Many people find that their financial situation changes after they have a stroke. Financial help is available, but the benefits system is complicated so it can be difficult to work out what you are entitled to.
Financial support after a stroke
Coping with the aftermath of stroke can be tough. If you have had a stroke, you and your family may suddenly be faced with financial difficulties, especially if you are no longer able to work or need to buy specialist equipment. People tell us that this is a real worry.
Financial help is available, but many people are not aware that they can get help or are not claiming all the support they may be entitled to.
The benefits system is complicated and different in different parts of the UK, so it's always best to get advice from a specialist in this area. Your local Citizens Advice can help, as can many other organisations. Take a look at the organisations listed in our leaflet Benefits and financial assistance.
What benefits am I entitled to?
If you have an illness or disability, you may be entitled to:
- Sick pay
- Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- Attendance Allowance.
If you care for someone with an illness or disability, you may be entitled to:
- Carer’s Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance for children.
If you are on a low income, you may be entitled to:
- Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Income Support
- Housing Benefit
- Support for Mortgage Interest
- Working Tax Credit
- Pension Credit
- Council Tax Reduction.
Help with one off expenses
- Budgeting loans – loans are available from the government to help pay for essential things like rent, furniture, household equipment or hire-purchase debts. These Budgeting Loans have to be paid back, but they are interest free so you only pay back what you borrow.
- Help in a crisis – some councils in England have set up Welfare Assistance Schemes to help people on a low income with one-off costs. In Wales, the Discretionary Assistance Fund helps people with emergency costs. In Scotland and Northern Ireland, you can apply for Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans.
- Disabled facilities grants – if you have a disability and need to make changes to your home so that you can continue to live there you may be able to get a grant from your local council to help you.
- Life After Stroke Grants – if you are a stroke survivor experiencing financial difficulties, but need items to help your recovery, you may be able to apply for a Life After Stroke Grant from the Stroke Association worth up to £300.
Help with health costs
- NHS Low Income Scheme – if you are on a low income you could get help with health costs such as prescriptions, dental care, fares to appointments, eye tests and glasses.
- Prescription Prepayment Certificates (England only) – if you’re not eligible for the NHS Low Income Scheme, but pay for a lot of prescriptions, a Prescription Prepayment Certificate could still save you money.
Help with heating costs
- Winter Fuel Payment – the government runs a scheme to help older people pay their energy bills. Winter Fuel Payments are tax-free and paid regardless of your income or how many savings you have.
- Cold Weather Payments – if you are below the age for Winter Fuel Payments, you may receive Cold Weather Payments instead. These are payments of £25 a week that are made to people receiving certain benefits when the weather gets very cold.
- Grants to help with heating costs – many energy companies have trusts or funds that can help people who are struggling to pay their gas and electricity bills.