Invest in ME Conference 12: First Class in Every Way
OverTheHills wraps up our series of articles on this year's 12th Invest in ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London with some reflections on her experience as a patient attending the conference for the first time.
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NHS Prescription Charges and ME/CFS (UK item)

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by charles shepherd, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. charles shepherd

    charles shepherd Senior Member

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  2. eafw

    eafw Senior Member

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    I'd never read the small print on this: "a continuing physical disability which means you cannot go out without the help of another person"

    Hopefully the exemption should be applied to those who are totally housebound. One thing that has always struck me as strange is that those on job seekers and similar benefits get free prescriptions, whereas IB and ESA don't.

    To add for anyone in England that doesn't know, the prepayment certificates are useful if you have a lot of items to pay for.
     
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  3. charles shepherd

    charles shepherd Senior Member

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    This is now being discussed on our MEA Facebook page:

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/ME-Association/171411469583186

    and includes reports from people who have been able to make use of this exemption.

    Given the cost of obtaining regular NHS prescriptions over a period of a year, this is something that is well worth pursuing if you meet this particular criteria.
     
  4. mermaid

    mermaid Senior Member

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    Interesting point @charles shepherd

    I was 'lucky' as I qualified under the hypothyroid exemption until I reached 60.

    @eafw I think that the issue re JSA and ESA/IB is actually related to whether you are on income related as opposed to contribution related. I believe that these days ESA can be assessed on both unlike IB, so that hopefully that should mean the person would qualify on those grounds even if they do get a contribution related benefit (must ask my son as he was in the situation you described on IB). As for JSA well that would be Contribution Related for only 6 mths, and then would be income related.
     
  5. charles shepherd

    charles shepherd Senior Member

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    Feedback via ME Connect from another one of our members:

    Severe ME/CFS - housebound and sometimes bedbound.

    Applied for exemption of NHS prescription charges after obtaining DLA (highest rates for both care and mobility).

    No difficulty in obtaining the exemption Certificate which I had to apply for via my surgery.
     
  6. Bob

    Bob

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    I think this is still a problem with ESA for people in the support group (as opposed to the work-related-activities group) who claim contribution-based ESA. The ESA support group works in the same way as IB used to, in that claimants are not assessed on their income if they receive contribution based ESA. (For people in the work-related-activities group, claimants are assessed on their income after the initial 1 year period on contribution-based ESA.)

    I've found confirmation of this online (click here):
    But people can still claim for free or reduced NHS care (e.g. prescriptions and dental care) if they are on a low income, using the HC1 form:
    http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/HealthCosts/1128.aspx
     
  7. mermaid

    mermaid Senior Member

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    @Bob
    Thank you for that link, but I believe that when people are now assessed for ESA Contributions based, they are also assessed at the same time for their income (to see if they would be eligible for other help presumably), and so on that basis only (if they also qualify on income grounds, as some would not qualify due to savings), I thought they might then be eligible for free prescriptions etc.

    See this link...
    http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/engla...arers_ew/employment_and_support_allowance.htm
    '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.'
     
  8. Bob

    Bob

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    Hi mermaid, thanks for raising this issue. You might be right, but I've not come across info that demonstrates that they simultaneously evaluate claimants for both contributory and income-based ESA. I was pretty certain that they don't do this if, for example a claimant is eligible for full contributory ESA, but I haven't come across any info that demonstrates that either one of us is right about this. In any case, someone receiving contributory ESA doesn't necessary receive income-related ESA, so wouldn't that disqualify them from automatically receiving free prescriptions?
     
  9. mermaid

    mermaid Senior Member

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    I need to ask my son about this Bob, as he is in this camp ie he is long term ESA in Support Group, and was assessed only about 18 mths ago, and hopefully would know if he is receiving Income AND Contributions related ESA, as I know he was eligible for the latter.

    You are correct that not everyone receiving Contributory ESA would receive Income Based, and it would tend to be single people, and those without savings who would - so it's not a good system as many people with partners are very hard up and on a low income but still fall outside the criteria.
     
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  10. Apple

    Apple Senior Member

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    I get ESA and have always had collected free prescriptions. I have no idea if i'm on income based or contribution based. Was I not supposed to do this?? I just assumed that anyone on a sickness benefit got their prescriptions free of charge..?

    Oops.
     
  11. Bob

    Bob

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    It's seems like a very reasonable assumption to make!
     

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