If you have a long-term illness or are disabled, you don't have to pay VAT on certain goods and services that you buy in the UK. In general the equipment covered by this scheme are things that are of practical help to you because of your illness or disability.
For VAT purposes, you have a long-term illness or are disabled if you meet any of the following conditions:
- you have a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect upon your ability to carry out everyday activities.
- you have a condition that the medical profession treats as a chronic sickness, such as diabetes.
- you are terminally ill.
So, you don't qualify if you are elderly but otherwise able-bodied, or if you're only temporarily disabled or incapacitated.
You don't have to physically buy the goods in person. If your parent, guardian, wife or husband buys the goods and services for you, then you will not be charged VAT.
What counts as personal or domestic use?
Personal or domestic use means that the goods or services are supplied for your own private use, rather than for business purposes.