Disabled people do not need to pay VAT on most disability equipment or adaptations made to equipment for their use.
To apply for a VAT exemption the supplier will usually ask you to sign a form declaring that the item is for a person with a disability or chronically sick.
A Declaration form can be download from HM Revenue and Customs or from one of their local offices.
If you are over 60 you can buy mobility aids for your home at the reduced VAT rate of 5%.
This covers the supply and installation of grab rails, ramps, stair lifts, bath lifts, built in shower seats or showers with a built in shower seat and walk-in baths with sealable doors.
Further information and a declaration form can be found on the HM Revenue and Customs website.
Wheelchair Voucher Scheme
If you are applying for a grant towards a wheelchair you may asked by the charity if you have a wheelchair voucher.
These are available from you local wheelchair assessment centre if you are eligible for a wheelchair. The value of the voucher will vary as the amount reflects the cost of basic wheelchair suitable for your needs.
The voucher is given instead of a wheelchair. If you accept the voucher you will not be able to have a wheelchair from the NHS Wheelchair Service for approximately 5 years (3 years for children) unless you have a change of needs.
FREE showering equipment/Wet room adaptations
Impey Showers, the inventors of the wet room have launched a campaign to highlight the need for individuals with reduced mobility to be provided with accessible facilities.
To support this they are donating showering equipment to vulnerable people throughout the UK.
It also provides wetroom adaptations to individuals who desperately need the vital work but have been refused funding through a Disabled Facilities Grant.
Family, friends and carers of those in need of a wet room for health reasons should contact the Impey Cares team through the on-line form. Include information on who you would like to nominate for a free adpated and installed bathroom.
Nominations are also accepted from schools, charities and other not-for-profit organisations.
Prescriptions and Sight Tests
Free prescriptions • Free eye tests
People who have a listed medical condition can obtain free prescriptions. This includes cancer, diabetes, epilepsy and a continuing physical disability that requires support of another person outside the home.
Free eye tests are available to the registered blind and partially sighted, individuals with diabetes and glaucoma.
Those on low income may also qualify for free prescriptions and eye tests.
It can sometimes be beneficial to purchase a Prescription Prepayment Certificate. This works like a season ticket for prescriptions. Once purchased the certificate will cover the prescription costs for the period of the card.
For more information download this free booklet.
Free Home Eye tests
Visioncall provide free (NHS) home eye tests to the elderly and housebound disabled people in the UK.
They are able to visit your own home or any care home. Visioncall have specialist eye tests for those living with Dementia and Alzheimers.
Reductions for the disabled • Reductions for carers
If you have a disability or someone with a disability living in your home you may be able to obtain a discount on the Council tax.
The home must be the main residence for the disabled person and must have one of the following:
Homes that qualify will be downgraded to a lower council tax band.
Discounts also apply to those with a severe mental impairment, live in carers and for properties left empty if the resident has been moved to hospital or a care home.
Contact your local council for further details and an application form.
Get Online @ Home is a Microsoft backed scheme to provide affordable and easy to use computers.
Desktops and Laptops are available at discounted prices starting from £95 for people receiving certain benefits and charities. This includes Disability Living Allowance and the Disability element of Working Tax Credits.
The computers are ready to use. In addition to the built in Windows 7 accessibility software they have also included other accessibility software:
Purchases are made on-line or on the telephone: 03719 100 100.
Included with the package is free telephone support to help you set up your computer for the first 30 days.
Discounted and refurbished computers
Remploy, the UK's largest employer of disabled people has developed low-cost internet and hardware packages.
Refurbished computers are loaded with either Microsoft or Ubuntu software can be purchased from £92 if you are in receipt of certain benefits. There is a selection of computers and screen sizes available at varying prices depending on the specifications of the computer.
To find out more information either telephone: 08450 268 293 or email: email@example.com
Free to over 75's • Concessions to blind and disabled in residential homes
Free TV Licences are available to those over 75 years.
Over 60's and the disabled living in residential settings may obtain an ARC (Accommodation for Residential Care) concessionary licence. While the registered blind can obtain a 50% discount.
Capped water bills
Water Boards in England, Wales and Scotland are able to offer capped water bills to those with a disability or on certain benefits.
Before you apply you need to have a meter fitted. This is fairly straightforward and can be organised quickly. It is usually free of charge.
Once you have a water meter and if someone in your household gets benefits it may be possible to get the water bill capped.
To qualify for a cap on your water charges, you need to be getting benefits (such as Tax Credits) and either:
Please note: Each Water company has it's own criteria - do check with your local supplier for the exact conditions.
If you're accepted, your costs will be limited to the average household bill for your water company however much water you use. The company will then check each year to see if your situation remains the same.
To find out more information contact your local water supplier for an application form and further information.
Company number: 8937008
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