Funding and grants 

Children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) may be eligible for funding. See the table for details of what is available and where to apply.

Funding and grants for children and young people with SEN or disabilities
Type of financial support What and who is the funding for? Find out more and apply
Disability living allowance (DLA)

This funding is for those looking after a child under 16 who has:

  • more day, night‑time, personal care or supervision needs than an able bodied child of the same age
  • difficulties in walking, or needs supervising when getting around outside the home

This funding is no longer available to new applicants aged 16 and over, so they must apply for PIP.

Find out more and apply for Disability living allowance (DLA) for children.
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) This is replacing DLA. A young person's DLA will expire at 16 years so they will need to claim PIP. The assessment process for PIP is different to the DLA and requires a medical.  Find out more about Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
Personal Budget A Personal Budget is an amount of money to help children and young people aged 0 to 25 with SEN and/or disabilities.  Find out more about personal budgets.
Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG)

This can be used to pay for home adaptations, needed to meet your child's needs. To access what adaptations are best for your child, you will get support from either/both:

  • the Dorset Accessible Home Service
  • Occupational Therapist

They may recommend specialist equipment rather than an adaptation. This might be better for their needs and is also quicker to arrange. Disabled Facilities Grants will not affect any benefits that you're getting.

Find out how to claim a Disabled Facilities Grants (DFG).

Further information on home adaptations.

Discretionary Housing Payments These payments support customers who are unable to cover their housing costs through regular housing supports.  See how to claim discretionary housing payments
Childcare funding There are many funding schemes available to help towards the cost of childcare. You could be eligible for support for children up to 17 years.  Find out about childcare funding.
Direct payments Direct payments help meet the needs of children and young people with disabilities and their families. It is an alternative to council-arranged help. Parents or carers of children who are disabled can have a direct payment to buy their own help or support. Young people over 16 can also have direct payments. We pay direct payments to the parent/carer or to the young person if they are over 16. Find out more about Direct Payments.

Funding for young adults

Find out about the extra financial support available for young people.

Services who offer financial support

The Family Fund

The Family Fund provides grants to families with severely disabled or ill children and young people aged 17 and under. The grants are to help families on lower incomes.

Community Foundation for Dorset

The Dorset Community Foundation offer financial help to young people age 0 to 25 years who want to make the most of their potential.


Butterflies is a local charity who can provide equipment to children under the age of 18 with a disability in Dorset.

Information about funding from GOV.UK

For more information on funding, visit the GOV.UK website.