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Asthma UK community forum
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Penalty Charge

Another shocking story this is. Basically I am have very bad asthma. to a point that getting a simply cold will usually end up with me being in ICU or HCU at hospital. Anyway If I do not take my medication I will end up in hospital and worse case I can actually Die. I am currently on Mepolizumab so that shows the severity of my condition. The NHS PPC for what ever reason would not accept direct debit so I could pay monthly, MY wife was not working so I could not afford to pay for the pre payment card. as such the NHS wants to now charge me a fixed penalty of £100 the max they can charge as well as the prescriptions i got. If I didnt take them again I would either be dead or back in hospital. I just find this whole situation quite shocking if I am honest. I only recently re applied and they finally accepted my direct debit and took payment. I decided to challenge this charge due to my situation. I hold my hand up and admitted what I done but I done it cause i was given no choice. I did go to them back when this occurred and asked for help and assistance and they ignored this. so i am in a catch 22 situation. I will have offered to pay the £35 for the medication but I will not be paying the penalty.

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Can I just ask, is this the same problem you had 2 years ago (as in are they still chasing you for the money) or a repeat of what happened then?

healthunlocked.com/asthmauk...

healthunlocked.com/asthmauk...

What did you do back then? Why won't they accept a direct debit? Have they given a reason? I think before people suggested speaking to an MP, or perhaps your local Healthwatch, which would be a good idea I think to get it resolved permanently for you.

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Hi you can buy a 3 months card or a 6 month one which would be cheaper upfront. Why not arrange with your bank to be allowed to go overdrawn by a certain amount if you are temporarily caught short? My bank authorises £200 just in case.

Or maybe borrow it on a credit card and pay it back monthly? x

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Sorry if I'm being stupid but what's the penalty charge for? I'm in Scotland so don't understand how your prescription charges work. Cat.

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I think it sounds like he's been 'done' for ticking the pre-payment box when he didn't actually have one. Each item costs £8-something, but we can get an annual pre-payment card for £10.40 a month (i.e. if you average more than one item per month then the PPC is cheaper).

However, people on certain benefits, low income, etc., are exempt from charges - a route forward for him, for example (& I think people advised him of this previously) would be, given the state of his health, to look into a PIP claim which would trigger free prescriptions, or assuming no-one is working, he'd presumably be on income-related benefits anyway; again getting them free.

There's a lot in this story though that doesn't really make sense, hence I think it would be good if the poster can clarify what's going on - he asked for donations to a Just Giving page last time around for the same reason so helping us to understand what is going on will help people to advise him to sort out the problem for the long-term.

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Thanks, I understand now. Unfortunately pip claims can take a long time, especially if you're not granted it and have to go to tribunal for appealing (talking from experience). It's awful how much prescriptions cost.

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Yes you are right they do take a long time. Are you/your wife in work at present? From your situation it sounds like a route to free prescriptions should be available on income grounds.

If not, then you need to challenge why they won’t accept direct debits for the prepayment. That sounds bizarre so you need to get to the bottom of that one I think. They are covered by a significant legal framework so get the bank to spell out the problem for you & challenge it.

(Edit: sorry bluecatch, just realised I replied to the wrong person!)

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If you are Universal Credit or Income Support, you should be able to claim without a prepayment card. Speak to your chemist and he or she will explain your options.

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Citizens Advice might be able to help you sort it out? Worth finding your local branch and talking to them.

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I did right a big response on this but my phone died on me

Basically my wife was out of work for some time. I had no other choice in the matter. I asked for help but they just gave me a generic response and told me to go to hospital. I don't think they believed how serious my condition is.

I had a dd setup with them but two of them bounced and as such they removed this feature when I wanted to set it up again. I could not afford the fl amount so was forced into this situation. Now and again I managed to afford a card for 3 months but they fined me just after expired. Its almost as if they were monitoring me. Knowing my situation.

I just think the fine is way too high. They ignored my situation. I feel like stopping my medication and letting them see taking a dead person to court will do. I admired to them what I did and why I did it but of course they choose to ignore.

I have since paid for these medications so I will see what their generic response is.

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So when your wife wasn't working, were you out of work as well? If so, were you not getting free prescriptions? If not, did you check eligibility on income grounds?

As your asthma is so seriously life-threatening, have you applied for PIP?

In terms of the direct debit, I'd definitely speak to CAB & see if they can negotiate to have that restriction lifted. I understand why they'd not like having payments bounce, but debt & ill-health often go hand-in-hand, so I think trying to challenge that would be worth doing. They can also help you to get a financial management/debt management plan together to try & stop this from happening again.

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No I was working. But living in London it was a struggle. I have applied for a pip and was denied it stating that my condition changes from month to month. Why is help so dam hard to get? They won't wavier the charge. Offered to pay installments.. I just think this is all a real joke really. I am going to take this to the press and media. I feel like saying I'll stop my medications and you can try and recover the charge when I die from my asthma

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