Spina bifida is a birth defect that affects the spinal cord, causing physical and mental disabilities. In the UK, those with spina bifida may qualify for certain rights and benefits, depending on their disability level. Here, we explore what those rights are and how to apply.
Is Spina Bifida a Disability?
Under UK law, spina bifida is recognised as a disability if it affects someone’s daily life and/or inhibits their ability to be employed. Generally speaking, a diagnosis of spina bifida does not automatically grant disability status; instead, the individual must provide evidence that the condition limits or impairs their daily functioning in order to receive benefits or qualifications.
Who Qualifies for Disability Benefits in the UK?
In the UK, a person is eligible for disability benefits if they have limited ability to take part in day-to-day activities or to look for, secure, and keep meaningful employment. In particular, those with spina bifida may be eligible for Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Employment Support Allowance and Attendance Allowance. They may also be considered disabled within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010 and qualify for reasonable adjustments at work.
Are There Any Other Rights for People with Spina Bifida in the UK?
Yes, people with spina bifida may also be eligible for other benefits and resources under certain circumstances. For example, they may be able to access adapted equipment, get help with healthcare costs if they’re aged 16 or over, or receive special educational support if they’re of an appropriate school age. Additionally, those who are unable to work due to their condition might be encouraged to take part in return-to-work programs designed to help them look for and hold down a job.
Are There Any Other Assistance Programs for Those with Spina Bifida in the UK?
Yes, people with spina bifida in the UK are entitled to a number of rights and benefits. For instance, they may qualify for Disability Living Allowance (DLA), a tax-free allowance which helps with the extra costs that come from having a long-term disability or health condition. Additionally, if someone’s disability is severe enough, they may be eligible for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) which can help cover the cost of day-to-day care and activities.