Please Note: We are currently updating this section due to the Welfare Forms recently introduced. We will be updating the information available and changing the buttons adjacent to reflect the new changes and the new names for various benefits, such as; 'Employment Support Allowance' that now replaces 'Incapacity' and 'Income Support' DWP Benefits that may assist a person living with HIV. In the meantime you can contact us on 01566 86378 to speak to one of our advisors about these changes. The information below is correct as from 1st February 2014.
KPS lists and provides fully interactive information on a number of DWP Statutory Benefits that a person with HIV, and/or their carer may be entitled to claim, that is linked to the Government Benefits Information website. There are also benefit information and forms that can be downloaded and printed for you convenience from the government's website.
The information below is only a general guide to benefits and schemes, and is not a full and authoritative statement of the law. We have made every effort to ensure that the information on our website is correct at the date shown at the top of the page. However, changes in the law may make the website become gradually less accurate.
A person who is HIV-positive is likely to be able to continue their normal lifestyle and employment without special assistance, although they may well be prone to bouts of profound fatigue, depression and anxiety. For people who are symptomatic or has had an AIDS diagnosis, the situation becomes more complex. A person may succumb to a variety of illnesses, either separately or together, with bouts of hospitalisation followed by periods of remaining well.
No benefits are specifically designed for people with HIV or AIDS so they need to fit into the same rules as everyone else. Eligibility for benefits depends on a variety of personal circumstances. The information above is not intended as a comprehensive guide, it only draws attention to certain areas. Which may be a useful starting point and all the information is obtainable from Post Offices , Citizens Advice Bureaux and local Benefits Agency Offices. Employed, but too ill to work? Most employees who are unable to work because of illness will get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for the first few weeks. Some employees have a contractual right to Sick Pay from their employer and this will include SSP. The benefit 'Employment Support Allowance' that replaces: Incapacity Benefit and Job Seekers Allowance can be claimed by people who are not entitled to SSP or have exhausted their entitlement to SSP, but you must have enough National Insurance contributions.
The amount of benefits that a person continues to receive while in hospital as an NHS in-patient can depend on their length of stay. You should notify the relevant Benefit Offices when going into hospital and on your release. The DWP Leaflet 'Going into Hospital?' summarises the benefit charges and can be obtained from Post Offices or Benefit Agency Offices.
i. Employment Support Allowance (ESA) This is a means-tested benefit, so it depends on your income and capital. It is paid on top of other benefits or part-time (less than 16 hours) on limited earnings or to provide a basic income to meet your minimum weekly needs. If you are 'signing-on' as available for work you will receive Employment Support Allowance (ESA) calculated on the same basis as the previous 'Income Support' and Job Seekers Allowances. ESA is made up of two groups: Work Related Support Group and Support Group.
People on ESA can claim Housing Benefit to cover a contribution of their eligible rent and Council Tax Benefit to cover Council Tax. They are now unable to get help from the Social Fund for Community Care Grants and Budgeting Loans as this previous service has been handed to the local authorities (Council) and may vary from area to area. Also, you may able to claim to get free prescriptions, free dental treatment, fares to and from hospital and help towards the costs of glasses and legal aid. There is some help with milk, vitamins and school meals for claimants with children.
ii. Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit Benefit is claimed from the Local Authority Housing and Council Tax Departments. These are means-tested benefits, so they depend on your income and capital and will provide help with rent, certain other housing costs and council tax.
iii. Disability Working Allowance Disability working Allowance is a means-tested benefit for people with a disability and working at least 16 hours a week but with low earnings. You must be getting a disability benefit or receiving recent Incapacity Benefit and have a physical or mental disability which places you at a disadvantage in getting a job.
iv. Help with health costs People who are getting ESA, Universal Credit, Family Credit or Disability Working Allowance are entitled to help with health costs through the low income scheme. If you are not receiving one of these benefits you may be entitled to help with paying health costs if you are on a low income. You will need to make a claim, information is obtainable from Benefits Agency Offices, NHS Hospitals, Health Authorities and some doctors, dentists or opticians. Health costs include: NHS prescriptions, NHS dental treatment, sight tests, glasses, contact lenses, travel to hospital for NHS treatment and NHS wigs and fabric supports. You can click here and/or use the button adjacent for details about entitlement
v. Disability Living Allowance (DLA)/Personal Independent Payment (PIP) Disability Living Allowance is being phased out after October 2013 and replaced by Personal Independent Payment (PIP). This benefit is not a means-tested benefit, so income and capital are ignored. You can claim Disability Living Allowance whether you are in or our of work. It is non-taxable and can be paid on top of other earnings or benefits. It is almost always paid in full on top of social security benefits. Everyone currently receiving DLA will be reassessed between 2013/2015. All new claimants for this Disability Benefit will be assessed for PIP. PIP is divided into two parts: A care component - for help with personal care needs, paid at two different levels; a mobility component - for help with walking difficulties, paid at two levels. You can be eligible for either or both components. This benefit can make a significant difference to your income and it also acts as a 'passport' to other types of help. It can qualify you for additional premiums on means tested benefits. Leaflet 'Personal Independent Payment' can be obtained from DWP Offices for information. You can ring for a claim pack by telephoning your local DWP or Job Centre. If successful your claim will start from the date you requested the claim pack, on the above number.
N.B DWP Benefits available are continually changing. Although the above detailed are correct at the time of publishing, you should however clarify if there are any changes when attempting to give any advice regarding Statutory Benefits.
Further information on DWP benefits available for people living with HIV are available by calling Kernow Positive Support (KPS) contact details can be found by clicking the 'Contact Us' button adjacent.
Adjacent buttons link to information on the various DWP Benefits available