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The government announces £37 million to support children with complex needs


Family Fund is a registered charity that helps families who are raising a disabled or seriously ill child or young person aged 17 or under. As an organisation, they are usually funded by the four UK governments, private donations and income generated through the work of the Family Fund Business Services.

For over 40 years, they have helped with over a million grants for families.

The Westminster government has just announced £37 million for the Family Fund scheme in order to assist low-income families with seriously ill or disabled children with the cost of equipment, goods or services specifically in England. 

£10 million of the total is intended to help manage the unique difficulties families might face during the coronavirus pandemic.

Families may apply for grants to help educate and look after disabled or critically ill children who are now staying at home more than usual. Grants are intended to help low-income families with the cost of equipment, goods or services - from washing machines and refrigerators to sensory and educational equipment that they might not otherwise be able to afford.

The grants are typically worth £400 to £500 per family but vary depending on need.

Families can find out more and apply for grants from Family Fund directly


A parent/carer can apply to Family Fund if:

  • They live in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales (Please note: there are separate processes for applications in Wales)
  • They are the parent or carer of a disabled or seriously ill child or young person aged 0-17 who lives with them
  • They are currently living in the UK and have done so for at least six months, or three months if their child is less than six months old. (They must be eligible to work and apply for public funds)
  • Their child is not in local authority care
  • They have evidence of entitlement to any one of the following:
    • Universal credit
    • Child tax credit
    • Working tax credit
    • Income-based jobseeker's allowance
    • Income-related employment support allowance
    • Income support
    • Housing benefit
    • Pension credit
  • The child or young person has a high level of additional support needs arising from a long-term disability or disabling condition or a serious or life-limiting illness. 
(By long-term, Family Fund means lasting, or likely to last, 12 months or more) 

Please read the Family Fund child and young person eligibility criteria here

Applications must meet all Family Fund eligibility criteria in order to be considered for a grant.

You can read more details on the Family Fund website.
First published 19 May 2020