travel expenses

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Hi, I'm not really sure if I am putting my post in the correct section as I'm not sure whether it should be in Financial, mental health etc.
But I am desperately seeking some advice regarding travel expenses.
2 weeks ago CAMHS placed my 16 yr old daughter 220 miles away in Manchester in a psychiatric Adolescents facility as there were no closer beds available.
As a full-time carer, my finances are tight and my daughter has recently gone from DLA to PIP (16th Birthday) and had her payment reduced so money is even tighter than ever.
It's costing me £110 to go up and see her. So far I have gone twice but am now out of money.
Children's social care and CAMHS have both said they cannot help, I can apply to the social fund but only if there is a meeting or reason to attend, I'm not allowed to claim just to visit.
A Carer assessment advisor found a charity that I can apply to but I can only apply once every 3 months, up to the value of £500 although I'm really grateful for this the problem is you have to have the £500 to spend on tickets before claiming it back, which I do not have.
Just wondering if anyone can recommend any charities that may be able to help me, my bank account is now overdrawn and I'm really worried how i will manage financially when the psychiatrist says she will be there for around 8 week, I have never been away from my daughter before and i really need to see her weekly for both our sakes.
Any advice would be much appreciated

Ann Marie
Hi Ann Marie ... a holding reply before the calvary arrives.

Situation not uncommon ... as a first port of call ... guidance from the NHS web site :

https://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcos ... costs.aspx

Turn2Us web site :

https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-guid ... o-hospital

On first reading , it appears that any application for travel expenses falls with your LA.

As it was NOT your decision for your daughter to be placed so far away , that , in inself , may be relevant.

A virtual minefield ... I hope another reader can add some more insight.
If your daughter is on DLA then the rules for claiming benefits are different. She qualifies as an adult and you should apply for Income Support or equivalent. (My son is now 38, received adult IS from his 16th birthday, at the full rate even though he was in boarding school!!) Don't miss out. Carers UK has a brilliant helpline, email them and they'll be able to give you the best possible information re benefits, much better than DWP themselves.
I'd also check on the webpages for the actual unit, there may be something on there. There are on other similar units pages.
Hi, thank you for your replies, I found a charity through Turn2Us which are offering help once I have accumulated £500 worth of tickets as you can only claim once, for up £500 and can only claim once every 3 months. So in real terms, you have to have the £500 before you can claim for the grant.
I also set up a Just Giving page to help me fund her trip home for Christmas (2x tickets) and am astounded by the kindness of others.

For anyone who finds herself in this position in the future, my advice would be-

Phone Turn2Us- they were amazingly helpful and offered me ideas and solutions that the care assessment advisor didn't seem to know.

reduce the cost of your train tickets- by splitting the journey I have managed to save a fair bit of money. for example Bridgwater to Bristol and then Bristol to Manchester rather than Bridgwater straight through to Manchester. Don't ask me why this is the case!

Children's Social Care will not offer any assistance with travel however it is stated in The Children Act that if a child is being treated away from home they have a duty to help the parent maintain contact once the child has been hospitalised for 3 months. Unfortunately, this doesn't really help me but will help others who are enduring a longer stay.

You can fill out and submit an HC5 form for help towards travel costs however the website does state-
'You can't claim help with travel costs if: you're visiting someone in hospital – but if you receive one of the qualifying benefits listed below, you may be able to receive assistance from your local council'
I was told that I could only get help with travel if there is a meeting or appointment that I need to be present for.
Not sure who they are referring when they say 'your local council' if this is children's social care then they will not help until 3 months of hospitalisation (as stated above)
Also, Psychiatric units don't tend to have the facilities of a standard hospital which means you will have to claim via the post rather than in person at the hospital.

I sincerely hope that things will improve for other parents and carers going through this, as it has been terrible for me and my family, we now have outstanding debt and feel under terrible pressure, the worst thing for me is that the care shes actually receiving from Cygnet, in my opinion, doesn't even make the heartache and rising debt worth it!
Anne-Marie please will you send me the address of your just giving page by private message. I can't get my private messaging to work at the moment.
hi thank you for asking, it is-
https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ann-marie-gould

but I have already hit the goal for what I need to get her home.

Things have just got worse at Cygnet over the last 24 hours so looks like she is discharging herself tomorrow, I'm very apprehensive to have her home but what can I do?
There is a very destructive patient there who is bullying my daughter and basically reeking havoc on the ward but Cygnet is powerless to do anything because there are no other beds to move this other young person to anywhere in the country.
But her behaviour is having a terrible effect on my daughter's mental health making her paranoia and voices much worse.
It really is a terrible situation