We fight to improve the lives
of everyone affected by epilepsy

 

Benefits for people with epilepsy

This information is for people in the UK. If you’re outside the UK, your local epilepsy group may be able to help.

If you have epilepsy, or care for someone with epilepsy, you may be entitled to benefits. On these pages we have information about the benefits that are likely to be most relevant to people with epilepsy and their carers. What benefits you can claim and how much you get depends on your individual circumstances. To find out what benefits you and your family are entitled to, you could use an online benefits checker like Turn2us.

Read on for a short summary of each benefit, or click on a benefit name to find out more about it.

Access to Work If your epilepsy affects your ability to do your job or means you have to pay work-related costs, Access to Work grants can help pay for practical support.

Attendance Allowance A benefit to help with personal care if you have a disability and have reached state pension age.

Blue Badge scheme Allows you to park close to your destination if you have severe mobility problems.

Carers Allowance  If you look after someone with epilepsy who has substantial care needs, you may be entitled to Carer’s Allowance.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)  A benefit to help with the extra costs of looking after a child who has a disability or health condition.

Disabled Facilities Grant If your epilepsy means you need to make changes to your home, you might be able to get a grant from your local council to help. Disabled Facilities Grants are not available in Scotland.

Disabled Persons Railcard You may be entitled to a Disabled Persons Railcard to get one third off rail fares in England, Scotland and Wales.  

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)  A benefit for people who have an illness or disability that makes it difficult or impossible for them to work.

Free bus pass If you would be refused a driving licence because of your epilepsy, you may be entitled to free or reduced price bus travel.

Free prescriptions  If you have epilepsy and take epilepsy medicines, you are entitled to free prescriptions in the UK.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) A benefit to help with some of the extra costs of living with a long-term health condition or disability.

 

Code: 
F136.04
  • Updated April 2019
    To be reviewed April 2020

Comments: read the 18 comments or add yours

Comments

Hi there I recently got diagnosed with epilepsy well short of 2 years ago, I do work I’ve been in my current job nearly 4 years, I turned 29 this year donim still trying to get use to my seizures these are seizures i don’t know I’m having some of the ones are drop seizures so when I’m walking to and from work or even when I’m out I’ll find my self on the floor with people around me waiting for an ambulance they have called, or the ones I’ll have called absence seizures I’ll just be staring into space skit of people notice i do this in work I’ve even had episodes on the phone speaking to customers ( I work in a call centre) I also have a benign tumour on the left temporal lobe side of my brain, normally when some of these events happen in work I get tired and I end up either having to go home or put in an ambulance so my pay for that day is affected Am I entitled to anything or able to get any form of help thank you

Submitted by Kirsty Jones on

Hi Kirsty

It does sound like you are dealing with a lot of difficult things.

Hopefully you know about the free prescriptions.

Can I check you also know about the free bus pass and the Disabled Persons’ Railcard? These would save you some money on transport.

I wonder if you have applied for Personal Independence Payment? I have linked you to our information on this. This would be money to cover extra living costs which happen because of your condition. We always recommend that together with our information people get support whenever possible from a welfare rights unit such as Citizens Advice.

In order to check whether you are entitled to any other benefits you could ring Turn2us

I wonder if you have seen a neurologist recently? If not that might be useful. They may be able to help you get better seizure control.

And here is all our information on work and epilepsy. There may be something in there that helps you to get slightly better treatment from your employer that is happening at the moment.

Here is the range of support we offer. In particular you might want to check out if there’s a coffee and chat group in your area.

I really hope this information is useful for you. But if we can be of any more help, please feel free to contact us again, either by email or the Epilepsy Helpline freephone 0808 800 5050.

Regards 

Cherry  

Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by rich on

I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF THERE IS ANYBODY WHO KNOWS HOW TO HELP ME CLAIM ANY BENEFITS ? AS I HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO CLAIM ANY THING AT ALL IN 5 YEARS OF BEING OUT OF WORK , THROUGH MY EPILEPSY CONDITION LOSING MY JOB, I WOULD BE VERY GRATEFUL TO ANYBODY WHO IS ABLE TO HELP ME ?.
KIND REGARDS
KAY HOLBROOK

Submitted by kay on

Hi. I have epilepsy 14years and take a tegretol 3 tablets a day. But last 3 months i got regularly migrena as well, 4 till 5 times a month and every time 3 till 5 days. So now i stop working because i cant. That's wery hard because i cant stand up, cant open my eyes, can't walking and womating. Can you tell me, i can get any benefits or disability? And what i have to do? Thank you very much

Submitted by Sandra udre on

Hi Sandra

That sounds like a very difficult set of symptoms.

It may be possible for you to apply for Personal Independence Payments (PIP). This benefit is not affected by any other income you have. It is there to help with extra expenses you may have because of a disability.

The diagnosis is not important. They want to know how you are affected day to day. Here is our information about PIP and epilepsy. It’s a very long complicated form. We suggest getting some help with it from a welfare rights unit such as Citizens Advice.

Can I just check that you are getting free prescriptions? If you’ve had a seizure in the last 12 months you can apply for a free bus pass. This is because you would be refused a driving licence.

You may also be interested in a Disabled Persons Railcard. Again you would be entitled if you would be refused a driving licence.

I really hope this information is useful. But if we can be of any more help, please feel free to contact us again, either by email or the Epilepsy Helpline freephone 0808 800 5050.

Thanks,

Cherry - Epilepsy Action Helpline

Submitted by rich on

Hi my cousin is 12 and had focal epilepsy there is no warning and she just drops. She's had operations to remove blood clots from such falls. She's surrently living in a house that's very unsuitable all rooms step down to the landing which goes straight down the stairs. Obviously this is ridiculously dangerous...the country a l have refused to move her to bungalow accomodation as she is not wheel chair reliant. Is there anything you can suggest that could help her situation. Her grandmother that looks after her and is beside herself with worry. Thanks in advance.

Submitted by Rebecca on

Dear Rebecca 

Thank you for your comment.

If you believe the council or social services hasn’t assessed your cousin’s needs correctly, you could ask for another assessment. As we don’t specialise in the housing system you could contact Shelter UK or the Citizens Advice about the housing assessment process 

I wonder if you have looked at our Safety advice for people with epilepsy. This information looks at possible risks in and outside the home for people with epilepsy. It describes how to do a safety check. It also offers some practical tips on staying safe wherever they are. This information could be helpful for your cousin’s assessment.

If we can be of any more help, please feel free to contact us again, either by email helpline@epilepsy.org.uk or phone  the Epilepsy Action Helpline freephone 0808 800 5050. 

Regards

Diane

Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by rich on

Hi my daughter 2 years old has been diagnosed with atypical absences she does fall at the moment and we haven't yet got control of her seizures, she can have anywhere between 30 and 80 seizures a day.

My question is would we be entitled to DLA? and eventually if we do again control of her seizures with medication would we still be entitled to it?

Thanks

Submitted by Ryan Ingram on

Hi. I wonder why I can’t get one iota of help and why epilepsy becomes a fantasy condition once I leave my doctors or hospital it doesn’t exist according to dwp. The questions are very insulting also as asking how epilepsy affects you on a daily basis when it’s a lifetime condition! Would you ask a person with cancer or heart problems or any lifetime condition this question. It’s a cop out to save giving help or financial help. I have had epilepsy since 13 years old and now 41. The fallacy and falseness I’ve had rammed down my throat since 16 yiu can have a normal life like anyone else. Really how come I’m medically restricted job wise ie heights computers machinery confined spaces dangerous or risky jobs driving jobs the list goes on. As a doctor told me at 17 be economical with the truth so basically lie to gain a job though what happens if I do and something major happens who is at fault ? Me for lying. April 2018 lost my licence and livelihood so glad I have no mortgage at mo. One day productive member of society next a waste of space and everything down the drain but hey you can live a normal life. Dwp I came off after zero points for epilepsy and grand mal seizures so basically myself and doctors are liars. So to get help basically have to quit all medications take seizures get them witnessed and risk my health in the extreme but hey it might leave you with damage but you qualify our criteria and penpushing now. I feel treated like a leper and 3rd class citizen anywhere I ask for help so never do now. It is absurd in my view for people with genuine epilepsy to be treated this way. It’s a lifetime serious restrictive health condition which modern medicine can only try and contain or control and never curable. I think it’s a disgrace people with epilepsy get treated this way by the powers that be. Ps the vast majority of folk with epilepsy was not self inflicted by alcohol or drug abuse it was something that just happened but folk who do abuse themself with drink or drugs get treated like kings by government and twenty times better than folk with epilepsy in my experience. Ps I found out in April this year I have been on a child’s dose of medication from 16 as it was never changed by any healthcare I’ve seen in 25 years and most certainly contributed to a grand mal seizure which lasted 25 minutes but hey according to dwp no problem that’s ok nothing whatsoever wrong with you have a nice day. Bye

Submitted by Stephen on

Hi Stephen

It sounds like you have had a tough time with your epilepsy and benefits applications. We have been running a campaign to highlight the difficulties of the PIP process for people with epilepsy. If you want to get involved this is the link https://www.epilepsy.org.uk/involved/campaigns/personal-independence-payment-pip. The disability benefits are based on how daily life is affected by your health condition or disability rather than on the basis of having a named condition though. There is some specific information about explaining your epilepsy if you haven’t already seen it on our PIP webpage https://www.epilepsy.org.uk/info/daily-life/benefits/personal-independence-payments-pip.

If you think it would be helpful to talk to one of our advisers about any of the problems you are experiencing please get in touch with our helpline on 0808 800 5050.

Regards

Mags

Epilepsy Action Helpline

Submitted by rich on

Hi so i have had epilepsy since age 8 I am now 37 been in bed medication most of all my life can’t work can’t drive & and need someone one with me at all time even if leaving house which alone cause severe anxiety due to having full on fits in public. I am currently receiving PIP ENHANCED RATE DAILY LIVING but get nothing for MOBILTY . I don’t understand that but I have a review form for PIP & I will receive help from welfare Wright’s I hope that I can push for mobilty part as I do feel I am untitled to as do not know when am I am going to have a seizure as I don’t get no sign .

Submitted by Catherine on

Hi my Epilepsy is worsening. Epilepsy medication now tripled. I’ve never had so many seizures/auras as I have over the last 5 years. I’m 58 Epilepsy started at 11. I have terrible memory problems now coupled with Depression (for which I am treated) and I see my Dr every 2 weeks and a Psycologist. Why isn’t Epilepsy classed as a Disability in the eyes of MIND and the DWP? I can’t now drive, obviously receive free prescriptions, I have a Disabled Person’s Railcard?

Submitted by Michele Finch on

Hi Michele

It does sound like things are feeling pretty tough for you at the moment. Sadly a number of people with epilepsy do also have problems with depression and with their memory. Epilepsy in itself isn’t automatically a disability. This is because different people are affected in very different ways. You are understandably experiencing your epilepsy as very disabling for you.

If you’re having problems with DWP you might find something in our benefits information useful.

Here is the information on the support that we offer, in case any of this would help.

Regards

Cherry  

Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by rich on

Are any of the epilepsy groups planning to write to the dwp with their comments on the proposals to merge pip and esa into one benefit i feel as a recipient of both that epilepsy is not very well represented on either form and the difficulties it presents not fully understood i think it is important that epilepsy groups make their comments known about these proposals in the stongests terms lone voices from indviduals will cut no ice

Submitted by Elizabeth Vidler on

We do regularly meet with the DWP to raise our concerns about the way that the assessment process is impacting on people with epilepsy, and we will be raising concerns about the impact that merging the assessments for PIP and ESA. We also work with other charities to address the problems that people experience with the assessment process.

 

While we have been able to make some positive changes to the system, it is clear that the assessments are failing people with epilepsy. We will therefore continue to push for changes, including calling for all assessors to receive training on understanding the nature and impact of fluctuating conditions and for assessments for people with epilepsy to be undertaken by assessors who have received specific training on the condition.

Submitted by rich on

my name is roman in 2012 I have brainwashed in 2016 I sent a triple coronarni baypas operation in 2016 try week after baypass surgery I had a heart attack here and now i was beaten in manchester salford hospital i have epilepsy and it is brain stroke because here I repeatedly wondering which doctor the neurologist said was not another stroke but I have epilepsy and deployed me epilepsy medication that I have to live life after here and after these strokes and poorly stroke partially poorly on my right side of the body and nobody since this time come bila nova diagnose epilepsy did not come and did not inform me just beat me announced that I can not drive from 27 March here I had 3 seizures and twice I beat here overnight monitored in the hospital where I was released morning pardon my english here ziju here 16 years with this disease visit me mental team because of the brain stroke ave other diagnosis so me navs tevuje this metal team in the year of 2012 in my brain stroke I just want to know if you have a new illness epilepsy popovida because he gave it up and here heavy depressions and let me leave my wife and children to thank you for my understanding

Submitted by roman gafzor on

I have been epileptic now for 36 years. Not a lot has changed in my medication since I was first diagnosed and I have the usual absences and aura's coupled with petit mal's and the occasional tonic clonic. As I said the medication is still the same but the diagnosis has been changed from temporal lobe (which I believe to be a catchall word if you were diagnosed more than 30 years ago) to what my neurologist now says (after a scan) is a 'lesion'. Most of this is controlled by my medication. Something that hasn't been mentioned in this forum relates to what side affects you get from them taking them (100's for me). I take Tegretol Retard which has played havoc with my memory, causes immense depression, loss of libido and anxiety and personally also gives me extreme suicidal thoughts. So this isn't really the condition causing this but the medication. I've read the literature that comes with the medication concerning side affects and can tell you that in any given moment I practically get all of them. So to my question, I know generally speaking I am not entitled to claim for DLA because my epilepsy is under control but the side affects are not and despite regular counselling I have long exhausted the local council's free funding. I am supposed to pay for counselling now myself. Is there any part of DLA that can pay my counselling fees?

Submitted by Kevin Radford on

Dear Kevin

It sounds as though you have had a tough time with side effects from your epilepsy medicines over the years. The question of how far these can be taken into account when applying for benefits is, like you say, a tricky one. You might like to read our information about Personal Independent Payment. PIP has replaced DLA and its purpose is to help with some of the extra costs of having a long-term ill-health problem or disability. If someone qualifies for PIP it is non means tested and can be used as an individual wishes. You do not have to say how you will use the money when you apply for PIP.  

The PIP application and assessment should take into account how your condition affects your daily life. This includes how the side effects of any medicines you take affect you. We aren’t trained as benefits advisers so we do suggest that you get some guidance about applying for PIP from a trained adviser. You can search for benefits advisers in your area using Turn2us advice finder. And also we have some information about other useful organisations for support with benefits that you might like to read.

I’m also linking you to our information about getting the right treatment for your epilepsy and our wellbeing information in case there is anything here that can help you with the side-effects you are experiencing.

You would be welcome to contact us on the Helpline if you have any specific questions or we can help any further.

Regards

Mags

Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by Mags - Epilepsy... on

e-action newsletter

Subscribe to our e-action newsletter and stay informed

Subscribe to e-action newsletter feed