Prescription costs (prescription prepayment certificates and free prescriptions)
NHS – for information on paying for your prescriptions, identifying whether you are entitled to free prescriptions and annual prescription certificates.
Gov.UK - medications or dressings particularly for digital ulcers can be very expensive to buy. It is possible to buy a prescription prepayment certificates (PPCs) from the NHS which may make your prescriptions cheaper.
Age UK – for a benefits calculator and a list of assistance you might be eligible for, such as bereavement benefits.
Directgov – all public services are available here.
Carers UK – offers up-to-date advice and support for carers in the UK. Provides a helpline if you would like an informal discussion about your situation.
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Personal Independence Payments (PIPs)
Gov.UK – DLAs and PIPs help with some of the extra costs associated with living with a long-term condition. The rate depends on how the condition affects you, not the condition itself. You can make a claim for a child (under 16 years old) via the DLA. Anyone over 16 years old must apply for a PIP.
Disability Rights UK – provides concise up-to-date information on all areas that you may be able to seek help.
Benefit Helpline – advice for disabled people and carers.
Travel to appointments
Healthcare Travel Cost Scheme – you may be able to get financial help if you are on a low income and need NHS treatment at a hospital, doctor or dentist.
Disabled persons railcard – if you are disabled then you can apply for a disabled persons railcard and receive up to 1/3 off rail fares. As scleroderma is a complex condition, you may be travelling to medical appointments regularly, so a Disabled Persons Railcard can be invaluable. It's available to anyone who is receiving Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance or Personal Independence Payments, who is registered as having a visual impairment, or is deaf or blind.
For £20 a year the railcard entitles you to 1/3 off rail fares for you and possibly another adult.
Senior railcard – if you are aged 60 and over then you can apply for a senior railcard and receive up to 1/3 of rail fares.
Blue Badge scheme. If you are disabled, you may be able to park in restricted areas under the Blue Badge scheme. The scheme is for drivers and passengers. You can apply for a Blue Badge here or by contacting your local authority directly.
Paying heating bills
The affordable warmth obligation – this scheme may be able to help you make energy-saving improvements to your home if you are on certain benefits.
nPower – nPower have partnered with the Department for Work and Pensions and MacMillan Cancer Care to provide help for those who receive benefits or have a disability or critical illness.
As Scleroderma and Raynaud's patients need to maintain an even temperature, there may be financial support available to help you with energy bills. Speak to the Home Heat Helpline on 0800 33 66 99 (0333 300 33 66 from a mobile) or contact your energy provider, who may be able to offer a discretionary grant.
Paying water bills
Watersure Scheme – if you are on benefits and have three or more children or a medical condition that requires a lot of extra water, then you can apply for your water bill to be capped.
Age UK – Age UK offers a guide on how to adapt your home to suit your condition. It also suggests financial support streams.
Disability Rights – Disability Rights detail your rights as a student and what you can ask for, depending upon your scleroderma symptoms.
Students Union – The Students Union at your college or university will have a representative who will be able to offer you advice specific to your location.
How can I make contact with the DWP about a claim?
Find contact details here for advice on information about a claim you have already made for Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance or Personal Independence Payments.