VAT relief for disabled people 

7th September 2021

VAT relief for disabled people 

Jyoti Chohan, Litigation Executive in Higgs LLP’s Clinical Negligence team, looks at some of the VAT breaks disabled people can benefit from.

Anyone classed as disabled can benefit from a wide range of financial support to help with day-to-day life, including benefits, tax credits, payments, grants and concessions.

One of the lesser-known supports is VAT relief. If someone has a long-term illness and requires improvements to their home, they are exempt from VAT on products designed or adapted for their own personal or domestic use.

When buying expensive pieces of equipment, that can make a huge difference.

The VAT relief also applies on the following:

  • The installation and any extra work needed as part of this
  • Repairs or maintenance
  • Spare parts or accessories

The product and disability have to qualify in order to be eligible for the relief.

People can ask the supplier whether the product or service qualifies for tax relief.  Generally, products designed or adapted for a disability will qualify.

For example, the following items qualify:

  • Adjustable beds
  • Stair lifts
  • Wheelchairs
  • Medical appliances to help with severe injuries
  • Alarms
  • Braille paper or low vision aids - but not spectacles or contact lenses
  • Motor vehicles - or the leasing of a Motability vehicle
  • Building work like ramps, widening doors, installing a lift or toilet

In order to get the product VAT free, the disability has to qualify.  For VAT purposes, someone is disabled or has a long-term illness if:

  • They have a physical or mental impairment that affects their ability to carry out everyday activities, for example blindness
  • They have a condition that’s treated as chronic sickness, like diabetes
  • They’re terminally ill

Another option is to apply to the Local Authority for equipment or help to adapt the home.

As part of a holistic approach at Higgs LLP, we support clients and families with referrals for specialist benefits advice.

If you or someone you know hassuffered a life-changing injury, contact our team for expert legal advice and guidance that will help them navigate the compensation process and move forward with their life.


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