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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 November 2018

Comments: read the 18 comments or add yours

Comments

My son had the first epileptic seizure when he was 6 month every other day we dream ran to the emergency room did not know what he is on when a seizure so Krcil hand his eyes were in the back headed it fell had the data output from work even when only two days in weeks of compound administration I worked so I found your site and I read I asked for this post desabilty and I received an answer that my son is not entitled has regular treatment taking Sodium Valproate morning and evening it is sad from my answer came from I do not qualify I can not work when I have deta chore at home.

Submitted by Maria on

I have had epilepsy for just over 2 years I currently qualify for a bus pass and free prescriptions I was wondering if I qualify for help with dental costs and any other treatment required for which a fee is payable

Submitted by Mrs Pat Duffy on

Thank you for your question.

People with epilepsy don’t automatically receive help with dental costs or other treatments. To see how people may be able to get help with health costs please visit www.nhs.choice/Healthcosts webpage. 

Regards

Diane

Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by rich on

Hi I was looking for advice on my current situation. Iam currently 39 and at 13 I had a grand mal seizure. This was confirmed by numerous brain scans etc since 13 to 18 and was told I'd require to take medication for life. Since 16 I worked and the past few years I managed to start and run my own business. Since last year I've been unable to do this since I slipped two discs and had lumbar shift. I've now nearly recovered somewhat but my health has gone a good bit and Iam feeling constantly tired no matter how much rest or sleep I have. At 17 when I commenced working my doctor told me that if I ever felt it was too much or in a situation I find myself now being always tired I should see them as this could be a bad situation with myself having epilepsy and at that time my gp did not even think it would be a good idea for me to work Lately I seen my gp and he now seems to differ totally and says basically just get on with things etc. I've been very proud of the fact of being told I can't or shouldn't work when I was young to have worked and never took a thing but now knowing my own body etc and how my health has changed I feel that I would really struggle to work and possibly be risking taking fits. Point I've always had from when I was 16 is that it is extremely restrictive finding a decent job due to the restrictions medically and advised not to do etc as it doesn't leave very much I feel to apply for . At one point I raised this point and was advised to be economical with the truth etc on job applications etc. Anyway I was wondering if yourselves would have any advice as now I feel like I am between a rock and a hard place and so stressed with it all and I just seem to can't find much answers on this anywhere. Thanks

Submitted by Stephen on

Hi Stephen

It must be difficult having got different advice from different people. Certainly most people find it helpful to continue with working whenever possible.

There are a couple of our work pages you might find useful. The first one is about looking for work, and when and if you should say something about your epilepsy.

The second one is about telling people in your workplace.

If you want to talk through your situation in more detail you’re very welcome to ring the Epilepsy Action helpline freephone 0808 800 5050. https://www.epilepsy.org.uk/info/support/helpline

Regards

Cherry  

Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by rich on

I have recently had new seizures resulting in my driving license being revoked for at least a year. I've never had a confirmed base line for my meds and my nurse and I were trying to reduce my levels to pre-pregnancy levels.
However, I've been unable to take the job I had lined up as no public transport available but the free bus pass doesn't allow travel before 9:30am meaning I can't get free travel to a job (any job) despite having no other option to get to a place of work. Can I contest the bus pass hours? I don't think I'm entitled to anything else monetary wise (train travel the exception) but if I can't get to a job, how am I meant to work? I have an 8 month old who is a handful so working from home isn't an option.

Submitted by Sarah on

Hi Sarah

 

Thank you for your comment on the bus pass scheme.

There is nothing you can do to challenge the times of the bus pass scheme. The scheme was originally set up for people who are thought to be at a disadvantage to others. For example, the elderly and people with disabilities who are less likely to be in work. That’s why the pass isn’t valid until after 9.30am. If you can’t use public transport to get to work, you could look into Access to Work.

 

 

If you would like to discuss this further please contact our helpline team directly. The Epilepsy Action Helpline freephone 0808 800 5050 is open Monday to Friday, 8.30am until 5.30pm.

 

 

Regards

 

Diane

Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by rich on

Hi, I have a couple of questions.....
my son has had absent seizures from the age of 4, they were under control for about a year on sodium valpronate, over the last month his behaviour has changed he has become not with haven't noticed any seizures but have noticed he is starting to do stuff out of the ordinary like continue to bite on something, pull at zips on the arm chair, buttons etc anything that is near by, he looks like he is aware but doesn't respond to your voice when you are telling him to stop, he has been through something like this before and his medication was upped from 2.5ml twice a day to 5ml, is this something that you think we should get in touch with our consultant for.

Also we was told by our doctor that we was able to claim some sort of benefit to help towards the cost of the hospital trips, parking etc is this the case as the specialist hospitals that we have to go to are not close by.

Thank you

Submitted by Grant on

Hello Grant

This sounds like a difficult situation to find yourself in.

Some of what you have described can be experienced by someone having a focal seizure, so it would be a good idea for you to talk to your son’s epilepsy doctor about what you have noticed. This will give you chance to check his treatment is still the best one for him. I can hear that you have been through a similar situation before so this may give you some peace of mind about what is happening.

It is difficult to tell from your message what the age of your son is. You may find it useful to explore our benefits information to see if there is any he may be entitled to. If he is under 16, you may be able to claim Disability Living Allowance for him. You may also find it useful to explore the NHS Choices website information about help with health costs.

Karen
Epilepsy Action Advice & Information Team

Submitted by rich on

Hello, can you help me please, i am 62 self employed carpenter been told i can drive since i had my brain siezure on the 1st may, i have had 3 since then todate only at night though,i have had no help finacially at all, as i cant wotk as i need my car, can you help me please,i walked 7 mile to local CAB office but when i got there to ask was told appointments only, as im trying to get help and advice as i dont know where to go or what i may be entitled to?,can you help me please as i m not allowed to drive for the next 12 months either, please help me thanking you Brian

Submitted by Brian, on
Hello Brian
 
This sounds like a difficult situation to find yourself in.
 
Whether you can get benefits depends upon your personal situation. You may find it useful to get in touch with Turn2us who can do a benefits calculation to see if there is anything you may be entitled to. You can do this by following the link above, or by telephone on 0808 802 2000.
 
As you are not able to drive because of your epilepsy, you are entitled to free bus travel and a disabled person’s railcard. I appreciate that travelling in this way may not be suitable for your job if you need to carry specialist equipment around. I wonder whether you are aware of the Access to Work grant scheme though. This is a government grant which can help pay for practical support to help you stay in work. This may include transport costs and the amount you get depends upon your individual circumstances and what help you need. You can learn more about this by following the links included in this message.
 
I hope this information is useful to you. If you have any further questions, or if we can be of any more help, please feel free to get back in touch with our helpline team

Karen
Epilepsy Action Advice & Information Team
Submitted by rich on

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

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