Money saving tips and discounts for disabled people
Some companies and organisations offer discounts for disabled people and their carers – read on to find out what you could save.
Saving money at home
Council Tax reduction
You might be entitled to a discount on your Council Tax if you have to live in a larger property than you would have needed if you were not disabled. It’s called the ‘Disabled Band Reduction Scheme’.
For example, you build an extension on your property to create a wheelchair-accessible bathroom. This increases the size of your property and pushes your property into a higher Council Tax band. However, because the extension was built to create a more accessible home, you can get your Council Tax bill reduced so that you pay the same as you did before the extension.
No VAT on disability equipment or adaptations
If you have a long-term illness or you’re disabled, you might not have to pay VAT on disability equipment or building work to adapt your home.
Cap on water bills
If you have a water meter, you use a lot of water because of your condition, and you’re on certain benefits you might qualify for capped water bills.
Money saving travel tips
There are lots of discounts for disabled people and carers on everything from car costs and parking, to rail fairs and bus passes.
Discounts on leisure activities
Free cinema tickets for friends and carers
You can apply for a card from the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association (CEA) that gives one free ticket for anyone accompanying you to the cinema.
Discounted theatre tickets and free tickets for carers
Lots of theatres offer discounted tickets for disabled people. Some also reserve seats for wheelchair users and allow carers in for free.
Check with the theatre when you’re booking tickets to find out what they offer.
Free admission for carers at National Trust and English Heritage properties
Both the National Trust and English Heritage give free entry to companions or carers of disabled visitors. The disabled visitor pays the normal admission fee or membership.
To save having to ask for free entry at a National Trust property, you can apply for an ‘Access for All Admit One Card’ in advance.
Concessions at public libraries
Some libraries offer the following services at a reduced rate or free of charge to disabled people:
- computer access
- audio and visual material
- overdue books
This varies from one local authority to another.
Free admission for carers at football matches
Some clubs offer this to fans with disabilities and their carers. Check with your local club to see if they do.
Proof of disability
Some of the deals available for disabled people will specify that to qualify you need to be ‘registered disabled’ without making it clear what this means.
There is no such thing as a register for disabled people.
A copy of your award letter from the Department for Work and Pensions showing that you are eligible for disability benefits is normally accepted as proof that you’re disabled if you are ever asked.
Alternatively you could show a copy of your blue badge or your disabled bus pass.
If in doubt, ask
Don’t be shy
“Wherever I go, my first question is, ‘Are there concessions for disabled people or carers?’ More times than not, there are.”
All sorts of places – from the amusement park to the zoo and everywhere in between – offer concessions, but don’t always advertise them.
It’s worth asking – you’ve got nothing to lose.