Monday, 27 June 2011

Prescription Fees

My daughter is an adult now and as such, her benefits are now the Disibility Living Allowance and Incapacity Benefit - which used to be classified as Income Support.  Prescription fees are free to those claiming Income Support but apparently since changing the name of the benefit given to disabled people, prescriptions are no longer free for those claiming Incapacity Benefit.

We are lucky in that my daughter is strong as a horse and rarely ill.  She has however a susceptability to athlete's foot and a fungal nail problem and has been on a repeat prescription for tablets to treat this.  Boots the Chemist have been handling this with their automatic renewal system, but last week they messed up as whoever dealt with us the previous time had failed to send on the relevant form to the doctor's surgery. This meant I had to contact the doctor and get a new prescription which was sent to their closest pharmacy.  So off I tootled, picked up the prescription and filled in the form the same way I have done for the past several years, ticking the Income Support box.

Imagine my shock to receive a letter yesterday fining my daughter £36 for falsely claiming a free prescription! (Imagine my shock that it took them less than one working day to fire off this letter claiming money when to actually get a benefit takes months....) So I rang them up and spoke to a very helpful young man who informed me that claimants of DLA and Incapacity Benefit no longer get free if you are a feckless workshy scrounger you can get your meds for nothing, but if you are genuinely needy you can't?

He did inform me that if we apply for a certificate to prove we are a low income household (an HC2?) she can claim free health care for a year..he is sending me the form, but application etc will take 6 weeks!  See what I mean? In the meantime, thankfully, he has put a note to stop any further pursual of the fine and once I give them the number of the form, this will be wiped clean.

In the meantime, I shall be phoning various helplines to find out if this is indeed true - it seems very unfair that those who are genuinely sick or needy are expected to pay for their health care.  I shall keep you informed of the results - if anyone out there knows anything further, please let me know.

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