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Incapacity benefit and NHS dental treatment.
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# 1
needtoknow
Old 06-08-2007, 6:37 PM
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Default Incapacity benefit and NHS dental treatment.

Hi there,

I am on long term incapacity benefit and just fall outside the catagory of getting free NHS dental treatment, so I have to pay one of the 3 amounts chargable.

I went to make an appointment with my dentist today and was told by the receptionist that the dentist is now converting most of his patients to private and only treating NHS patients who don't have to pay such as people on income support, which excludes people like myself who are on incapacity benefit, but who do have to pay. I have checked with the local dental board in N ireland and it seems its totally up to the dentist whether he is going to treat me under the NHS chargable rates when he sees me in 5 weeks time. eg root canal treatment costs 43.50 under the NHS charge rates but will cost from 300-400 under the private rates.

Any advice appreciated, surely this is discrimination against incapacity benefit people?

john
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# 2
dmg24
Old 06-08-2007, 6:43 PM
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Hi needtoknow,

I am afraid that the dental board are correct, the dentist is pretty much entitled to treat whoever they wish.

The dentist is not discriminating against you because you are on incapacity, as those who are on incapacity and a very low income would still get treatment. Equally he is not breaching any disability discrimation statute, as he will still treat those that qualify for free treatment.

My advice would be to find another NHS dentist (I know in some areas this is easier said than done).
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# 3
rosieben
Old 06-08-2007, 6:56 PM
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Have you applied for help? Its worth asking even if you dont get IS (which automatically gives you free dentist, meds etc).

I am on IB, dont qualify for IS as I have a small private pension. I wrote asking for help with prescription, dental and optician treatment and have been given the full voucher value. This is a great help for me as I have to pay for 5 prescriptions a month. I just had 2 pairs of glasses for free. Now trying to find an NHS dentist! Good luck if you apply!
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# 4
continentalgal
Old 06-08-2007, 6:58 PM
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I'm not at home for a few days and this internet cafe costs an arm and a leg, so just a quick note. When you're on IB you can apply for free or help with medical treatment, such as dental or prescription glasses etc., there's actually a page on the Department of Health website with info about exemption from NHS charges. (Income Support recipients get a card, you'll get a letter confirming your expemption.)

You have to call (no. on page in the link provided) and ask them to send you a form called HC1. Actually, I got that form from the dentist at my first visit; I had to pay for my first treatment (15.xx something) but when you send the receipt with the application form you get a refund.

Having said that, I live in England and of course don't know if the same regulations go for NI but shouldn't they?
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# 5
dmg24
Old 06-08-2007, 7:29 PM
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The HC1 is means tested, Incapacity Benefit is not. You can certainly apply for the HC1 while on IB (you can apply at any time), but it is not an automatic entitlement.
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