Statutory Benefits in the UK

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Listed below are some of the statutory Government benefits which Gauchers sufferers and carers may be entitled to. For more information and help, contact Gill Ian, one of our Executive members.

Prescription Prepayment Certificates
If you pay for NHS prescriptions and need them regularly or need a lot of prescription items, you could save money with a pre-payment certificate. This lasts for 4 months or 12 months and will save you money if you need more than 5 items in 4 months or more than 14 items in 12 months. To claim Obtain form FP95 (EC95 in Scotland) from a post office, pharmacist or Health Authority.

Disability Living Allowance
Tax free benefit for sufferers who need help with personal care. This is a non-means tested benefit; not dependent on National Insurance Contributions.

There are two benefits payable under Disability Living Allowance:

To claim Complete the tear-off slip from leaflet DS704 available from the Benefits Agency*. When claiming it is essential to address the key points described above to prove eligibility.

Disability Working Allowance
Tax free benefit for sufferers, claiming Disability Living Allowance, working more than 16 hours per week, and whose illness limits their earning capacity.

The amount payable depends on whether the sufferer has a partner, children and the extend of earnings. Disability Working Allowance is a means tested, income related benefit; but not dependent on N I Contributions. To claim Obtain leaflet DS703 from the Benefits Agency*.

Incapacity Benefit
This is payable to sufferers who cannot work because of their disability. Long-term Incapacity Benefit is paid after one year but if sufferers are receiving the highest rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance (see above), they will be entitled to long-term Incapacity Benefit after 6 months. To be eligible, sufferers must have paid enough National Insurance Contributions. To claim Obtain Pack SC1 from the Benefits Agency*.

Severe Disablement Allowance
Tax free benefit for sufferers who, because of their disablement, are unable to work but cannot get Incapacity Benefit because they have not paid enough National Insurance Contributions. To claim Obtain leaflet NI252 from the Benefits Agency*.

Invalid Care Allowance
Taxable benefit for carers spending more than 35 hours a week looking after sufferers who are getting Disability Living Allowance. Carers must be earning no more than £50 a week. To claim Obtain pack DS700 from the Benefits Agency*

Help with Health Costs
Sufferers and carers receiving Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance or Family Credit automatically get help with health costs such as hospital visits and free NHS prescriptions. Low income sufferers or carers may be entitled to assistance with health costs - this is means tested. To claim Obtain form HC1 and leaflet HC11 from the Benefits Agency* or a hospital; some post offices, GPs, pharmacists, dentists and opticians may also have these.

* These leaflets are available at the Benefits Agency (at local social security offices). For your nearest office, look under Benefits Agency in the business numbers section of the phone book.

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Source: Gauchers News January 1999

© Copyright Gauchers Association 1999