If you have severe asthma, you may need extra support financially if your diagnosis means:
- You’re too unwell to work
- You need lots of time off work because you’re having lots of asthma symptoms and/or asthma attacks
- You have to pay for travel to go to lots of healthcare appointments
- You spend lots of time in hospital
- You’re struggling to get around
- You’re managing other health conditions as well as asthma
- You need a part-time or full-time carer.
Benefits you could get
Under the Equality Act 2010, a disability is: ‘a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term (i.e. has lasted or is likely to last for at least 12 months) negative effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal daily activities.’
This means that if you have severe asthma you may be entitled to a wide range of disability-related financial support, including benefits, tax credits, payments, grants and concessions.
The main disability and sickness benefits are:
- Universal Credit
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- Attendance Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance
Depending on your circumstances, you might also be able to get:
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit if you’re disabled as a result of work. You can find out more about occupational asthma here.
- Constant Attendance Allowance if you need daily care and attention because of a disability.
You can get more information about all these by:
- Visiting gov.uk
- Calling or writing to the Disability Benefits Centre
- Speaking to somebody at your local Citizens Advice
Other financial support you could get
Disabled Students’ Allowances
A Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) can give you extra financial help if you want to go to university and have an ongoing health condition, such as asthma.
You don’t need to pay it back and the amount you get doesn’t depend on your household income. Instead, it depends on the help you need. A lot of people with asthma don’t realise they may be eligible to apply for a DSA.
- For England – GOV.UK
- For Northern Ireland – Student Finance Northern Ireland
- For Scotland – Student Award Agency for Scotland
- For Wales – Student Finance Wales
Blue Badge Scheme
If you’ve been diagnosed with severe asthma and can’t walk for long distances or use public transport because you have difficulty breathing, you may be able to get a Blue Badge.
The badge is intended for on-street parking only (off-street parking is governed by separate rules) and enables holders (drivers or passengers) to:
- Park on single or double yellow lines for up to three hours, but in general not where there are restrictions on loading or unloading (some local authorities exempt Blue Badge holders from this restriction)
- Park at on-street parking meters and pay-and-display machines for free and for as long as they need to
- Park in on-street disabled parking bays for free, generally as long as necessary.
As different restrictions apply to places such as off-street car parks, certain areas in central London and town centres, always check with the relevant local authority before you travel. Get more information on the Blue Badge scheme here.
Help with travel costs
If your asthma is so severe that it prevents you from walking, you may be entitled to free or discounted bus and rail travel. Find out more here:
If you find it difficult to use public transport and/or you use a wheelchair, it’s worth finding out if there are community transport services, such as Dial-a-Ride and Shopmobility, in your area.
Financial support for carers
If you’re caring for somebody with severe asthma, it’s important to make sure you're getting the right benefits.
The main benefit for carers is Carer’s Allowance. Anyone aged 16 or over who spends at least 35 hours a week caring for a person who already gets benefits can claim it. You don’t have to live together or be related to the person you care for.
For more advice about benefits and support, call:
- Carers UK Advice line on 0808 808 7777 or find them at carersuk.org
- Carers Direct helpline on 0300 123 1053.
Need more support?
Find out more about how you can save money on the cost of prescriptions.
Call our Asthma UK Helpline on 0300 222 5800 if you need more support and advice about living with severe asthma. Or you can WhatsApp them on 07378 606 728.
Last updated February 2019
Next review due February 2022