Benefits and severe asthma

Welfare benefits when living with severe asthma

Health advice > Severe asthma > Making life easier with severe asthma

Living with a long-term condition like severe asthma may entitle you to some welfare benefits. Find out what you could be eligible for.

On this page:

Am I able to get benefits?

If you have severe asthma, you may need extra financial support if:

  • you have care or mobility issues because of your severe asthma
  • you can’t work due to your severe asthma
  • you can’t work full time and are on a low income.

If you’re caring for someone with severe asthma, you may also be entitled to benefits.

If you’re not sure what you can get, you can use a free online benefits calculator to find out.

What are the rules for claiming benefits?

  • If you have severe asthma, you may be entitled to benefits depending on how it affects your daily life and ability to work. This means that you may be assessed by a healthcare professional when you apply.
  • Benefits can be means-tested or non-means tested. If the benefit is means-tested it will take into account what other money you have, such as income and/or savings. If it is non-means tested it means it won’t take into account your other benefits, income and/or savings.
  • Benefits can be contributory or non-contributory. You need to have paid a certain amount of national insurance to get a contributory benefit. A non-contributory benefit won’t take into account the amount you’ve paid in national insurance.
  • There is a limit on the total amount of benefit that you can get. This is called the benefit cap. It applies to most people aged 16 or over, who have not reached State pension age. Find out who is exempt from the benefits cap.

Care and mobility benefits

If your severe asthma means you have difficulties with daily living needs, getting around, or you need a carer’s help, you could be eligible for some of the following benefits:

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – There are two parts to PIP. One part is a payment if you can’t move about easily and the other part is for daily living. If your severe asthma means you struggle with getting around, you find daily living difficult, or you need someone to help you, you can apply for PIP. PIP has replaced the Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
  • Attendance Allowance (AA) – You need to be at state pension age or older and have a physical or mental disability to claim Attendance Allowance. You don’t have to have a carer to claim, but it is paid if you need help because of your disability.
  • Disability premium – If you’re already getting Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, or Housing Benefit, you will automatically get extra money called a disability premium added to your benefits.
  • Blue badge scheme – A blue badge helps you to park closer to your destination. You can apply for one if your severe asthma means you have problems walking, or if you’re already receiving certain benefits. Find out more about how the blue badge scheme works, and if you’re eligible, you can apply for one on GOV.UK.

The application forms for benefits can take time to complete. Citizens advice has help for filling in your PIP claim forms and Attendance Allowance forms.

Other benefits

Disabled Students’ Allowances

Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) can give you extra financial help if you want to go to university and have an ongoing health condition, such as severe 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 severe asthma don’t realise they may be eligible to apply for a DSA.

DSA is different depending on where you live in the UK. Find out how to apply for DSA in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Benefits if you’re unable to work

There are two types of benefit that you could be eligible for if you cannot work because of your severe asthma:

  • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) can be paid by your employer for up to 28 weeks if you’re too ill to work.
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) – You can apply for this if your severe asthma affects how much you can work. ESA can help with living costs if you’re unable to work and support you to get back into work if you’re able to.

Help with your bills

If you’re struggling to pay your bills, Citizens Advice and Money Helper offer support on how to sort out your finances. You may be able to get help from your supplier too.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a payment to help with living costs. You may be able to get it if you’re on a low income, out of work, or you cannot work.

Find out more about Universal Credit on the Citizens Advice and GOV.UK websites.

Work-related compensation

If your severe asthma is linked to the work that you do, you could be entitled to compensation. You might be eligible for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) if your severe asthma is a result of an accident at work or a work training course.

Citizens Advice and Money Helper have helpful information on work-related compensation.

Top-up benefits

There are a number of top-up benefits that could help you if you have a low income. These include:

  • Income Support
  • Tax Credits
  • Pension Credit
  • The new State Pension
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Reduction

You can check if you are eligible for any of these benefits using a benefits calculator or Citizens Advice has information about claiming these benefits.

Help with travel costs

If you’re given a referral for NHS specialist treatment or tests from your healthcare professional, you may be able to claim a refund for your travel costs under the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS).

Find out more about who is eligible for the HTCS.

Help with prescription costs

You might be entitled to free NHS prescriptions. If not, you can still save money by getting an NHS prescription prepayment certificate. We have information on how you can save money on prescriptions.

Help with heating costs

If you have severe asthma, it’s important to stay warm in winter. You may be able to apply for help with heating bills if you are on a low income, disability benefits, or getting a state pension. There are a number of benefits available, and some depend on where you live in the UK:

The government is also introducing an Energy Bills Rebate. This will help people to pay for their electricity bills.

Carers benefits

Carers can get financial help if they are helping someone with their daily life. As a carer you could apply for:

  • Carer’s Allowance - A benefit for people that care for someone for 35 hours or more per week. Carer’s Allowance can affect your other benefits and is taxable.
  • Carer’s Credit - A national insurance credit to cover any gaps in your national insurance payments when you are caring for someone for 20 hours or more per week. Your income and savings do not affect Carer’s Credit.

You cannot claim carer’s allowance if you are getting certain other benefits, but you might get carer’s credit instead. We have more support if you care for someone with severe asthma.

You can call our Helpline on 0300 222 5800 (9am - 5pm; Mon - Fri) to talk to a specialist health care advisor for support with managing severe asthma and your finances. Or you can WhatsApp them on 07378 606 728.


Last reviewed: March 2022
Next review due: March 2025

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