What help is available?
You are entitled to free prescriptions for your epilepsy medications. You may be able to get financial help towards the cost of travel to medical appointments and to work. You may also be entitled to discounted bus, rail and tube travel in some areas. You may be eligible for some welfare benefits and tax credits. If you need support with daily living or equipment, an assessment from social services may be helpful. There may be help available if you care for a person with epilepsy.
Your entitlements will depend on what your epilepsy is like and how it affects you. The information below includes contact details and links to sources of information and help.
People with epilepsy are entitled to free prescriptions for their anti-seizure medication, as well as for any other prescribed drugs (but not dental treatment or eye tests). To apply, fill in the form FP92A, available at your doctor’s surgery. You may be asked to show your exemption card when you collect your prescription. In Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland all prescriptions are free.
NHS low income scheme (LIS)
If you are on a low income or benefits, you may be able to claim back some of your costs of travelling to some medical appointments, under the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS). The Low Income Scheme may also cover some dental and eye care costs. Call the Low Income Scheme helpline on 0300 330 1343 for details.
The cost of some equipment designed specifically to help people with disabilities does not include VAT. For example, you may not have to pay VAT on a seizure alarm system.
Call the HM Revenue and Customs Helpline on 0300 123 1073 for information, or visit gov.uk.
Discounted public transport
If you are having seizures you may be entitled to free or discounted travel. This is usually because you would be refused a driving licence if you applied for one. You will usually need some proof that you are eligible for the discount, depending on where you live and the rules of the discount scheme.
You may be eligible for a disabled person’s railcard. This gives you, and a companion, a third off most fares. Call 0345 605 0525 for more information.
Bus and tube travel
- England: You may be eligible for a free bus pass. Some councils have additional travel discounts. Contact your local council for an application form or visit gov.uk for more information.
- London: You may be entitled to a Freedom Pass which gives free bus, train, tram and tube travel in London. Call 0300 330 1433 for more information. Some boroughs have a London Taxicard Scheme for reduced cost taxi travel. Call 0207 934 9791 or visit londoncouncils.gov.uk for more information.
- Merseyside: you may be eligible for a Travel Pass. Call 0151 330 1000 for more information.
- Scotland: The 'National Entitlement Card' gives you free travel throughout Scotland. Contact your local authority for an application form, or visit transport.gov.scot
- Northern Ireland: If you cannot drive due to epilepsy, you can get a Half Fare SmartPass for bus and rail travel.Visit nidirect.gov.uk
- Wales: you, and a companion, may be eligible for free or discounted travel throughout Wales with a Disabled Concessionary Bus Pass.
Some coach operators, such as National Express, offer discount fare schemes for people with disabilities. Contact companies directly for more details.
Access to work
If you are unable to use public transport because of your epilepsy, you may be able to get financial help towards the cost of your transport to and from work, through the Access to Work scheme. Call 0800 121 7479.
Blue badge scheme
If you find it difficult to get around, you may be able to apply for a blue badge to help you park closer to your destination. Visit gov.uk
Vehicle tax exemption
If you receive benefits, you may be eligible for free road tax for a car registered in your name, which someone drives for you, with you as a passenger. Visit gov.uk
You may be entitled to benefits, and other support. These might include Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Universal Credit and Attendance Allowance. You will need to meet certain requirements in order to qualify for these benefits. Visit gov.uk
The following organisations can also provide support, information and advice on benefits:
- DIAL UK/Disabled People's Organisations.
- Citizens Advice Bureau. Call 0800 144 8848 (England), or 0800 702 2020 (Wales).
- Campaign toolkit - Help for Households - help from the government with the cost of living.
Help from Social Services
Health and social care assessment
Depending on how your epilepsy affects you, you may be entitled to a ‘health and social care assessment’. This looks at whether you have any physical or health difficulties, social or housing needs, and what support you already receive. If the assessment identifies needs which meet the local authority’s criteria, then they have a duty to arrange relevant community care services for you. These services may include meals, home help, adaptations to the home such as a shower or personal alarm, and access to leisure activities. You may need to pay some of the costs. To apply visit gov.uk
Disabled facilities grant
If you need to make changes to your home to make it safe and accessible, you may qualify for a Disabled Facilities Grant.
NHS continuing healthcare
If you have complex, long-term health needs, you might qualify for NHS continuing healthcare, which is a social care package funded by the NHS.
Help for families
The following organisations also offer support.
Help for students
A Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) helps cover the cost of any practical support you need. It does not depend on your income or that of your household. Unlike student loans, DSA does not have to be repaid.
Call 0330 995 0414 or visit Disability Rights UK for their Disabled Students Helpline.
Help for carers
See our pages for carers for more information.
Information updated: November 2023
You can call our helpline on 01494 601 400.
Our Helpline is open five days a week, Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm, (Wednesday 9am to 7.30pm).
You can also reach us by email email@example.com.
Epilepsy Society's confidential helpline is available for anyone affected by epilepsy. We welcome calls from people with epilepsy, their families and friends, as well as professionals such as doctors, nurses, care workers, teachers and employers.
Epilepsy Society is the UK’s leading provider of epilepsy services. Through our cutting edge research, awareness campaigns, information resources and expert care, we work for everyone affected by epilepsy in the UK.
Epilepsy and seizures can affect people in different ways. Support can mean finding understanding, ways to cope, or to feel more in control about living with epilepsy. Here are various ways that you can find support if you need it.