[Skip to content]

Print this page

Help & Advice

Many renal patients and their carers face financial difficulties. This page gives details about welfare benefits that you may be able to apply for. Please note: The benefit system is subject to change, and all information is  correct at the time of writing (June 2013).

Renal Patients and Welfare Benefits

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) 

ESA is paid to people whose ability to work is limited by their illness or disability. To receive ESA you must be under state pension age, and must not be receiving Job seekers allowance or statutory sick pay. You can apply if you are employed, self-employed, unemployed or a student on disability living allowance. The amount of benefit that you receive may be affected by the amount of savings and income that you have. As part of the process of applying for ESA, you will be required to complete a medical questionnaire and possibly attend a work-focussed interview. These are to assess the impact of your illness and disabilities on your ability to work. For the first 13 weeks (assessment phase) of your claim you will receive £71.70 per week (£56.80 if under 25). From 14 weeks, this amount may increase dependant on the results of your medical assessment. You can claim ESA by phoning 0800 055 6688, or by downloading an application form from www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance.

Statutory sick pay (SSP) 

SSP may be paid to someone who is in employment but is unable to work due to their health condition or disability. In order to receive SSP you must be in employment, be signed off work sick by a Doctor, and have been earning more than the National Insurance lower earnings limit (currently £109 per week, before tax). SSP is currently paid at £86.70 per week for up to 28 weeks, after 28 weeks you may be able to apply for other benefits. You can claim SSP by speaking to your employer.

Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)

JSA is paid to people who are looking for work. To be eligible you must be 18 years or over, not in full-time education, be able and available for work, and be actively seeking work. The amount of income and savings that you have can impact the amount of JSA that you receive. It is currently paid at £71.70 per week (£56.80 if under 25). You can apply by phoning 0800 055 6688 or by downloading an application form from www.gov.uk/jobseekers-allowance. As part of receiving the benefit, you will be required to attend interviews at the job centre frequently to discuss your progress.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

PIP started to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) from 8th April 2013, and is paid to people aged 16-64 who have a long-term health condition or disability which causes difficulties with their mobility or daily living. PIP helps to support with extra costs that are incurred as a result of illness or disability. The benefit is not based on your specific illness or disability, but rather how your illness or disability affects your daily living. You must have had difficulties for 3 months and expect them to last for a further 9 months.

The benefit is paid in two parts, daily living component and mobility component. You can receive either both, or just one of these components. Your income or savings do not affect the amount that you will receive. If you are currently receiving DLA then the Department for Work and Pensions will contact you between now and 2015 to ask you to re-apply for PIP. If you would like to make a new claim for PIP then please phone 0800 917 2222.

Attendance Allowance 

You can receive Attendance Allowance if you’re aged 65 or over and have a physical or mental disability which is severe enough for you to need help caring for yourself, or supervision to keep you safe. You may be paid £53.00 or £79.15, depending on how much support you need. You can claim by downloading an application form from https://www.gov.uk/attendanceallowance.

Carer’s allowance 

Carer’s Allowance may be paid to those who care for people with an illness or disability. In order to qualify you must be over 16 and spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone. The person you are caring for must receive either attendance allowance, disability living allowance (middle or higher rate), or personal independence payment (daily living component). Carer’s Allowance is paid at £59.75 per week. You don’t have to be related to, or live with the person that you are caring for. You can claim by downloading an application form from https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance.

Housing Benefit (HB) 

You can receive Housing Benefit to help you pay your rent if you’re on a low income. It can pay for all, or part of your rent. How much you will receive depends on if you rent privately or from a council, whether you have unoccupied rooms in your house, and your household income and circumstances. You may receive Housing Benefit if you pay rent, are on a low income or receiving benefits, and your savings are below a certain level. You can apply if you are employed or unemployed. If you are claiming other benefits then you should contact job centre plus on 0800 055 6688 to apply. If you aren’t claiming other benefits then you will need to get a housing benefit form from your local council.

Council Tax Reduction

Council Tax Reduction replaced Council tax benefit on 1st April 2013. If you qualify then you will receive money off your council tax bill. You can apply for it regardless of whether you own your own home, rent, are unemployed or working. The highest reduction you can get is 100% but the amount you receive will depend on your individual circumstances and income. To see if you qualify for Council Tax Reduction you should contact your local council.

Understanding benefits and completing application forms can be difficult. It can be particularly challenging to know which benefits you should be applying for. Below are a list of organisations which provide free, confidential support and advice around benefits. It may be helpful to get in touch with them before you start, they will be able to signpost you to the right benefits and some will also help you fill in the forms.
Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB):

CAB provide services across Derby and Derbyshire to support people to apply for benefits including filling in forms. For more information visit www.adviceguide.org.uk or phone 08444 111 444.

Derby advice (city residents):

Derby advice provides support to residents within Derby city. They offer free and confidential advice on a wide range of benefits, both over the phone and through face-to-face appointments. To speak to a member of their team please phone 01332 643395.

Derbyshire welfare rights (county residents):

Welfare rights provides support to people living in Derbyshire county. They provide free and confidential advice on a wide range of benefits, both over the phone and through face-to-face appointments which are provided around the county. To speak to a member of their team please phone 01629 53 15 35.

National Kidney Federation (NKF):

 The NKF is a national charity which supports kidney patients across the UK. Their helpline provides assistance to patients and carers around a range of different issues. The helpline is open 9am-5pm, Monday – Friday and can be contacted on 0845 601 0209.


A government website which gives details of all social security benefits including eligibility, rates and how to apply.Click here for website.

Carers UK:

 A national organisation which supports carers across the UK. Their website and advice provides a range of information and advice on a wide range of topics including benefits and signposting to local support services for carers. For more details visit their website (www.carersuk.org) or phone their advice line on 0808 808 7777.

Derbyshire Carers Association:

Local organisation which provides a wide range of advice and support to carers living in Derbyshire County or Derby city. For more details visit their website (www.derbyshirecarers.co.uk).