Financial support if you have asthma

Here you can find out about some of the benefits and financial help people with asthma can get

People with asthma tell us having the condition can affect their finances because they:

  • need time off work for healthcare appointments
  • miss work when they’re having asthma symptoms or they’re in hospital after an asthma attack
  • can’t work because they’re too unwell with their asthma
  • have to pay for prescriptions
  • have to pay for travel to and from healthcare appointments.

These worries might be even greater if:

  • you use more than one medicine regularly
  • you have more than one health condition
  • there are several people in your household with asthma
  • you're on a low income or you receive benefits
  • you have a diagnosis of severe asthma.

It can be tricky to work out what benefits and financial help you can get. The information below is a helpful starting point, plus we’ve included where you can go to find out more.

Prescription charges

If you live in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales, you don't have to pay for prescriptions.

Pre-payment Certificate  

In England, many people with asthma qualify for free prescriptions but if you don't and if you have to collect one or more items a month, a Pre-Payment Certificate could save you money.

Low income scheme 

If you are on a low income and don't have many savings, you can apply to the NHS Low Income Scheme which may be able to offer you help with affording your prescriptions.  

Help with health costs

If you're struggling financially, you may be able to get help with some health costs.

Travel costs

Help with travel costs to and from hospital is generally possible if you're on a low income or getting certain benefits. You can find out more here.

Cold Weather Payment

You may get Cold Weather Payments if you’re getting certain benefits. Although this isn’t strictly a health-related benefit it's worth knowing if you’re eligible. Especially as heating your home properly can prevent damp or temperatures changing room-to-room, which are both things which can trigger asthma. 

To find out more, visit the GOV.UK website.

Winter Fuel Payment

If you were born on or before 5 May 1953, you could get Winter Fuels Payments of between £100 and £300 tax-free to help pay your heating bills. You usually get this payment automatically if you get the State Pension or another social security benefit.

It’s especially important to heat your home well during winter when you have asthma because damp and changing temperatures can trigger asthma symptoms.

To find out more, visit the GOV.UK website.

Sick pay

If you need time off work because of your asthma, your workplace should have a policy to cover this, or you may be able to get Statutory Sick Pay (also known as SSP). Find out more about working when you have asthma.

Financial support at university

You may worry about affording asthma medicine prescriptions or travel to and from hospitals when you're a student and might not have much money. The good news is there’s lots of support available so that you can make sure your asthma’s well managed without having to worry about your finances – meaning you can get on with enjoying your time at uni.

Like anyone, you can save money if you need more than one prescription a month by getting a Pre-Payment Certificate. You might also be able to get:

Low Income Scheme - HC1 forms

Some students may be able to get help with NHS costs and prescriptions through the NHS Low Income Scheme. This means you may get a large discount on your prescriptions or you may even get them free, depending on what sources of income you have (taking into account your student loan). You’ll need to complete the NHS HC1 claim form. You can order one online on the NHS Business Services Authority website.

Going through a financial crisis?

In England, Wales and Scotland, Turn2us is a national charity that helps people in financial hardship to gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and support services.

In Northern Ireland, Finance Support is a new service that has been created to support people in times of financial need. Find out more about this service.

If you have a diagnosis of severe asthma, here's more tips and ideas about managing your finances

Last updated August 2019

Next review due December 2019