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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