For Families and Carers : Benefits in supported living

Most people with Down’s syndrome who live in a supported living situation will receive Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and either Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP), just like they would if they were living with family.

(Some people may still be on the older benefits, Incapacity Benefit or Severe Disablement Allowance plus Income Support, instead of ESA.)

However, they may also get some extra money, called the Severe Disability Premium, with their ESA (or Income Support).

You get the Severe Disability Premium if:

  • You satisfy the means-test
  • You get the middle or higher rate of DLA care component, or either rate of the PIP daily living component
  • No one gets Carer’s Allowance for you
  • You count as “living alone”

Even if other people actually live with you, you may count as living alone.  For example, anyone who also gets the rates of DLA and PIP above, does not count.  Other people who do not count include joint occupiers (ie, people who are also liable to pay rent separately and aren’t your close relatives), resident landlords, and live-in carers (if you pay a voluntary or charitable organization for the services of the carer).

The premium is currently £61.85 per week for a single person (April 2016/17), so it is worth looking into.

Someone with Down’s syndrome may also receive help with paying their rent and council tax through Housing Benefit.  People with Down’s syndrome who don’t receive full help with their council tax, will also qualify for a discount on their council tax through the Council Tax Discount Scheme.

Information on supported living

You can find out more information on supported living in the DSA’s supported living series.