Disabled people forced to pay for dentistry, sight tests and prescriptions


We have recently discovered that dental care, sight tests and prescriptions are no longer automatically free for those people with the most severe impairments under the new benefit system, writes Jeanne Carlin on Changing Minds, Changing Lives.

My daughter, Erica who has multiple impairments, complex health needs and is now 100% funded by Continuing Health Care funding – is no longer automatically entitled to free dental care. Erica, like so many others has been moved from Income Support to Employment Support Allowance (ESA).

I took the matter up with my MP who wrote to the Department and Health.  This is the explanation which they have given: “People receiving contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance on their own and not paid with the income-assessed element, do not automatically get help towards health costs.

“This is because these two contributory benefits are not income-related and many people receiving them have other resources, and may also have capital. People may therefore need to make a claim under the NHS Low Income Scheme so that their entitlement may be calculated in the same way as that of anyone else on a low income. The amount of help available is based on a comparison between a person’s income and requirements at the time the claim is received.”

Maybe you already know this. It is still worth publishing for the sake of those who don’t.

The rest of the article is on Changing Minds, Changing Lives.

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15 thoughts on “Disabled people forced to pay for dentistry, sight tests and prescriptions

  1. Mr.Angry

    What next ? when will they give up only after a revolt it seems. Of course they deserve their rise in pay as only they need private treatment. Utter b******d’s of the highest order.

  2. Thomas

    Labour may have it’s problems in government like any government does, but this government is *evil* and clearly hates disabled people. The sooner they and their little yellow helpers are ejected by the voters, the better. It’s not just this, it’s everything else they’ve done. So disabled people are used as free labour and others are evicted from their homes or left to starve to death because of this government.

    Slightly off topic, I’ll be laughing out loud if Nick Clegg gets voted out in Sheffield Hallam. It’s because of him that the Tories have been able to do all sorts of nasty things.

  3. M de Mowbray

    This government has NO END of ideas for penalising those in the worst financial situations, and NO START of ideas for penalising the wealthiest and most powerful people and companies, many of whom are clearly linked to criminality and tax evasion.

  4. Jonathan Wilson

    As the person mentioned in the article would not have worked and paid enough NI, why would they not be “income related” or is there some specific part of the award that needs to be made? I always thought it was either “earnings related” or “income related” based on stamps, or is there a basic amount, then IR/ER on top… which some don’t get at all, so hence this situation.

    Also as the person mentioned moved from one benefit to the other, surely there would be continuation (or what ever its called) so its not a “new claim” which might not allow the “long term sick” rule (of old, for IS) so is still a “long term” award :-/

  5. bevchat

    I dont have to pay for my prescriptions as I am over 60 but I do have to pay for my eyesight tests and dental treatment because my ESA is contributions based….and I have a few chronic health issues…Its disgusting because its the people in this group and on low income are the ones hit the hardest!! This government disgust me!!!

  6. Florence

    If I didn’t live in Wales, with free prescriptions, I wouldn’t be able to afford my medication. Simple. I have 14 prescription items that include diabetic testing strips and vitamins essential to maintain life. Being diabetic I get free eye checks, not because of ESA.

    An acquaintance (not in Wales) who has recently had to claim contribution-based ESA was astounded at the lack of support for prescriptions, eye, dental and fares for hospital visits etc that the means-tested benefits allow for. She is now, of course, looking at those on means-tested benefits, and loudly complaining that SHE doesn’t get all that………what does it take for some people to see the bigger picture? I know. I have tried to explain that the divide & rule of the poor is a policy, but she isn’t quite “there” yet.

  7. Joy Morby

    ids has decided that kicking us when we’re down isn’t working.He’s applied the steel tips to his boots now

  8. Ian

    For the life of me I will never understand the workings of IDS’ mind. It’s almost like the backwards cretin gets a sexual kick out of harassing and penalising the sick and unemployed. He’s much, much closer to the far right extremists than most people would know, largely down to a silent media, even the beloved [sic] BBC.

    There just has to be a way of bringing a prosecution against him, under international law if necessary, though I would hope there’s provision in European law?? Where are the public minded QCs?

    This man needs to be in jail, only to be released in a wooden box.

  9. jaypot2012

    I get free eye tests due to being diabetic, but here in Scotland we don’t pay for eye tests, or prescriptions. On low incomes we get dental treatment and a voucher towards glasses and seeing that most people are on low incomes that means a lot of people.
    I understand the SNP are responsible for this…

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      And in Wales, Labour is responsible for it – or similar concessions, at least. What’s your point?

  10. Steve Pearce

    The NHS has a Business Centre or something similar which fines people for not realising they had to reapply for free treatments. They say it is the card which gets you the discount and not the illness. Very comforting.

  11. Kristen

    Yup i didnt realise it first time and had to pay an NHS fine over £100 quid. Luckily the dental treatment i would have had to have paid for, cost more than the fine…but even so, it’s sucks. I’m ok now im on income based ESA.

  12. paul whiteley

    It will only be a matter of time before ALL free health care along with everything the poorest receive will be scrapped if the Tories get re elected.

  13. Niki

    I’m in Wales, but I’ve always known that contributions based doesn’t allow free dental etc. you just read the form at the dentists. I’ve had an low income cert for years now, it’s good as it covers transport to and from visits under a consultants Carr which is great when you have a 100mile trip to see said consultant.

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