What is a disability?
You are considered disabled under the Equality Act 2010 if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to carry out normal daily activities. (www.gov.uk)
What does this definition mean, exactly? Click here to find out more.
So…do I have a disability?
Hypoparathyroidism is a long term condition with both physical and mental effects. Some people have few symptoms and may not experience many difficulties. Others may have severe and unpredictable long term symptoms which may be considered a disability. Depending on the severity of your Hypoparathyroidism, you may be able to claim a number of different benefits and tax credits. Some patients with Hypoparathyroidism do receive Disability Living Allowance.
Do I have any rights?
You are protected against discrimination by the Equality Act 2010 act in England, Wales and Scotland, by the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 in Northern Ireland and the Equal Status Act 2000 in the Republic of Ireland.
For more information about your rights if you’re disabled, you should get in touch with your local authority or consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.
What help is available to me?
If you are sick or disabled, there are a number of different benefits and tax credits you may be able to claim.
- If you are aged 16-64 and you have a long-term health condition or disability that affects your ability to live independently, you may be able to claim Personal Independence Payment(or Disability Living Allowance in Northern Ireland)
- If you are under 16 and you have a health condition or disability that means you have more care or supervision needs than other children your age, you may be able to claim Disability Living Allowance
- If you are 65 or over and you have care needs, you may be able to claim Attendance Allowance
- If you are unable to work, you may be able to claim Statutory Sick Payor Employment and Support Allowance
- If you work, you may be entitled to Working Tax Credit
- If you care for someone who is disabled, you may be able to claim Carer’s Allowance
- Other benefits and credits you may be entitled to: Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, National Insurance Credits, transport and parking concessions, pracctical help with care from the council.
Benefits to which you may be entitled
If you have been diagnosed with Hypoparathyroidism you qualify for free prescriptions. You are entitled to a Medical Exemption Certificate (MEDEX). Ask for an application form FP92A, available from your doctor’s surgery. You need to fill in parts 1 and 2 and your doctor (or an authorised member of the practice staff) will sign to confirm the information you’ve given is correct.The surgery will arrange to send completed application forms to the NHS office,
For further information, please visit http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/HealthCosts/1126.aspx
If you are NOT entitled to free prescriptions but need a lot of prescriptions ( ie you pay for four or more prescription items in three months, or more than 14 items in 12 months,) you can save money by buying a Pre Payment Certificate (PPC). The charge for a single prescription item is £7.40, whereas a three month PPC will cost you £29.10 and a 12 month PPC £104.00. Ask for form FP95 from your pharmacy.
For advice about a PPC or to order please telephone 0845 850 0030 or visit http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/1127.aspx
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
Your employer pays Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for the first 28 weeks that you are off sick. It is treated like earnings for the purposes of income tax and forms part of your taxable income.
To get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), you must be unable to work because you are sick or disabled. You must earn at least £112 a week. If you don’t earn this amount, or if you’re self-employed, you cannot get SSP. You should claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). instead.
If you were getting ESA within the last twelve weeks, you do not get SSP. Your employer should tell you if you are not entitled to SSP by giving you form SSP1, or their own version of it. You can then reclaim ESA instead.
Employment and Support Allowance
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is for people who:
- can’t work because of sickness or disability, and
- aren’t getting Statutory Sick Pay
There are two types of ESA:
- contributory ESA, which you can get if you have paid enough national insurance contributions
- income-related ESA which is paid if your income and capital are low enough.
You may be able to get both contributory ESA and income-related ESA, depending on your circumstances. For both types of ESA, you will usually have to have various tests to confirm that you have limited capability for work.
In some circumstances, you can only get contributory ESA for up to 365 days.
Benefits for the extra costs of disability
Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Attendance Allowance (AA) are benefits to help you pay for the extra costs of having a disability, such as personal care and transport. However, you can choose how to spend the money.
PIP is for people aged 16-64 (in England, Wales and Scotland), DLA is for people under 16 (under 65 in Northern Ireland), and AA is for people aged 65 or over. Some people over 16 are still getting DLA, but this is gradually being replaced by PIP for people aged 16 to 64.
You can get PIP, DLA or AA whether or not you are working, and they are not affected by any work you do. The benefits do not reduce any income-related benefits you get and may even increase the amount you can claim.
You may also be able to claim benefits because you cannot work or are on a low income.
Personal Independence Payment
To make a claim call the DWP on 0800 917 2222 and ask for a PIP claim form
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit for people aged 16-64 with a long term health condition or disability. It is gradually replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people in that age group. It will be introduced later in Northern Ireland.
You cannot get PIP at the same time as DLA.
You must have a physical or mental condition that limits your ability to carry out certain activities. These are:
- daily living activities,such as preparing food, washing yourself and communicating
- mobility activities, such as planning a journey and moving around.
If your ability to carry out these activities is severely limited, you may qualify for the enhanced rate of PIP.
The qualifying period
It must be likely that you met the disability conditions for at least three months before the date on which you become entitled to PIP. This is known as the qualifying period. It can include periods either before or after you make the claim for PIP. This means that you can make a claim for PIP during the qualifying period, but you won’t get PIP until the end of it.
When you don’t have to meet the qualifying period
You don’t have to meet the qualifying period to get PIP if:
- you’re getting DLA at the time you claim PIP, or
- you were aged under 65 on 8 April 2013 and you were entitled to DLA at any time in the two years before you claimed PIP, or
- you’re aged 65 or over on the day you claim PIP and you were entitled to DLA at any time in the 12 months before you claimed PIP.
The prospective test
It must be likely that you’ll continue to meet the disability conditions for at least nine months after the date on which you become entitled to PIP. This is known as the prospective test.
If you’re waiting for treatment or an operation, it may be difficult to predict whether your condition is likely to improve or even if the operation is likely to take place within nine months. In this case, you should be assessed as if the treatment or operation does not take place.
If you’re claiming PIP because you’re terminally ill, you don’t have to meet either part of the required period condition.
Disability Living Allowance
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is gradually being replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP). DLA can now only be claimed for children under 16.
Attendance Allowance (AA) is a benefit for people with care needs who:
- are 65 or over, and
- do not get Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
AA does not include a mobility component. However, if you are already getting a DLA or PIP mobility component when you become 65, you can carry on getting it. You can’t make a new claim for DLA or PIP mobility component after the age of 65.
Carer’s Allowance is a benefit for people over 16 who are giving regular and substantial care to disabled people in their own homes. Carer’s Allowance is a taxable benefit and forms part of your taxable income.
How do I find further advice about PIP?
Read about PIP and make a claim at www.gov.uk/pip
We find these organisations for claimants very helpful:
Fee – based help is available from FightBack4Justice and Benefits and Work
Liz Glenister at Parathyroid UK offers a free, individualised letter of support