What is Family Fund's eligibility criteria for children and young people?

Family Fund has limited funding, therefore we are unable to help all families caring for a disabled child or young person.

We use our own criteria to determine whether a child or young person is eligible. This means that Disability Living Allowance (DLA) awards are not an indicator that a child would be eligible for a Family Fund grant

You do not need to wait for a diagnosis for your child to make an application for a grant if you think your child may meet the criteria below.

You may also wish to read our general eligibility criteria.


Children and young people must have a severe disability with additional complex needs, or have a serious or life threatening illness.

There must be evidence that the child or young person’s additional needs impact on a family’s choices and their opportunity to enjoy ordinary life. The degree of planning and support required to meet their needs must also be much greater than that usually required to meet the needs of children and young people.

They must require a high level of support in three or more of the following areas:

  • The physical environment
  • Education
  • Communication
  • Access to social activities
  • Personal care, supervision and vigilance
  • Specialist resources, including information and communications technology, are required
  • Medical or therapeutic treatment and condition management

The child or young person’s condition must be long term or life limiting. By long term we mean lasting or likely to last 12 months or more.

Children with a confirmed diagnosis of certain conditions which may be degenerative, life limiting or life threatening are likely to meet the Fund’s disability criteria. For example, a child with a confirmed diagnosis of a degenerative syndrome, or a child with a current diagnosis of cancer or leukaemia.

Children are not likely to meet Family Fund's criteria where their main or only difficulty is one of the following:

  • They have eczema, asthma or allergies
  • They have specific educational difficulties – such as dyslexia, dyscalculia or poor literacy
  • Their condition is stable and managed through medication, diet, monitoring, testing bloods or transfusions and there have been no recent medical crises as a result of their condition.

Apply for a grant.