15 Things Every Newly Disabled Person Should Know About

Hello and welcome to Job Prices.

Claire Mitchell

My name is Claire, and I created this site with my partner.

Our initial aim was to research how much home improvement projects cost and then publish our findings so visitors to our site could avoid unscrupulous businesses that overcharge.

Two years ago my sister had a fall and is now paralysed from the waist down.

We were going to create a price guide for things like home adaptations, products and services, etc. that a disabled person might be interested in using.

My sister and I soon decided to scrap that idea and chose instead to create a help guide for anyone that’s newly disabled.

As the term “disabled” is so broad and generic, we decided to create a guide that is specifically for those with a physical disability. We do feel, however, that many of our suggestions will prove insightful to those with different forms of disability.

What Have We Included in This Guide?

We’ll list 15 things every newly disabled person should know about.

Our guide will contain suggestions for mobility, home adaptations, grants and financial support, charities, excellent niche websites and social platforms you’ll want to bookmark and a whole lot more.

If this guide proves popular and we get good feedback, we may expand it to an entire section or even a new website.

1) Go and Get The Blue Badge

The Blue Badge allows you or anyone transporting you to park in public disabled parking bays and also on single and double yellow lines for up to three hours.

The Blue Badge is essential for any disabled person who uses a car, either as a driver or passenger. The badge is tied to you, not your vehicle, so you can use it in taxis or friend’s cars, as long as you are in the car of course.

More information and an application form can be found here:  www.gov.uk/apply-blue-badge.

2) Claim Your Exemption From Vehicle Tax Payments

This exception applies to you if you drive a vehicle and meet the criteria.

You can also apply for this exemption if you don’t drive but have a dedicated driver who will only drive your car when transporting you.

You cannot apply for this if your driver uses the vehicle when you are not present.

Check if you meet the criteria here: www.gov.uk/vehicle-exempt-from-vehicle-tax.

3) Vehicle Leasing, Car Adaptations and Advance Payments

Motability is the UK’s leading mobility scheme operator; they offer leased cars and scooters in exchange for the mobility element of any benefits you receive.

Here is a statement from their website:

The Motability Scheme enables disabled people to lease a new car, scooter or powered wheelchair by exchanging their mobility allowance . If you receive either the Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance (HRMC DLA), the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment (ERMC PIP) , the War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement (WPMS) or the Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP) you may be eligible to join the Motability Scheme.

They can also help with adaptations to a scheme car, advance payments and even driving lessons.

Here are three pages we suggest you start with:

Introduction to the scheme

Are you eligible for a charitable grant?

A forum post on Money Saving Expert website called Motability – Is It Worth It?

4) AA Guide to Driving With a Disability

The AA has produced an excellent and in depth guide for disabled drivers.

This PDF download contains lots of helpful information:

https://www.theaa.com/staticdocs/pdf/services/disabled_travellers_guide.pdf

5) Arrange For a Disabled Facility Grant

Local councils issue these subsidies and the amount you’ll receive will depend on your household income.

Facility Grants are used to make changes to your home, for example:

  • install ramps
  • widen doorways
  • install a stairlift
  • relocate a bathroom
  • modify a bathroom
  • move switches and controls

Explore these grants further and check your eligibility here: www.gov.uk/disabled-facilities-grants.

6) Heating and Upgrades

The government has several schemes where you can apply to reduce your heating payments or request a grant for a boiler upgrade.

Confusingly, what you can claim depends on where you live in the UK as the rules are different in Wales and Scotland.

Check out this introductory guide to get you started.

7) Working Tax Credits

The UK government offers tax credits to disabled persons that are working.

The amount offered depends on the severity of the disability and the number of hours spent at work each week and the total household income.

As the tax credits are means tested, they only help those on a low income who either live alone or with other people on low incomes.

While the entire tax credit system is complicated, we feel this is a good place to start.

8) PIP

PIPs are replacing Disability Living Allowances.

There isn’t enough space on this page to explain this allowance in-depth but it’s certainly a subject you’ll need to research.

For an easy-to-read guide to Personal Independence Payments, we suggest this guide as a starting point:

Money Advice Service guide to PIP.

9) Council Tax Band Reduction

The government calculates council tax on the value of a home.

The more rooms or space within the home, the higher the value and council tax payments.

Why should a disabled person, who requires extra space because their disability have to pay extra council tax?

You can ask your local council for a tax band reduction if:

  • the disabled person needs an extra bathroom, kitchen or other room because of their disability, or;
  • they require extra space inside the property for using a wheelchair

Check out this guide here.

10) “Access to Work” Benefits

The government may reduce or remove this benefit if you claim other allowances, however, if you’re currently in employment or about to start working, you could potentially get financial help with:

  • getting to and from a place of work
  • adaptations at the work place

The official advice is on this page but this site explains the eligibility and procedure more clearly.

11) VAT Relief – Get The Facts

VAT stands for Value Added Tax, and the government applies it to most but not all products and services sold in the UK.

If you are disabled, you won’t need to pay VAT on certain products such as:

  • mobility equipment
  • batteries for mobility equipment
  • home and car adaptations
  • alarms
  • repairs and maintenance of mobility equipment, aids or adaptations

The current VAT rate is a whopping 20%, so you could make a significant saving off some purchases.

You can find more information here: www.gov.uk/financial-help-disabled/vat-relief.

12) Informal Places to Discuss Disability Q&A

Do you have a question and want to find great places online where you can informally discuss your disability or requirements?

These forums and websites are a great place for you to find answers to specific questions:

  • yourable has over 60,000 visitors per year, they have a forum and help pages.
  • Scope is a UK based disability charity, and they have an active forum that includes a very informative section about benefit entitlements.
  • The Money Saving Expert website has a dedicated section for disability money matters. The MSE is one of the most popular sites in the UK, and this section alone gets dozens of questions each week.
  • Tripadvisor has a dedicated disability forum where members can discuss travel arrangements and requirements.
  • The Student Room is a great place for disabled people to discuss anything and everything related to education, benefits and boarding.

13) Euan’s Guide

I absolutely love this site, what a great idea!

Euan’s Guide is an excellent website where those with a disability can leave impartial reviews of events, locations and services.

The focus of the site is on accessibility, but much of the content extends to other disability related topics.

So whether you’re looking at a hotel, festival, cruise ship, park or event, go check out Euan’s Guide.

Explore Euan’s Guide here.

14) Dating

Disability dating sites aren’t just for those with a disability.

Carers, support workers and those with disabled family members or friends often use such sites to find love.

www.disabilitymatch.co.uk is one of the most popular dating sites in the UK.

15) Top 10 Disability Bloggers

If you’d like to read about the life experiences of disability bloggers, then this list is a good starting point.

What is Job Prices

Job Prices was created by myself and my partner as we wanted to cast light on the prices that some unscrupulous tradespeople charge.

We both have some experience in the home improvement and construction industries and enjoy researching various topics.

Whether you are disabled or not, we feel our price guides are very informative.

Here are our most popular pages: