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HELP AND BENEFITS

The advice given is obtained from The Epilepsy Society who have wide experience in these matters

What Help Is Available?

You are entitled to free prescriptions for your epilepsy medications. You may be able to get financial help towards the cost of travel to medical appointments and to work. You may also be entitled to discounted bus, rail and tube travel in some areas. You may be eligible for some welfare benefits and tax credits. If you need support with daily living or equipment, an assessment from social services may be helpful. There may be help available if you care for a person with epilepsy. 

Your entitlements will depend on what your epilepsy is like and how it affects you. The information below includes contact details and links to sources of information and help.

Financial help 

Free prescriptions 

People with epilepsy are entitled to free prescriptions for their anti-epileptic medication, as well as for any other prescribed drugs (but not dental treatment or eye tests). This is called 'medical exemption'. To apply for free prescriptions in England, fill in the form FP92A, available from your doctor's surgery. It is important to carry your medical exemption card in case you are asked to show this when you collect your prescription. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all prescriptions are free.

NHS low income scheme (LIS)

If you are on a low income or benefits you may be able to claim back some of your costs of travelling to some medical appointments, under the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS). The Low Income Scheme may also cover some dental and eye care costs. Call the Low Income Scheme helpline on 0300 330 1343 for details.

VAT exemption

Some equipment designed specifically to help people with disabilities does not include VAT. For example, you may not have to pay VAT on a seizure alarm system.

Call the HM Revenue and Customs Helpline on 0300 200 3700 for information, or visit hmrc.gov.uk.

Discounted public transport 

If you have epilepsy and are still having seizures you may be entitled to free or discounted travel. This is usually because you would be refused a driving licence if you applied. You will usually need some proof that you are eligible for the discount, depending on where you live and the rules of the discount scheme.

Bus and tube travel

Rail travel

You may be eligible for a disabled person’s railcard. This gives you, and a companion, a third off most fares. Call 035 605 0525 for more information.

Coach travel

Some coach operators, such as National Express, offer discount fare schemes for people with disabilities. Contact companies directly for more details.

Access to work

If you are unable to use public transport because of your epilepsy, you may be able to get financial help towards the cost of your transport to and from work, through the Access to Work scheme. Contact your local Jobcentre Plus office for more information.

Benefits

You may be entitled to benefits, depending on how your epilepsy affects you. This might include Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Universal Credit and Attendance Allowance. You will need to meet certain requirements in order to qualify for these benefits.

The following organisations can provide information and advice on benefits: