As a trusted supplier of wheelchairs in London, the team at 1st Step Mobility have seen first hand the struggles of many of our customers, and are always glad to offset this in any way that we can, whether that be finding equipment to make their lives easier, providing VAT relief for certain purchases, giving advice, or doing home visits. We also like to stay informed of the latest news and developments, including relevant research such as the following.
Research undertaken by the charity Scope has revealed that disabled people can expect to face extra costs of £583 on average per month, and that most find these costs to be almost equal to half their income, even before accommodation costs are accounted for.
Many people with disabilities struggle to find this kind of money, especially those who are unable to work – even those who do face issues including longer commute times and inaccessible public transport.
Some may face even greater costs, with 20% (1 in 5) of disabled people having to find an extra £1000 per month. Added to the findings that money simply does not go as far for disabled people (on average, £100 for a non-disabled person is equivalent to just £68 for a disabled person), this research paints a very grim picture for the finances of disabled people indeed.
So, what can be done to mitigate these costs? It’s crucial for any disabled person to find out what they’re entitled to and ensure that they claim their allowance properly. Some areas to look into include the following:
- The Motability Scheme. This scheme allows disabled people to exchange certain allowances (such as ERMC PIP) for a mobility scooter, powered wheelchair, or Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) of their choice, with the chance to exchange every three years. Maintenance, insurance, and breakdown assistance are all included at no extra cost.
- Disabled Persons Bus Pass. This may also be referred to as a Disabled persons Freedom Pass in London. It allows free travel across London and free bus travel nationwide. However, bear in mind that some boroughs have changed their policies to restrict usage of these passes during peak times (before 9.30am and after 11.30pm)
- VAT exemption. Disabled people will not be charged VAT for certain products and services designed to facilitate them such as wheelchairs, stairlifts, home nursing equipment, and accessible building adaptations.