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Apply for Support
As you learn the 'new normal' of your body after cancer treatment, it's likely you'll need to adapt to changes in activity - short term at least.
But there are lots of opportunities to seek support to keep you as independent and active in remission as possible.
The Access Card
Application forms are dull, endlessly frustrating things. I’ve had to share my health history just a few too many times not to feel outright hatred of them.
The answer to this is the Access Card. Having one of these means you don’t have to exhaustively explain your health issues to every organisation you come across. The card itself translates your health issues into symbols which highlight the barriers you face and support you might need to be independent. It avoids the embarrassment of cataloguing all your health problems to complete strangers.
It costs £15 for 3 years, but it does give you access to concessionary ticket prices. And they are happy to offer temporary cards so that if your health changes, they can update your needs.
Transport – Bus Pass and Disabled Rail Card
If you get Personal Independence Payment you can apply for discount travel cards too.
The fabled OAP bus pass is also the privilege of those with disabilities. It offers free bus travel nationwide outside peak hours. You can apply through your local council.
And railcards - they’re not just for students. The disabled railcard provides a 1/3 off fares for you and a fellow traveller. They cost £54 for 3 years and also offer a one year version for £20.
The rail network also offer a ‘Passenger Assist’ service that provides any extra support you might need.
The Blue Badge
If you need your car nearby to be as active as you once were, don’t hesitate – apply for blue badge. They’re quite stingy with them nowadays, but appeal, appeal, appeal. It is your life after all, and if you'll live it bigger with the badge, you need to champion yourself.
Apply for a badge through your local council. They will want evidence and an explanation for why you need one - your hospital team or GP can help with that.
For those with urgent toilet requirements, you can order a radar key that provides access to disabled toilets. I’ve not found these terribly useful as most toilets are left open anyway. You can buy them for a couple of pounds online.
VAT Relief for House Adaptions
It may be that your home needs a little adaption. If you need a bedroom downstairs, a toilet near your bedroom, or adapted bathrooms and stairways you can claim VAT relief from the bill.
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