Getting expert support
Where to turn when you need help with an illness or disability
You don’t have to face illness or disability by yourself. Help is at hand from a wide range of organisations.
Dealing with an illness or a disability can be hard, but it’s important to know that it’s not something you have to do alone.
Just talking with someone who understands the challenges you have to face can help. But if you need it, practical advice and financial support are also available from a wide range of organisations.
The problem, of course, is knowing where to start – so here’s a guide to the main resources that can help you.
Do I need to register my disability?
There’s no longer a national register of people with disabilities, so there’s no need to tell your local authority about your illness or disability. Even so, you should still get in touch with your local authority to see what support is available.
Options vary from council to council, but they might include occupational therapy, or equipment and home adaptations to help you live independently.
Your local authority should also be able to tell you more about the Blue Badge scheme for car parking concessions, but you can read more about it at the gov.uk page Applying for a Blue Badge.
Can my GP help?
Be sure to let your GP know if you have a disability – if they don’t know already. If you have sight or hearing problems, it’s also worth asking them to refer you a specialist. That can then mean you’re able to register as blind or partially sighted, or as deaf – which may entitle you to travel concessions, among other things.
How can I get help with my particular disability?
There are many charities and organisations that help with disabilities of all kinds, whether you need practical advice, financial support or just someone to talk to.
NHS England has a comprehensive list of UK charities and organisations, and here are some you may find useful.
- The Stroke Association is the UK’s leading stroke charity, and its My Stroke Guide is an online community that provides information, support and advice so that stroke survivors can make the recovery that they want and deserve.
- Mencap’s FamilyHub is an online community where parents and family carers of people with a learning disability can connect with others, share their triumphs (or challenges) and get support
- RNIB Connect is a community that connects people locally and across the UK who are affected by sight loss – both online and offline. RNIB also has community-led Facebook groups that offer a supportive place to talk to others affected by sight loss
- Help for Heroes offers a range of free courses and activities specifically designed to support veterans and service personnel to look beyond illness and injury to build a new future
- Euan’s Guide is a disabled access review website where disabled people review, share and discover accessible places to visit in the UK and beyond. A friendly and honest alternative to hours of web searching and phone calls before visiting somewhere new
What financial help can I get?
Statutory Sick Pay
If you’re employed (but not self-employed) and need to take time off work because of an illness, injury or disability, you may be legally entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).
There are some eligibility requirements – you must already be working (and not waiting to start a job), be off work for four days or more, and earn at least £116 a week before tax.
Citizen’s Advice has more information about sick pay, including what to do if your employer refuses to pay it.
Claiming other benefits
Depending on your disability and circumstances, you may also be eligible for a range of state benefits and charitable grants.
How can we help?
If your illness or disability means you need help using your Barclays bank account, please let us know.
We can then make a few changes about how we contact you (and how often) to better meet your needs.
Rest assured, we’ll always let you know what we’ll do with any information you give us about your health and we’ll only ever use it to help you. And, of course, anything you tell us is always confidential.
If you can’t get to a branch or call us, you can also get in touch in a wide range of other ways. See our guide to How to contact us – whatever your particular needs for more.
If you’ve been off work for a while because of an illness or disability and you’re now ready to return, we also have some advice about the next steps to think about.
We are not responsible for the accuracy of any third party websites or their content. If you decide to access any of the third party websites, or rely on any of the information presented on them, you do so entirely at your own risk.