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Family Fund

Ultimate Guide to Family Fund Grants for Children with Disabilities

Need help with expenses for your disabled or seriously ill child? The ‘Family Fund’ offers grants to help families like yours.

Our guide gives you the essentials: how the grants work, how to apply, and who’s eligible, with stories that show the difference they make.

Things to Note:

  • Family Fund is a UK charity offering grants to families with low income raising disabled or seriously ill children, which can cover diverse needs except for items provided by statutory services.
  • To apply for a Family Fund Grant, families must meet certain eligibility criteria based on income, residency, and the child’s condition, with an online application available for speedier processing.
  • Beyond grants, Family Fund offers extra support like Discover Digital workshops and Your Opportunity grants, plus regional programs in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, with varying reapplication periods.

disabled child

Understanding Family Fund Grants

Family Fund is the UK’s largest grant-making charity dedicated to transforming the lives of families raising disabled or seriously ill children on a low income. Imagine having the same choices, quality of life, opportunities, and aspirations as other families. Doesn’t that sound wonderful? That’s precisely what Family Fund envisions for you!

Consider the case of Mark. About fifteen years ago, his family, like many low-income families raising disabled children, was under tremendous financial strain. Thanks to Family Fund, they received much-needed support that relieved their financial pressures, allowing them to focus on well-being and provide better care for their children.

Grant Types

Family Fund Grants are a versatile tool, providing assistance for a diverse range of needs. These grants cover an array of necessities, including:

  • Family breaks
  • Digital equipment
  • Clothing
  • Bedding
  • Furniture
  • Play equipment

These grants can help ease your daily life.

However, it’s worth noting that the grants do not cover standard or electric wheelchairs or any equipment that statutory services should provide. This focus ensures that the funds are directed towards areas where families need the most assistance, truly maximizing the impact of each grant.

Eligibility Criteria

To apply for a Family Fund Grant, there are a few eligibility criteria to consider. First off, families must have a low income derived from either work or certain qualifying benefits. Families with a significant level of household income, savings, or capital may be ineligible for grants.

The child’s main carer must have resided within the United Kingdom for at least six months to meet the residency requirements for grant eligibility. Thus, it’s crucial to ensure you meet these criteria before starting the application process.

disabled child

The Application Process

If you meet the eligibility criteria and are ready to apply for a Family Fund Grant, let’s dive into the application process! First of all, you should ensure you have all necessary documents ready, such as benefits letters or proof of income. The Family Fund grants team may request additional information to assess your eligibility.

Keep in mind that if further information is required, you’ll have 30 days to respond. Failing to do so may lead to the closure of your application. Also, there’s a handy reapplication date checker on the Family Fund website, helping you identify when you’re eligible to reapply for assistance.

Online Application

You’ve gathered your documents, and you’re ready to apply – fantastic! Now, the preferred method to apply is online due to its quicker processing time for grant decisions. Before you start, collect the following documents:

  • Recent benefit letters
  • Payslips or bank statements
  • Disability benefit letters for the child
  • The child’s education plan
  • Recent assessments or professional letters about the child’s condition

If you’re a returning applicant, note that the online application has changed. You’ll need to create a new password and update your child’s information. Once you’ve successfully submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation, and then it’s a waiting game!

Postal Application

If you’re unable to apply online, don’t fret! You can download, print, and post a paper application form. Remember, though, requesting a paper application pack by post does have a cost implication for Family Fund, costing them £1 to print and post each pack.

For visually impaired applicants, large format paper application forms are available. Family Fund also provides assistance for applicants facing language or disability barriers. And if you’re applying for multiple children, you’ll need to fill out an additional child form for each sibling.

disabled child

Additional Support Programs

Family Fund doesn’t just stop at providing grants! They offer a range of support services to parents and carers, including assistance with money, benefits, budget planning, and information on mental health and wellbeing. Among the key additional support programs are the Discover Digital workshops, Your Opportunity grants, and the Family Portal, which we’ll delve into shortly.

These programs, backed by Family Fund’s collaboration with various foundations, aim to provide comprehensive support. They address the needs of disabled young adults and their families, offering specialist resources and guidance that can significantly enrich their lives.

Discover Digital Workshops

In the digital age, having a solid grasp of digital technology can be a game-changer. The Discover Digital Workshops aim to support parents and carers of disabled children in effectively using digital technology for their child’s development.

These free workshops focus on teaching the use of tablets, apps, and other digital resources to aid the child’s learning and development. So, not only do you get to enhance your digital skills, but you also get to discover ways to support your child’s growth in the process!

Your Opportunity Grants

For young people aged 18 to 24 living at home with disabilities, the Your Opportunity programme offers support for their development and inclusion in society. As a young person in this age group, these grants can cover costs for:

  • digital equipment
  • memberships to clubs and activities
  • transport
  • a variety of other resources needed by the young adults.

These grants are available on a first-come, first-served basis, with parents or carers able to apply on behalf of their eligible young adults. So, if you have a young adult at home who could benefit from this, don’t hesitate to apply!

disabled child

Regional Differences: England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland

Let’s take a moment to discuss the regional differences in reapplication periods for Family Fund Grants. Although these grants are available across the UK, the waiting period between reapplications varies by region.

In England, Northern Ireland, and Wales, applicants can reapply 24 months after their last granted application. However, Scotland offers a shorter reapplication period of just 18 months for Family Fund grants, allowing for quicker access to further support compared to the other regions.

As the saying goes, every little helps, and these regional considerations can make all the difference in your grant application journey.


In England, the Support for Families with Disabled Children (SFDC) programme, funded by the Department for Education, grants a variety of items to low-income families raising a disabled or seriously ill child. Additionally, the BBC Children in Need Emergency Essentials Programme, managed by Family Fund, supports children in particularly challenging situations.

These programs, combined with the opportunity to reapply for Family Fund grants every 24 months following the previous application date, provide a lifeline of support for families in England.


Families in Wales also enjoy the benefits of Family Fund grants. Like England and Northern Ireland, they are eligible to reapply for these grants two years after the date of their last successful application.

This 24-month reapplication period ensures a steady stream of support for families in need.


In Scotland, the Family Fund runs the Scotland programme, providing a variety of grants specifically tailored to assist families on low incomes who are raising a disabled or ill child or young adult. There’s also the ‘Take a Break Scotland’ grant scheme, enabling families to access funds for short breaks, leisure activities, outings, and sports equipment.

What’s more, families in Scotland have the opportunity to reapply for Family Fund grants every 18 months, a shorter interval than other UK regions. This quicker turnaround for reapplication means families can access further support sooner.

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, Family Fund provides a broad range of grants to low-income families raising a disabled or seriously ill child or young adult. As with England and Wales, the reapplication period for Family Fund grants in Northern Ireland is set to 24 months after the last application date.

This aligns with the reapplication period in England and Wales, ensuring a consistent level of support for families across these regions. The opportunity for reapplication allows families to continue receiving the financial assistance they need.

disabled child

Final Thoughts

In a nutshell, Family Fund Grants offer a lifeline to low-income families raising disabled or seriously ill children. From a variety of grant types and an accessible application process to additional support programs and regional variations, these grants aim to provide comprehensive support to families in need.

Remember, every family deserves the same choices, quality of life, opportunities, and aspirations. Whether you’re a parent, a carer, or a young adult, Family Fund is here to help you navigate your journey, fostering empowerment and inclusion. So, why wait? Apply today, and let Family Fund lighten your load!

disabled child


Can Family Fund help with a car?

Yes, the Family Fund Mobility Support program can provide a car-leasing package to families raising a disabled or seriously ill child under three years old with significant mobility needs to make transport easier and more practical. So, they can help with a car in this situation.

What are Family Fund Grants?

Family Fund Grants are financial assistance in the UK to help low-income families raising disabled or seriously ill children improve their quality of life.

How can I apply for a Family Fund Grant?

You can apply for a Family Fund Grant online or through postal application if you meet the eligibility criteria. Good luck with your application!

Are there additional support programs provided by Family Fund?

Yes, Family Fund offers additional support programs like the Discover Digital workshops and Your Opportunity grants. They aim to provide a wide range of support for families in need.

Are there regional differences in the reapplication period for Family Fund Grants?

Yes, there are regional differences in the reapplication period for Family Fund Grants. In England, Northern Ireland, and Wales, you can reapply 24 months after your last granted application, while in Scotland, the reapplication period is 18 months.