Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Health Advice

Category Archives: Health Advice

Support and job opportunities for people with disabilities: is working for yourself an option? There are many areas in the lives of disabled people in which they may need additional support and assistance: housing, work, education, money, leisure, personal relationships, …
There are many areas in the lives of disabled people in which they may need additional support and assistance: housing, work, education, money, leisure, personal relationships, etc.
To help them access the help which is available through local and national organizations, the Department of Health has launched an online portal dedicated exclusively to the needs of disabled people. To access the Department of Health`s "Practical Guide for Disabled People or Careers", please follow this link.
An area which could be particularly problematic for disabled people is employment. While there is a list of organizations and initiatives launched to assist people with disabilities in employment and link them to job opportunities, self-employment is another option worth considering.
 What support is available to disabled people who consider starting up their own business and becoming self-employed?
Income Tax Allowance: on expenses including travel, subscriptions to magazines, heating and lighting the workplace in your home. If you have a disability and usually work 16 hours or more a week, you may be able to get extra tax credits. The disability must be one that makes it hard for you to get a job and you must be receiving, or have recently received, a qualifying sickness or disability-related benefit. To find out how to get extra tax credits, visit the HM Revenue and Customs website.
The Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG): the government`s guaranteed lending scheme intended to help smaller viable businesses who may be struggling to secure finance, by facilitating bank loans of between £1,000 and £1 million. To find out additional information please following this link.
Business Start-up Allowance from some Learning and Skills Councils (LSC) in England and The National Council for Education and Training for Wales or Local Enterprise Councils (LECs) in Scotland is part of a package which includes training in setting up a business and business planning.
All newly self-employed people have to register for National Insurance contributions and Income Tax. Booklet PFE1 from the Inland Revenue contains a registration form for National Insurance contributions and Income Tax. Many disabled people will not have to pay National Insurance contributions if they earn below the threshold. You will also not have to pay VAT if your annual turnover is less than a certain amount. If, however, it is above this amount, you will need to apply to Customs and Excise for VAT registration (0845 0109000). Further information is available from the Self-Employed Agency on 0845 9154515.
You can find all information necessary for setting up and developing your own business from the website of Business Link.
Where can people with disabilities find further help?
Take a look at the following booklet "Setting up in Business: A Resource Guide for Disabled People and their Advisers". It contains practical information about tax, Access to Work Scheme, business planning, grants, finance and working from home. You can request a copy by emailing: info@disabled-entrepreneurs.net
Disability Charity Leonard Cheshire and Sir Stelios Hajiloannou
Run the annual Stelios Disabled Entrepreneur Award with a prize of £50 000.You can find more information on the application procedure by visiting the organization's website.
Benefits Enquiry Line
for advice about all benefits and how to claim them.
Phone free: 0800 882200 (Mon-Fri 8.30-18.30, Sat 9.00-13.00);
For help filling in claim forms, phone free: 0800 441144.
Disability Benefits Helpline
Tel: 0845 7123456, for advice on Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance.
Citizens Advice Bureau (CABs)
Provides advice on a wide range of money, housing, legal and other problems. See your phone book for local numbers.
DIAL (Disability Information Advice Line)
Run mostly by disabled people. See phone book for your local DIAL or call DIAL-UK.
Tel/text phone: (01302) 310123.
Disability Rights Commission.
Helpline: 0845 7622633 (Mon-Fri 8.00-20.00);
Disabled Living Centres (DLCs)
Local centres where you can see, try out and get information and advice on equipment. See 'Equipment and aids for daily living' under 'Help with everyday needs' for a list of centres or call the Disabled Living Centres Council.
Tel: (0161) 834 1044;
RADAR (The Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation)
Has a wide selection of helpful publications.
Tel: (020) 7250 3222
This article has been published in Issue 5 of Action for Social Integration's Community Advice E-Newsletter, August 29th 2010


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Entitlements to free NHS treatment for people from abroad. What help with healthcare costs can you get if you are in low income?
The NHS (National Healthcare Services) is the public healthcare system in the UK through which the majority of healthcare in the country is provided. Even though a large number of its services are free, there are others which have to be paid for. This article will introduce (1) some of the free hospital treatments you are entitled to if you are coming from abroad, and (2) some of the options for financial support available to people on a low income.
Which people from abroad are entitled to free hospital treatment?
Firstly, you need to know that there are some healthcare treatments provided by the NHS which are available free of charge for everyone, regardless of the length of your stay in the UK. Please, find a list of these services below:
- Treatment for accidents and emergencies (your treatment will be free unless you get removed from the emergency department into a hospital, in which case you might be charged for your hospital treatment)
- Compulsory psychiatric treatment
- Treatment for certain communicable diseases (tuberculosis, cholera, food poisoning, malaria, meningitis and pandemic influenza, testing for the HIV virus and counseling following a test)
- Family planning services
Yet, only some people from abroad can receive all NHS treatments free of charge.  In order to find out whether you are entitled to free healthcare treatments, please check if the following conditions apply to you:
+You have been living legally in the UK for at least 12 months and you did not come to the UK for private medical treatment (temporary absences from the UK for up to 3 months will not  disrupt your eligibility)
+You are a former UK resident returning from abroad
+You are temporary working abroad (but normally work in the UK), have at least 10 years continuous residence in the UK and have been abroad for less than 5 years
+You have been granted a leave to enter or remain as a spouse
+You are receiving a UK war disablement pension or a war widows` pension
+You are an asylum seeker (awaiting decision on your asylum application) or have been granted exceptional leave to remain or refugee status.
+You are imprisoned in the UK or detained by UK immigration authorities
+You are a UK pensioner who spends up to 6 months a year living in another country from the European Economic Area but you are not a resident of this country.
+You are a student following a course of study which lasts at least 6 months, or is substantially funded by the UK government.
! Remember, your entitlement to free NHS treatment depends on the length and type of your residence in the UK, not your nationality.
! Remember, if you are entitled to free NHS hospital treatment, you spouse, civil partner and dependent children are also entitled to it but only if they live permanently with you in the UK.
What help with health costs can you get if you are on a low income?
There are a number of medical charges for which you can get financial help: prescription charges, dental charges, sight tests, vouchers towards the cost of glasses and contact lenses, travel costs to and from hospital for NHS treatment as well as travelling abroad for treatment, wigs and fabric supports (e.g., abdominal support, spinal support, support tights).
The requirements for financial support with each one of these treatments vary and this is why we would recommend that you check the list of requirements for the treatment which interests you at the website of Adviceguide.
In all cases, you will be entitled to free treatment if you are on Income Support, income-based Jobseeker`s Allowance, income-based Support Allowance or the guarantee credit part of Pension Credit. In this case, your partner and children will also be entitled to free treatment. If you are getting Working Tax Credit and/or Child Tax Credit, your eligibility to free treatment will depend on your income.
Yet, even if you do not qualify for free treatments for any of the medical procedure mentioned above, you might still be able to receive support under the NHS Low Income Scheme. In this case, the amount of financial help you can get will depend on the amount of your income.  Depending on your income, you can get a Full Health Certificate or a Limited Health Certificate. Follow this link to learn more about this certificates and the help they give you access to.
To apply for either the Full Health Certificate or the Limited Health Certificate, you need to complete the form HC1 and send it to the address below (the HC1 form is available from local benefit offices, NHS hospitals and some GPs).
NHS Business Services Authority
Sandyford House, Archibald Terrace, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE2 1DB
Tel: 0845 850 1166, E-mail: lis1@ppa.nhs.uk, Website: http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/.
! Remember, you do not need to have a problem in order to apply for a certificate. The earlier you apply the better. If you need to pay for a health treatment before having obtained a certificate under the low income scheme, you can get a refund for your charge. You will need to fill the form HC5 to claim your refund, which is available from local benefit offices, NHS hospitals, and some GPs and send it to the address given above.
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Our Vision and Services

Our vision is of a society where no one should experience discrimination on the grounds of their mental health.

Mental health problems are extremely common across society, with one in four of us experiencing them in any year. Despite being so common, people from all communities will still experience discriminatory attitudes and behaviours that can prevent people from speaking out, seeking support and playing full and active roles in our communities. The impact of mental health stigma and discrimination will vary between communities as mental health has a cultural context that affects the way communities talk about the subject and engage with people who have mental health problems. In some cultures depression, for example, doesn't exist and in others an experience of a mental health problem can be attached to a sense of shame.

For the African and Caribbean communities a key issue is the overrepresentation of young African and Caribbean men in mental health services. Misconceptions and stereotypes have led to a perception that this group is more likely to pose a risk of violent behaviour and, as a result, they are more likely to be treated as inpatients and sectioned when compared to other groups. It is well documented that this has led to a fear of talking about mental health issues more openly and a fear of using mental health services. Research by the Race Equality Foundation (2011) also highlighted fears that discrimination against Black & Minority Ethnic (BME) communities and migrant service users will increase in the austerity climate and whilst commissioning arrangements change.

Our Services

· Provide information, advice, advocacy

· Represent diversity communities in Health Care services, policies and strategies

· Organise training in health and social care in collaboration with local colleges

· Provide human resources ( including interpreters) who are suitable to the diversity communities especially to break language and cultural barriers

· Provides domiciliary care and support

· Provide services such specialised support for people with mental health needs, including people who suffer from short-term memory problems, Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

· Provide visits to elderly people and help them with outings and home services

· Participate in local authority and NHS consultations , research events and programmes to voice the needs of diversity communities.

· Increase access to services and rights for disadvantaged people and the most vulnerable of our society

· Help and support unemployed people to look for work, including training and job preparation

· Provide legal advice in a range of issues from on Immigration and Asylum , welfare benefits, housing, health, education, community care, and training, employment, etc.

· Provide advice and guidance, information and practical help so that our service users can access opportunities they are entitled to

· Organise training and other community learning opportunities that provide new skills, increase confidence and motivation

· Support our service users to overcome barriers to learning, employment and training

· Provide support for young people with their education, training, confidence building, employment and social needs.

Objectives of our Diversity Living Programme:

· To promote the inclusion and participation of diversity communities* in integrated care.

· To inform policy, locally and nationally, and assisting in the formulation of effective policies, strategies and good practices in integrated care in order to contribute to improved health outcomes for the people from the diversity communities (e.g. Black and minority ethnic communities) and to ensure health services are able to meet their specific needs.

· To improve the quality of life for diversity people with disability, mental health problems and their families and carers through integrated care by providing inclusive advocacy and information.

· To provide service that enable diversity groups and individuals with disability /elderly and their carers to make the right choice for themselves and have an influence on decisions made about their future.

· To promote the rights of diversity people with disability, their families and carers and make sure their rights are safe and protected.

· To promoting access to information regarding healthcare issues and to raise awareness of the needs of diversity disabled children, young people, older people and their families.

· To promote the rights of older and disabled diversity people, helping them overcome and enable them to participate in decisions about their future

· To provide support and information to those suffering the isolation and loneliness that can be associated with disability and old age

· To fight against mental health stigma in refugee, black and minority ethnic communities and ensure no one should experience discrimination on the grounds of their mental health or disability.

*Diversity communities are older people, disabled people, Black, Asian, refugees, migrants, asylum seekers and other ethnic minorities.