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Welfare benefits when living with a lung condition

Benefits if you have care or mobility needs

If you have difficulties with daily living needs, getting around, or need help from a carer, you could be entitled to welfare benefits. These aim to make life a little easier for you if you are living with a long-term condition or disability.

On this page:

Use an independent benefits calculator to find out what benefits you could get, how to claim and how your benefits will be affected if you start work.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is paid to eligible people who have a long-term health condition or disability and are aged between 16 and state pension age.

PIP can help you with some of the extra costs if you have a long-term health condition or disability. It replaces Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

PIP is non-means-tested and non-contributory and can be paid whether you are working or not. To qualify for PIP, you must have had the difficulties or needs for three months before you can claim and must be likely to continue to have them for the next nine months. 

PIP is made up of two parts – a daily living part and a mobility part. If you’re eligible you can be paid for one or both parts. 

If you’re awarded the high-rate mobility, you may get access to the Motability scheme. Find out more on the Motability website. 

Attendance Allowance (AA)

Attendance Allowance (AA) is a non-means-tested and non-contributory benefit paid to people over state pension age who have personal care needs because of their lung condition.

AA is paid at one of two rates, higher or lower depending on the level of need you have. You must have had care needs for at least six months. There is no mobility payment with AA and any mobility difficulties outside the home are not taken into account.

For information and help with disability benefits in Scotland, go to the mygov.scot website.

Rules for terminally ill people 

If a person is terminally ill and expected to live for six months or less, they can get Attendance Allowance or Personal Independence Payment immediately. The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) will fast-track the application. You can read more about this on the government website.

Applying for AA and PIP 

Application forms may take time to complete. We suggest you check the guidance notes on how to complete the forms before you start to apply or ask a friend or family member to help. It’s important to prepare. These notes are a good starting point:

Tips for applying  

Application forms are a chance to explain how your lung condition affects you from day to day. 

Try to explain the kind of things you find difficult or can’t do at all. You should also give information about the things you need help with – either from another person, from aids or by changing how you do it.

For example, if you live with a lung condition that makes you short of breath, you may face these day-to-day issues. Make sure you include them:

  • Bathing and dressing: you may need someone - or a special aid like a rail or a chair - to help you bathe or shower and get dry and dressed. You may need to wrap yourself in a towel or dressing gown until you are dry, as drying yourself immediately makes you breathless. Bending over to dry your feet or putting on shoes and socks may also leave you out of breath.
  • Preparing food and cooking: you may need help from someone, or to use a chair when you prepare simple meals.
  • Eating: you may need to eat smaller amounts more regularly, rather than three meals a day due to difficulty chewing and breathing, get out of breath while eating, feel bloated and lose your appetite. 
  • Getting up and down stairs: you may need to stop (several times) to catch your breath. You may plan to avoid stairs as much as you can because climbing them makes you breathless and anxious. Mention if your only loo is upstairs and you cannot get there easily or quickly.
  • Planning a journey: you may have to avoid steps and hills and take frequent rests to catch your breath. If you use public transport, you may avoid busy times of day as you take a long time to get on or off a bus or train. You may try to avoid crowds as it’s harder to walk slowly. You may use a stick or a walking frame to get about.

On the form, explain the effects of your lung condition, compared to someone of your age who is healthy (such as your partner or a friend). You will need to describe the difficulties you have, how often you have them – day and night - and the sort of help you need.

Blue badge scheme 

A blue badge helps you park closer to your destination. If you get certain benefits, you’re automatically eligible. Find out more about the blue badge scheme on the Citizens Advice website.

You can also apply if you have long-term problems with walking or problems with walking that your doctor says will last at least a year. You’ll have to fill in an extra section of the form and may need an assessment by your local council.

You can apply for or renew a Blue Badge on the GOV.UK website

You can also apply for a blue badge in Northern Ireland. Visit the NI Direct website for more details. 

Do you live in Northern Ireland?

If you live in Northern Ireland, take a look at the NI Direct page and the AdviceNI pages. You can also call the Benefit Enquiry Line 0800 232 1271 Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm or email [email protected]

Top tip

Your lung condition may change, so you should review your situation regularly to ensure you’re claiming everything that you are entitled to. 

Having a lung condition doesn’t entitle you to welfare benefits. Benefits depend on how your lung condition affects your care or mobility needs, or your ability to work.

For general advice on welfare benefits, call our helpline on 03000 030 555.

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We use your comments to improve our information. We cannot reply to comments left on this form. If you have health concerns or need clinical advice, call our helpline on 03000 030 555 between 9am and 5pm on a weekday or email them.