The helpful podcast for families with disabled children

By Contact

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Advice and information podcasts from Contact, the charity for families with disabled children. Covering everything from disability benefits, special education, health and diagnosis, and accessing social care.

Episode Date
Home to school transport for 5-16 year olds in England

In this episode, Lesley from the education team on our helpline talks about home to school transport for children of compulsory school age - that's 5-16 year olds.

Lesley explains the criteria local authorities use to decide who gets free school transport; how to apply for it; and what to do if your request is denied.

This podcast is for families in ENGLAND only.

For more about school transport, including in the other UK nations, visit

Nov 23, 2021
Transferring from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Child Disability Payment in Scotland

From 22 November 2021, children under the age of 16 in Scotland can no longer make a new claim for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and instead need to make a claim for the new benefit Child Disability Payment.

But what about children in Scotland who are already getting DLA? What's going to happen to them?

Our Family Finances parent adviser, Derek, explains.

Nov 18, 2021
Child Disability Payment in Scotland

Child Disability Payment is a new benefit being introduced in Scotland to replace claims for Disability Living Allowance (DLA). It's paid by Social Security Scotland.

Our benefits expert Derek explains what you need to know about Child Disability Payment, how it's being introduced and who can make a claim.

Find out more at

Nov 18, 2021
The return to school in England this September

This September 2021, children in England will return to school for the first time since many Covid-19 restrictions were lifted.

In this episode, our helpline adviser Michaela explains the current guidelines schools in England are following to keep children safe.

You can find out more about Covid-19 and education updates on our website:

And listen to our podcast on tips for starting school:

Aug 25, 2021
What is Contact's Listening Ear service?

Listening Ear is our 1-1 telephone appointment service, where you can talk with one of our family support advisers for a listening ear, reassurance and practical and emotional support.

But what topics can you talk about and how long for? How did the service come about, and what do parents think of it? And most importantly, how can you book an appointment?

In this episode, we speak to Noreen, an adviser on the Listening Ear line, who tells us all of this and more.

You can find out more about Listening Ear on our website at

Jul 02, 2021
Top tips for your child's appointment or stay in hospital

Our By Your Side team provide advice and support in hospitals across the UK to families whose child has an appointment or longer stay. 

In this episode, our By Your Side Senior Parent Adviser Ruth shares the team's top tips for hospital appointment and stays.

Find out more about our By Your Side programme: 

Apr 27, 2021
What are annual health checks?

Did  you know that everyone with a learning disability aged 14 and over is  entitled to a free annual health check with the GP? In our latest podcast episode, our health lead Amanda explains why it's so important parents take up the offer. And we hear mum Ayesha talk about her experience of getting a health check for her daughter.

Feb 24, 2021
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Updated: 20 April 2021

Our Family Finances Adviser Derek explains the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the government's initiative to financially support people unable to do their jobs during the coronavirus outbreak.

Nov 27, 2020
The Coronavirus Self Employment Income Support Scheme

Listen to our Family Finances Adviser Derek explain the government's scheme to help self-employed workers through the coronavirus outbreak in the UK.

Nov 27, 2020
Child Winter Heating Assistance

The Scottish Government is introducing a new payment to help families with severely disabled children pay their winter heating costs. Listen to our benefits expert Derek explain how the new payment works.

Nov 17, 2020
The Scottish Child Payment

The Scottish Child Payment is a new benefit, providing low income families in Scotland with a payment of £10 per week for each child in their family who is aged under six. Applications open in November 2020, with payments due to start at the end of February 2021. Listen to this podcast episode about the new benefit, and find out more about benefits in Scotland on our website:

Nov 05, 2020
The coronavirus Test and Trace Support Payment

In England, low-income workers who who are asked to self-isolate by the NHS Test and Trace Service, and who are unable to work from home during their period of self-isolation and who lose money as a result, can apply to their local authority for a £500 payment. Find out more by listening to our benefits adviser Derek explain the new support scheme.

Oct 29, 2020
The Coronavirus in-work Job Support Scheme

Listen to our benefits expert Derek explain the UK government's new coronavirus in-work Job Support Scheme for businesses that remain open. It replaces the furlough scheme from November 2020 and is expected to last at least six months. Find out more about financial support during the coronavirus pandemic on our website:

Oct 29, 2020
The Coronavirus Job Support Scheme expansion

The UK government will provide temporary support for businesses and employees that are legally required to close their premises due to the Coronavirus restrictions at local or national level. In this episode our benefits adviser Derek explains the scheme in detail.

Oct 22, 2020
The free NHS flu jab

Our Strategic Health Lead Amanda talks about the free NHS flu jab, why it's important to get vaccinated and who can get it. We also hear from mum Rosie about the reasonable adjustments her son Blake needs to get the flu jab, and which you can ask for too.

Oct 13, 2020
Returning to school after lockdown in England

Some of you may be worried about your child going back to school for many reasons. In this episode our education adviser Michaela discusses some of the common concerns we've heard from parents about returning to school and offers some information and  advice to help prepare.

Sep 07, 2020
New rules in Scotland extending Disability Living Allowance to age 18

From 1 September 2020, children in Scotland will not be expected to move from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) until age 18. Listen to our benefits expert Derek Sinclair explain what these new rules mean for families.

Aug 27, 2020
The Disabled Children's Partnership lockdown survey and Contact's new services

In May, over 4,000 of you shared your experience of lockdown, in response to the Disabled Children's Partnership survey. In this podcast, we talk to Contact's Campaign Manager Una Summerson about what we learnt from the survey and how the results are driving our campaign work. Una also tells us about some new services Contact is running to help families through the pandemic.

Aug 12, 2020
Working Tax Credits & Coronavirus

Our family finances adviser Derek explains temporary changes to the rules around working hours and Working Tax Credit during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Aug 04, 2020
Money Matters - Webinar recording

Presented by Derek Sinclair, who leads Contact's Family Finance team,  this webinar recording introduces you to the main benefits relevant to you and  your disabled child. 

The episode assumes no previous knowledge of the  subject and will help you improve your finances and understand what you  may be entitled to as a family and where to get additional information,  advice and support.

This episode was originally presented as a webinar with slides. To watch the webinar in full, visit 

Mar 30, 2020
Tax credits & Child Benefit payments when your child has a temporary break in education

Contact parent adviser Derek explains the rules that allow tax credits and Child Benefit payments to continue if a young person's temporarily unable to attend their course of education.

Find out more at

Mar 12, 2020
What is Carer's Allowance?

In this podcast, our helpline adviser Derek talks about the main benefit for carers: who can claim Carer's Allowance, and what are the common misconceptions about eligibility? What deductions can be made from your gross earnings? And can you study and get Carer's Allowance?

To find out more, visit

Mar 12, 2020
Disability Living Allowance payments when your child goes into residential accommodation

Listen to our family finances adviser Derek explain what the rules are around payment of Disability Living Allowance when your child goes into residential accommodation.

Find out more:

Mar 11, 2020
Close the Loophole: An interview with Una Summerson about our school transport campaign

School transport is  an integral part of a child's education. If a child can't get to school  or has a stressful experience getting to school, they are not able to  learn and take part in the school day like other children.

That's why we're campaigning to Close the Loophole in school transport law for over 16s. In this podcast, we talk to Contact's Head of Campaigns Una Summerson about what the loophole means, how we're trying to change it, and how you can get involved.

Find our more at

Feb 19, 2020
Dealing with Bullying: If the school have informed me my child is bullying

In this podcast we discuss practical tips and advice on what to do if  you are informed your child has been exhibiting bullying behaviour. For  further advice, visit our website

Nov 08, 2019
Dealing with Bullying : Helping schools recognise the cause of bullying incidents

In this podcast we discuss practical tips on how to help schools  recognise and understand the root causes of bullying incidents if they  aren't already being addressed. For further advice, visit our website

Nov 08, 2019
Dealing with Bullying: Moving forward and resolving bullying if things aren't working

We discuss practical tips on what you can do if steps have been taken by  the school, but the bullying is continuing. For further advice, visit our website

Nov 08, 2019
Dealing with Bullying: Tips on how parents & schools can keep in touch with eachother

In this podcast we give practical tips on how schools and families can  keep in touch to see if the actions taken by the school and support for  their child is working. For further advice, visit our website

Nov 07, 2019
Dealing with Bullying: Positive things schools can do to help children being bullied

In this podcast, we discuss positive actions and strategies that schools  can put into place to help children who are being bullied and some that  parents can also use at home. For further advice, visit our website

Nov 07, 2019
Dealing with Bullying: Supporting your child and how the school can help

In this podcast we discuss practical tips and advice on supporting your  child whilst bullying issues are being resolved. For further advice, visit our website

Nov 07, 2019
Dealing with Bullying: Meeting with the school

In this podcast we discuss useful tips and advice on meeting with the school to discuss bullying issues to get the best outcomes for your child. For further advice, visit our website

Nov 07, 2019
Dealing with Bullying : Raising your concerns with the school

In this podcast we look at practical advice on how to approach the  school if you have concerns that your child is being bullied. For further advice, visit our website

Nov 07, 2019
Dealing with bullying: Spotting the signs

In this podcast we discuss how to spot the signs of bullying. If you  have concerns that your child is being bullied, you visit our website at

Nov 07, 2019
What is Personal Independence Payment?

Our helpline adviser Lesley explains what happens when a child on Disability Living Allowance (DLA) turns 16. Once they reach this age your son or daughter will be invited to claim a benefit called Personal Independence Payment.

Sep 12, 2019
Council Tax bill discount for carers

Our helpline adviser Jill explains the rules that allow some carers to qualify for a discount on their council tax bill if they are looking after a child aged 18 or over. Read more about help paying Council Tax bills at

Aug 15, 2019
Universal Credit: A claimant commitment

In this podcast, our parent adviser Nicos explains the document called  'a claimant commitment', which sets out what you need to do to get  Universal Credit. This is the third part of our Universal Credit podcast  series. For more advice on Universal Credit, visit 

Aug 15, 2019
Changes to the Blue Badge rules in England in 2019

Our parent adviser Mia explains the changes to the Blue Badge rules coming into effect in England in Summer 2019. For more information, visit

Aug 15, 2019
How to claim Universal Credit

In part two of our Universal Credit podcast series, our parent adviser Nicos explains how to claim Universal Credit, the new benefit being rolled out across the country. Read more information about Universal Credit at

Aug 15, 2019
What is Universal Credit?

In this podcast, parent adviser Mia talks about Universal Credit, the new benefit replacing existing means-tested benefits. This is part one of our Universal Credit podcast series. To find out more, visit

Aug 15, 2019
Education complaints & appeals

Our education adviser Jill explains what you can do if you're not happy with your child's education.

* Links *

School complaints -

EHC annual reviews -

Tribunal appeals -

Education -

Aug 15, 2019
Applying for a secondary school place

Listen to our education specialist Jill, from the Contact helpline, talk about applying for a secondary school place through the school  admissions process. For more admission on school applications, visit

Aug 15, 2019
Applying for a primary school place

In this episode in our education podcasts series, education adviser Jill gives her advice on applying for a primary school place for a child with special educational needs. For more advice on school admissions, visit

Aug 15, 2019
Top tips for starting school

In this podcast, our parent adviser Michaela shares her top tips for parents whose children are about to start a new school. For more advice and support on starting school, visit

Aug 15, 2019
Diagnosis - Then & now

Donna, a parent of two children with autism, describes her journey since receiving their diagnosis. You can find information and support around getting a diagnosis, or living without a diagnosis, on our website at

Aug 15, 2019
Diagnosis - In the beginning

Listen to some parents sharing how they felt at the time they received their child's diagnosis. For more information and advice around diagnosis, visit our website at 

Aug 15, 2019
Seven reasons to claim Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Our parent adviser Mia explains why claiming Disability Living Allowance can be a gateway onto more financial help.

Aug 14, 2019
Challenging the myths around Disability Living Allowance eligibility

Listen to Derek, welfare rights expert from Contact's helpline, explains Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and dispels common myths on eligibility. To find out more about DLA, visit

Aug 06, 2019