There are a number of schemes, systems and organisations which are focused on helping people with disabilities and chronic illnesses live a life without limits.
Again: some of this information is only applicable to the UK but there are similar organisations in other countries
The Blue Badge scheme provides a range of parking benefits for those with mobility issues who travel as either drivers or passengers. You will need to apply for a blue badge through the website of your local council.
If you are a disabled driver, there is a chance you may receive an exemption from paying vehicle tax. For you to be eligible to receive car tax exemption, you will need to meet the following criteria:
- If you receive the higher rate mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance.
- If you get the enhanced rate mobility part of the Personal Independence Payment.
- If you qualify for the War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement or the Armed Forces Independence Payment.
If you are disabled, there are certain purchases of goods and services on which you should be charged no VAT. When buying equipment which is designed for disabled people or has been specially adapted, these should be zero rated for VAT. Below are some of the products and services which qualify for this exemption:
- Adjustable beds
- Stair lifts
- Alarm systems
- Specially adapted motor vehicles
- Construction work (ramps, door widening, bathroom fitting or installation of lifts or toilets)
- Repair and servicing of equipment
Using your local library is largely free of charge, unless you incur charges or would like to reserve or rent DVDs or other media items. The discounts available will vary across the different local authorities and may include:
- Free or reduced charges and fees.
- Free or reduced fees for audio and visual materials.
- Reduced fees for book reservations.
- Reduced fees for overdue and late returns.
Some local authorities offer a free home delivery service for housebound or disabled people unable to visit the library. Speak to your local library and ask the staff about any discounts available.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of support schemes in the UK, there’s never any harm in asking about conscessions when speaking to the relevant department.
If you are aware of any further organisations and schemes available, please get in touch and let us know!