What Qualifies as a Disability

The word disability is used to describe a medical condition that may prevent a person from functioning physically, mentally, or emotionally as people without disabilities in similar situations. Disabilities are generally categorized into four groups:  

 

• Physical Disabilities  

• Intellectual Disabilities  

• Sensory Disabilities  

• Mental Illnesses  

 

Every type of medical condition that causes a disability will be experienced differently by the individual. While there may be a range of symptoms associated with each condition, a person may suffer from one or more disabling effects and at different degrees.  

 

Disabilities may be something that has been experienced from birth, is the result of a medical condition, or can be caused by an accident. A person may experience a disability for a short period of time or for their entire lives.  

 

A disability can range from having a hard time interacting with people due to sensory overload, like that experienced by many people with Autism, or the inability to walk without the assistance of a walker due to medical condition. A disability can include hearing or vision loss or post-traumatic stress. It is a very broad range of symptoms and conditions that can affect anyone at any time.  

 

Thankfully there are many daily living aids that can help anyone facing a disability get through their day a little easier. From specially designed cups that will allow those suffering with muscle control to better feed themselves to specially designed scissors that can easily be held, items to assist the disabled are readily available. There are countless items that can be integrated into the daily lives of those with disabilities that can improve their overall daily experience.  

 

Disabilities can hinder every day activities and reduce what a person can do for themselves. However, many of these activities can be experienced again, or for the first time, with the assistance of daily living aids. Medical aids for everything from self-care to arts and crafts are available to help improve the quality of life for those suffering with a disability. 

 

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More information

Please note: VAT is removed in the checkout process

In the UK, disabled people do not have to pay VAT when buying certain disability aids and services (This can be claimed by friend or family member purchasing on their behalf). Not everything supplied to disabled people is necessarily zero-rated for VAT. Goods and services on which you do not have to pay VAT are usually known as 'zero-rated' or 'eligible for VAT relief.

Who is eligible for VAT relief?

You must be 'chronically sick or disabled' to qualify for VAT relief. The HMRC comment on this is as follows. A person is 'chronically sick or disabled' if they either:

VAT Relief on our Disability Aids

All products on the Aids for Mobility website are flagged with an option to claim VAT relief during Checkout if it applies to that item. When you add a zero-rated product or service to your Basket, you will be asked to tick a checkbox to confirm that you, or the person for whom you are buying the item, are eligible for VAT Relief.

How VAT relief works

If you are claiming VAT Relief you will be asked to complete an extra few questions during Checkout, where we will ask you to provide brief details of your disability and confirmation that the product is for 'personal or domestic use'. We will keep a record of this declaration along with your order details. You can then buy the product(s) in your Basket at a price that excludes VAT. You will be asked to make this declaration each time you place an order that includes zero-rated products. It is a legal requirement that we record this information for every order, and we apologise for the inconvenience.

More information from HMRC

You can find out more about VAT Relief for disabled people on the HM Revenue and Customs website. If you cannot find the answer to your questions there or would prefer to speak to an adviser, you can call their Helpline on 0845 302 02 03.

The helpline is open from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday. (Closed weekends and bank holidays).