MSA Trust

01. Under State Pension Age

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Adult Disability Payment (ADP)

If you have MSA and are under state pension age you may be entitled to Personal Independence Payment. This is because you are likely to need support or supervision to meet your personal care needs and/or may have difficulties with walking or mobility. You can apply for PIP if you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. If you live in Scotland, PIP has been replaced by the Adult Disability Payment (ADP).

Both PIP and ADP can be worth up to £737.20 every four weeks.

For information on how to apply for PIP, please visit Personal Independence Payment (PIP): How to claim – GOV.UK ( The DWP has recently launched a new online service for new claimants (in selected postcode areas), however it includes an initial screening tool and therefore it is essential you don’t underestimate your needs. Please see our MSA Trust PIP Factsheet or speak to our Social Welfare Specialists for help before making a PIP application.

For information on how to apply for ADP, please visit How to apply for Adult Disability Payment – ADP can be claimed online, however we recommend speaking to our Social Welfare Specialists before beginning your application.

New Style Employment and Support Allowance (NS-ESA)

If you’re no longer able to work because of your MSA or you are off sick and your Statutory Sick Pay has ended, you may be able to claim New Style Employment and Support Allowance. This is a non means-tested benefit and any savings are disregarded. To be eligible for NS-ESA you must have paid enough National Insurance contributions in the last two to three years.

For more information about NS-ESA or to make a claim, please visit New Style Employment and Support Allowance – GOV.UK (

You can check your National Insurance record by visiting Check your National Insurance record – GOV.UK (

Universal Credit

If you are on a low income you may be able to claim Universal Credit (if you or a partner are under state pension age). Universal Credit can include help towards rent as well as additional money if you’re a carer. For more information on Universal Credit please visit Universal Credit: What Universal Credit is – GOV.UK (

It is possible to claim Universal Credit even if you or a partner are working. It can be difficult to work out whether you are entitled to Universal Credit and if so, how much you might receive. Our Social Welfare Specialists can help work this out for you.

Please seek independent advice before choosing to switch from your current benefits to Universal Credit. Even an unsuccessful application for Universal Credit will result in the immediate loss of the benefits Universal Credit replaces and it will not be possible to reclaim these.

Council Tax Disabled Band Reduction

If you are eligible for the Council Tax Disabled Band Reduction, your local authority will move your Council Tax banding down by one band – making it cheaper every year. To be eligible for the reduction one of the following must apply:

  • Your home has a room other than a bathroom, kitchen or toilet which is used mainly for your needs
  • Your home has an additional bathroom or kitchen which has been adapted to meet your needs
  • You have extra space inside your home for the use of a wheelchair.

For more information please visit How Council Tax works: Discounts for disabled people – GOV.UK ( or check your local authority’s website for details on how to apply.

Disabled Facilities Grants

Following an Occupational Therapy assessment, any equipment or minor adaptations (costing less than £1,000) may be provided by your local council free of charge. If the Occupational Therapist identifies any major adaptations, such as having a bathroom adapted to a fully accessible wet room, your local authority should assess whether you’re eligible for a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) to cover all or part of the cost. The application process for a DFG usually requires a financial assessment and the local council may want to know your household income.

DFGs in England can be for up to £30,000; in Wales the upper limit is £36,000 and in Northern Ireland it is £25,000. For more information visit Disabled Facilities Grants: Overview – GOV.UK (

The process is different in Scotland, where mandatory grants of 80-100% may be awarded. Please visit Equipment and adaptations – Independent living – ( for more information.

VAT Relief

If you need to pay for specialist goods and services such as adapting your home or vehicle, you may be entitled to VAT relief. The following link provides more information on VAT relief and includes a list of goods and services that can be classed as zero rated (no VAT to pay): Reliefs from VAT for disabled and older people (VAT Notice 701/7) – GOV.UK (


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