they can get help, or are not claiming all the support they may be entitled to. You can check what benefits you might be able to get by using an online benefits calculator. These can also tell you about the support available if you have been financially affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

These are some you can choose from:

More details about each benefit and how to claim are on Gov.uk. You can also get individual advice from organisations including Citizen’s Advice and Independent Age.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit (UC) is the main benefit for working-age people. Universal Credit is now in place for nearly all new claims across the UK.

The benefits now replaced by Universal Credit are:

  • Income Support, income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA).

  • Income-based Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

  • Housing Benefit.

  • Working Tax Credit and;

  • Child Tax Credit. These are now known as ‘legacy benefits’.

If you are already on a legacy benefit, you will be contacted about moving over to UC by 2024. You’ll be moved to UC earlier if your situation changes for any reason, such as starting a new job or having a baby. You can’t claim or move onto Universal Credit if you are on a legacy benefit and you get the Severe Disability premium.

Information

Other resources

Stroke Association Helpline
Helpline: 0303 3033 100
Email: helpline@stroke.org.uk
Contact us for information about stroke, emotional support and details of local services and support groups.

Citizens Advice
England: 0800 144 8848
Wales: 0800 702 2020
Scotland: 0800 023 1456
Northern Ireland
Citizens Advice is a free advice service that can help you deal with a wide range of issues. They give benefits advice and can help you fill in the claim forms. To find details of your local Citizens Advice branch, their advice line number and open door sessions visit their website or look in your local telephone directory.

Gov.uk
Provides information for disabled people and their carers on issues such as employment, benefits and entitlements.

Age UK
Phone: 0800 169 6565
Produces many useful factsheets about benefits and financial issues. Local branches may be able to help with claiming benefits. You can find their details on the website.

Age Scotland
Phone: 0800 124 4222
Advice and practical support with claiming benefits in Scotland.

Carers UK
Phone: 0808 808 7777
Support and information for carers.

DIAL
Phone: 0808 808 7777
A network of disability information and advice centres run by disabled people.

Disability Rights UK
Phone: 020 7250 3222
Publishes the annual Disability Rights Handbook and factsheets on the different benefits available and the planned changes to the benefits system.

Disability Law Service
Phone: 020 7791 9800
Provides free legal advice to disabled people and their families and carers. Assists with complaints to Ombudsmen and social services and can represent people at benefit appeal tribunals.

Different Strokes
Information line: 0345 130 7172
Email: info@differentstrokes.co.uk
Offers information on benefits for younger stroke survivors.

RADAR
Phone: 020 7250 3222
Email: enquiries@disabilityrightsuk.org
Publishes a guide for newly disabled people which includes information on employment and benefits.

The Association of Charity Officers (ACO)
Phone: 020 7255 4480
Can put people in touch with charities that provide financial help.

The Directory of Social Change
Produces a range of directories of grant-making trusts. The books are very expensive but most reference libraries should have access to copies, in particular: Guide to Grants for Individuals in Need 2011/12.

Turn2us
Part of the Elizabeth Finn Trust. Has a benefits check facility on their website and a directory of grants for people in need.

Disclaimer: The Stroke Association provides the details of other organisations for information only. Inclusion on My Stroke Guide does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement.