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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.

 

Code: 
F136.02
  • Updated November 2017
    To be reviewed April 2019

Comments: read the 16 comments or add yours

Comments

Hello I have 9 year old son been diagnosed with javenile absence epilepsy and Photosensitive we made claim for dla but refused

Submitted by Stellah on

I have found this very useful as I have and having further tests im on the sick through having seizures at work I dont go out without a chaparone or bathe IVE hurt myself loads of times its not under control im currently trying to get pip and its gone to the judge carnt drive now and got no life feel suidsidal and now going to mind #at my with end nobody cares or believes me untill I have a seizure thank you

Submitted by Christine Chees... on

Hi Christine

I’m responding to both of your posts

Thanks for your kind words about our service. I hope MIND can be of some help.

It’s quite common for a person with epilepsy to struggle with low mood. Can I check you know about the range of support that we offer? And maybe there are some tips in our safety information that could be useful for you.

And now you’ve been refused PIP. We regularly hear from people with epilepsy having their PIP application refused. It’s really understandable that you’re feeling angry about this.

We would always suggest people ask for a mandatory reconsideration and usually an appeal too. We do hear of people being successful with appeals. If at all possible it is good to get support with this from a welfare rights organisation like Citizens Advice.

I really hope this information is of some help to you.

Regards

Cherry  

Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by Cherry-Epilepsy... on

Thank you for your reply I have done mandatory
Letter its gone to appeal and still no joy I was working as a industral contracts supervisor but since2010 had to step down because of 2 heart attacks I did have grand mal seizures in 1999 and had epilim now out the blue its back IVE been having seizures at work and bad ones also I have mild absences where I dont know where I am and am sick and tired afterwards and confused for days so now waiting for brain scan in jan how can they make a dessition not getting the results first even I dont know where I am the pip assesor atso she said I held a cup ok and picked my handbag up ok thats a lie I didnt have a drink nor did my friend and she picked my bag up cos I dropped all my paperwork everywhere shes fuming that a nurse can lie like that I was confused and in a state I havent got the energy and im tired to be fighting these people for 20 pound a week more now what do I do after the tribnal go up one step higher

Submitted by Christine Chees... on

Hello Christine

I can hear how frustrated you feel with this situation. Some people tell us that getting support from a specialist benefits advisor has made a positive difference to them. Maybe you could get in touch with Turn2us to see if there is one in your area. Turn2us will also be able to tell you if there is any other financial support you may be able to get.

Karen

Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by Karen-Epilepsy ... on

Hi there I recently got diagnosed with epilepsy well short of 2 years ago, I do work I’ve been in my current job nearly 4 years, I turned 29 this year donim still trying to get use to my seizures these are seizures i don’t know I’m having some of the ones are drop seizures so when I’m walking to and from work or even when I’m out I’ll find my self on the floor with people around me waiting for an ambulance they have called, or the ones I’ll have called absence seizures I’ll just be staring into space skit of people notice i do this in work I’ve even had episodes on the phone speaking to customers ( I work in a call centre) I also have a benign tumour on the left temporal lobe side of my brain, normally when some of these events happen in work I get tired and I end up either having to go home or put in an ambulance so my pay for that day is affected Am I entitled to anything or able to get any form of help thank you

Submitted by Kirsty Jones on

Hi Kirsty

It does sound like you are dealing with a lot of difficult things.

Hopefully you know about the free prescriptions.

Can I check you also know about the free bus pass and the Disabled Persons’ Railcard? These would save you some money on transport.

I wonder if you have applied for Personal Independence Payment? I have linked you to our information on this. This would be money to cover extra living costs which happen because of your condition. We always recommend that together with our information people get support whenever possible from a welfare rights unit such as Citizens Advice.

In order to check whether you are entitled to any other benefits you could ring Turn2us

I wonder if you have seen a neurologist recently? If not that might be useful. They may be able to help you get better seizure control.

And here is all our information on work and epilepsy. There may be something in there that helps you to get slightly better treatment from your employer that is happening at the moment.

Here is the range of support we offer. In particular you might want to check out if there’s a coffee and chat group in your area.

I really hope this information is useful for you. But if we can be of any more help, please feel free to contact us again, either by email or the Epilepsy Helpline freephone 0808 800 5050.

Regards 

Cherry  

Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by rich on

I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF THERE IS ANYBODY WHO KNOWS HOW TO HELP ME CLAIM ANY BENEFITS ? AS I HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO CLAIM ANY THING AT ALL IN 5 YEARS OF BEING OUT OF WORK , THROUGH MY EPILEPSY CONDITION LOSING MY JOB, I WOULD BE VERY GRATEFUL TO ANYBODY WHO IS ABLE TO HELP ME ?.
KIND REGARDS
KAY HOLBROOK

Submitted by kay on

Hi. I have epilepsy 14years and take a tegretol 3 tablets a day. But last 3 months i got regularly migrena as well, 4 till 5 times a month and every time 3 till 5 days. So now i stop working because i cant. That's wery hard because i cant stand up, cant open my eyes, can't walking and womating. Can you tell me, i can get any benefits or disability? And what i have to do? Thank you very much

Submitted by Sandra udre on

Hi Sandra

That sounds like a very difficult set of symptoms.

It may be possible for you to apply for Personal Independence Payments (PIP). This benefit is not affected by any other income you have. It is there to help with extra expenses you may have because of a disability.

The diagnosis is not important. They want to know how you are affected day to day. Here is our information about PIP and epilepsy. It’s a very long complicated form. We suggest getting some help with it from a welfare rights unit such as Citizens Advice.

Can I just check that you are getting free prescriptions? If you’ve had a seizure in the last 12 months you can apply for a free bus pass. This is because you would be refused a driving licence.

You may also be interested in a Disabled Persons Railcard. Again you would be entitled if you would be refused a driving licence.

I really hope this information is useful. But if we can be of any more help, please feel free to contact us again, either by email or the Epilepsy Helpline freephone 0808 800 5050.

Thanks,

Cherry - Epilepsy Action Helpline

Submitted by rich on

Hi my cousin is 12 and had focal epilepsy there is no warning and she just drops. She's had operations to remove blood clots from such falls. She's surrently living in a house that's very unsuitable all rooms step down to the landing which goes straight down the stairs. Obviously this is ridiculously dangerous...the country a l have refused to move her to bungalow accomodation as she is not wheel chair reliant. Is there anything you can suggest that could help her situation. Her grandmother that looks after her and is beside herself with worry. Thanks in advance.

Submitted by Rebecca on

Dear Rebecca 

Thank you for your comment.

If you believe the council or social services hasn’t assessed your cousin’s needs correctly, you could ask for another assessment. As we don’t specialise in the housing system you could contact Shelter UK or the Citizens Advice about the housing assessment process 

I wonder if you have looked at our Safety advice for people with epilepsy. This information looks at possible risks in and outside the home for people with epilepsy. It describes how to do a safety check. It also offers some practical tips on staying safe wherever they are. This information could be helpful for your cousin’s assessment.

If we can be of any more help, please feel free to contact us again, either by email helpline@epilepsy.org.uk or phone  the Epilepsy Action Helpline freephone 0808 800 5050. 

Regards

Diane

Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by rich on

Hi my daughter 2 years old has been diagnosed with atypical absences she does fall at the moment and we haven't yet got control of her seizures, she can have anywhere between 30 and 80 seizures a day.

My question is would we be entitled to DLA? and eventually if we do again control of her seizures with medication would we still be entitled to it?

Thanks

Submitted by Ryan Ingram on

Hi. I wonder why I can’t get one iota of help and why epilepsy becomes a fantasy condition once I leave my doctors or hospital it doesn’t exist according to dwp. The questions are very insulting also as asking how epilepsy affects you on a daily basis when it’s a lifetime condition! Would you ask a person with cancer or heart problems or any lifetime condition this question. It’s a cop out to save giving help or financial help. I have had epilepsy since 13 years old and now 41. The fallacy and falseness I’ve had rammed down my throat since 16 yiu can have a normal life like anyone else. Really how come I’m medically restricted job wise ie heights computers machinery confined spaces dangerous or risky jobs driving jobs the list goes on. As a doctor told me at 17 be economical with the truth so basically lie to gain a job though what happens if I do and something major happens who is at fault ? Me for lying. April 2018 lost my licence and livelihood so glad I have no mortgage at mo. One day productive member of society next a waste of space and everything down the drain but hey you can live a normal life. Dwp I came off after zero points for epilepsy and grand mal seizures so basically myself and doctors are liars. So to get help basically have to quit all medications take seizures get them witnessed and risk my health in the extreme but hey it might leave you with damage but you qualify our criteria and penpushing now. I feel treated like a leper and 3rd class citizen anywhere I ask for help so never do now. It is absurd in my view for people with genuine epilepsy to be treated this way. It’s a lifetime serious restrictive health condition which modern medicine can only try and contain or control and never curable. I think it’s a disgrace people with epilepsy get treated this way by the powers that be. Ps the vast majority of folk with epilepsy was not self inflicted by alcohol or drug abuse it was something that just happened but folk who do abuse themself with drink or drugs get treated like kings by government and twenty times better than folk with epilepsy in my experience. Ps I found out in April this year I have been on a child’s dose of medication from 16 as it was never changed by any healthcare I’ve seen in 25 years and most certainly contributed to a grand mal seizure which lasted 25 minutes but hey according to dwp no problem that’s ok nothing whatsoever wrong with you have a nice day. Bye

Submitted by Stephen on

Hi Stephen

It sounds like you have had a tough time with your epilepsy and benefits applications. We have been running a campaign to highlight the difficulties of the PIP process for people with epilepsy. If you want to get involved this is the link https://www.epilepsy.org.uk/involved/campaigns/personal-independence-payment-pip. The disability benefits are based on how daily life is affected by your health condition or disability rather than on the basis of having a named condition though. There is some specific information about explaining your epilepsy if you haven’t already seen it on our PIP webpage https://www.epilepsy.org.uk/info/daily-life/benefits/personal-independence-payments-pip.

If you think it would be helpful to talk to one of our advisers about any of the problems you are experiencing please get in touch with our helpline on 0808 800 5050.

Regards

Mags

Epilepsy Action Helpline

Submitted by rich on

Hi so i have had epilepsy since age 8 I am now 37 been in bed medication most of all my life can’t work can’t drive & and need someone one with me at all time even if leaving house which alone cause severe anxiety due to having full on fits in public. I am currently receiving PIP ENHANCED RATE DAILY LIVING but get nothing for MOBILTY . I don’t understand that but I have a review form for PIP & I will receive help from welfare Wright’s I hope that I can push for mobilty part as I do feel I am untitled to as do not know when am I am going to have a seizure as I don’t get no sign .

Submitted by Catherine on

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