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Benefits for people with epilepsy

This information is for people in the UK. If you’re outside the UK, your local epilepsy group may be able to help.

If you have epilepsy, or care for someone with epilepsy, you may be entitled to benefits. On these pages we have information about the benefits that are likely to be most relevant to people with epilepsy and their carers. What benefits you can claim and how much you get depends on your individual circumstances. To find out what benefits you and your family are entitled to, you could use an online benefits checker like Turn2us.

Read on for a short summary of each benefit, or click on a benefit name to find out more about it.

Access to Work If your epilepsy affects your ability to do your job or means you have to pay work-related costs, Access to Work grants can help pay for practical support.

Attendance Allowance A benefit to help with personal care if you have a disability and are 65 or over.

Blue Badge scheme Allows you to park close to your destination if you have severe mobility problems.

Carers Allowance  If you look after someone with epilepsy who has substantial care needs, you may be entitled to Carer’s Allowance.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)  A benefit to help with the extra costs of looking after a child who has a disability or health condition. In Northern Ireland DLA can also be claimed by adults.

Disabled Facilities Grant If your epilepsy means you need to make changes to your home, you might be able to get a grant from your local council to help. Disabled Facilities Grants are not available in Scotland.

Disabled Persons Railcard You may be entitled to a Disabled Persons Railcard to get one third off rail fares in England, Scotland and Wales.  

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)  A benefit for people who have an illness or disability that makes it difficult or impossible for them to work.

Free bus pass If you would be refused a driving licence because of your epilepsy, you may be entitled to free or reduced price bus travel.

Free prescriptions  If you have epilepsy and take epilepsy medicines, you are entitled to free prescriptions in the UK.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) A benefit to help with some of the extra costs of living with a long-term health condition or disability. PIP is not currently available in Northern Ireland.

 

Code: 
F136.01
  • Updated January 2016
    To be reviewed January 2017

Comments: read the 17 comments or add yours

Comments

am a carer for my daughter in law who as epilepsy learning dif s and is in the support group off e s a and been on dla for 3 years and just got a re newal pack for dla am puzzled by this its not pip and would she be still entitled to d la ave asked my doctor again for another letter which cost me another 20pounds

Submitted by kennethpickles on

Dear Kenneth

DLA is gradually being replaced by PIP. But this is not likely to affect existent claims until 2015.

Follow the link to double check when your daughter-in-law might be asked to change from DLA to  PIP.  PIP is replacing DLA, so from that point it won’t be possible to claim both.

If you haven’t already done so, we would always recommend getting some help with these long and complicated forms. Your local Citizens Advice Bureau or Welfare Rights Unit should be able to help with this. Or maybe someone from your local carer’s centre.

I do hope this information helps to make the situation a bit clearer.

Cherry

Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Cherry-Epilepsy... on

i had epilepsy and non-epilepsy which is uncontrolled and heart problem which was affect me a lot and which make my eyes blurred when i have the seizure but i was suffer a lot of blackout out now and they increase my tablet tregretol from 400m to 600m and epillim 500m but am still suffer the seizure that's what make me ask about the PIP

Submitted by rasheed on

Hi I'm concerned for my son,who is epilepsy,and today he was finished from his job,they say U.S. work place isn't safe,but we know it is,they had his epilepsy nurse attend his work area,without our son attending as he did request he wanted to be there,but they never did,and lied to his nurse that they tried getting hold of him,but they never did,they also lied to the nurse when they showed him areas that our don doesn't work in,the nurse sent his report to the fact that the work and equipment our son doesn't have any involvement with to do with his job.can you please help,can they do this

Submitted by Beverley gell on

Hi there my son who has just turned 3 has nocturnal epilepsy which his was diagnoised with in May of this year he is on sodium valproate 7ml twice a day but his behaviour has changed so much it breaks my heart his become very violent and hyper he dose not listen anymore please can you give me advice in what to do thanks for your time

Submitted by Karen Hurley on

Hi Karen
Thank you for your post regarding your little boy. It must be so upsetting seeing him  having such problems.

Mood and behaviour changes are unwanted and common side-effects of sodium valproate. There is more risk that your son will get side-effects in the early days of taking his sodium valproate. Once his body has had a few days or weeks to get used to taking it, they should lessen or disappear completely. If they don’t, talk to his doctor. They might make changes to his sodium valproate to lessen the side-effects or they may change him to a different epilepsy medicine altogether.

The doctor will not only look at his medicine but they may also ask questions about his seizures. Sometimes, difficult or unusual behaviour can be caused by the child’s seizures and the frequent abnormal electrical activity in their brain.

I hope this is of help and something can be done to help your son.

If we can be of any more help, please feel free to contact us again. You can contact us directly, either by email helpline@epilepsy.org.uk or phone the Epilepsy Action Helpline freephone 0808 800 5050. Our helpline is open Monday to Friday, 8.30am until 5.30pm.

Regards
Diane Wallace
Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Diane, Epilepsy... on

I have tried to pip twice now and have been turned down my seizures are not under control I need constant supervision as I have a senses and cannot go out alone is there any other help I can get as the strain on my family is awkward

Submitted by Linda mcdowell on

Hi Linda
Thank you for your post. It’s terrible the strain having uncontrolled epilepsy can have on the family.

If you haven’t already, you could do a benefits check with Turn2us. Turn2us is a national charity that helps people check they are getting the financial help they need. For example, welfare benefits, charitable grants and support services. You can do this online or by freephone 0808 802 2000.

If you decide to apply for PIP again we have information on PIP and epilepsy that includes details of benefit advice organisations.

As you are still having seizures, I'd like to check that you are still seeing a specialist. There are many different epilepsy medicines available, so it could be worth discussing your treatment with your epilepsy specialist. They can review your treatment and look at other possible reasons for your seizures to still be happening. They may suggest trying a different epilepsy medicine.  If you have tried various types of epilepsy medicines, it may be the specialist could look into other treatment options for you.

You may also find it helpful to view our safety and daily living aids information. There may be something on there to help you and your family.

If we can be of any more help, please feel free to contact us again, either by email or the Epilepsy Action Helpline freephone 0808 800 5050. Our helpline is open Monday to Friday, 8.30am until 5.30pm.

Regards
Diane Wallace
Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Diane. Epilepsy... on

my brother has had epilepsy now for 4 years its drop so he never knows its going to happen he has had a few fits last few days and been to hospital he makes no sense at all confused saying he has electric running through his body etc the hospital have now sent him home he was on his own luckily been found but still very confused,should he off stayed at the hospital clearly still not right im at my witts end need help.
also do i let social services know to get some help? x

Submitted by kim on

Hi Kim
Thanks for your message. It sounds like a worrying time for you and your brother. It’s difficult to say if he should have stayed in hospital, but it sounds like it would be a good idea to get medical advice about the symptoms he’s experiencing. He could speak to his GP, or his consultant or epilepsy specialist nurse if he has one.

If he needs extra care and support adult social services may be able to help. You can find more information about getting care and support from NHS choices.

If you have any further questions, or would like to talk anything through with one of our trained advisors, please feel free to contact the Epilepsy Action Helpline.

Best wishes
Grace
Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Grace, Epilepsy... on

Hi, my future wife is unable to drive due to her seizures, I know she is entitled to a free bus pass but she doesn't like taking public transport just encase (she had a friend seizure onto tram tracks) she is making me learn to drive so I can take her places, will we be able to replace the free bus pass with something towards the running of a car?

Submitted by Thomas Clarke on

Hi Thomas
Thank you for your question.

It can be a worry for people when they go out, especially when their epilepsy isn’t controlled.  But unfortunately it’s not possible to transfer the funding for the free bus pass to running a car.

If your partner is not able to make a journey on the bus without a companion she may be entitled to a pass that allows a companion to travel with her for free too. She will need to make enquires with her local authority who provide the bus pass.

Some people with epilepsy choose to wear identity jewellery or carry an ID card with them to let other people know that they have epilepsy. On our epilepsy awareness cards she can write what someone should do to help her and who to contact. If you would like some awareness cards please email or phone our helpline team.  Or you can order a card from our online shop.

If we can be of any more help, please feel free to contact us again, either by email or the Epilepsy Action Helpline freephone 0808 800 5050. Our helpline is open Monday to Friday, 8.30am until 5.30pm.

If we can be of any more help, please feel free to contact us again. You can contact us directly, either by email helpline@epilepsy.org.uk  or phoning Epilepsy Action Helpline freephone 0808 800 5050. Our helpline is open Monday to Friday, 8.30am until 5.30pm.

Regards
Diane
Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Diane, Epilepsy... on

Hi my daughter has recently been diagnosed with interictal fronto-temporal epileptic activity. She has not been able to learn to drive. Does this mean she is entitled to free transport? If so can you please tell me what we have to do.
Thank you for help with this matter.

Submitted by Caroline Bellingham on

Hi Caroline
Thank you for your question.

Your daughter is entitled to a Free bus pass if she would be refused a driving licence because of her epilepsy. What the pass entitlements are will depend on where in the UK she lives.

She can also apply for a Disabled Persons Railcard . With this cards she’d get one third off rail fares in England, Scotland and Wales.  

If your daughter is unable to use public transport to get to work, or she needs to travel as part of her job, she may be entitled to Access to Work.

Regards
Diane
Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Diane, Epilepsy... on

Hi, my son is 14 months old and has multiple drops a day, he has just been awarded middle rate DLA, would he be entitled to any kind of mobility allowance towards car, as i would not be able to take him out on public transport ?
Regards Lorraine

Submitted by lorraine hedges on

Hi Lorraine
The main scheme to help with the cost of a car when you are disabled or have a disabled child is the Motability Scheme, but to be eligible for this he would need to be awarded the higher rate of the mobility component of DLA.

You can find information about possible sources of funding to buy a vehicle from the Forum of Mobility Centres. You could also use the Turn2us grants search tool to see if there are any charitable grants you may be able to apply to for funding.

I hope this information helps. If you have any further questions please feel free to contact the Epilepsy Action Helpline.

Best wishes
Grace
Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

Submitted by Grace, Epilepsy... on