VAT Relief

VAT Relief on disability aids

If you are disabled or chronically sick, you may well be eligible for VAT relief. As you browse this shop, you will see that most disability aids can be bought without VAT being added so long as you are, or the person you are buying for is eligible.

In all cases of dispute the law which is applied is that of England.

Please also view further specific conditions relating to our Returns Policy and Delivery information

This website is owned and operated by Shelden Healthcare UK Ltd. If you have any suggestions or comments or if you need to contact us, please email us using the Contact link on any shop page or use the details below.

VAT Relief

VAT Exemption for the disabled What is VAT Exemption / Relief? VAT exemption allows chronically sick or disabled people to buy eligible items at 0% rather than 20% VAT - thus saving them a significant amount of money. It is normally far easier to claim this exemption when buying online. Online shops, like ourselves, are set up to allow you to answer simple questions, in the comfort of your own home. 

Q: Who is eligible for VAT relief?

A: To be eligible for VAT relief the government says you have to fit the following criteria: Charities - simply provide your charity number and complete the online declaration. Individuals: A person who is 'chronically sick or disabled' if he/she is a person: With a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect upon his/her ability to carry out everyday activities; with a condition which the medical profession treats as a chronic sickness, such as diabetes; or Who is terminally ill.

Important Note: It does NOT include a frail elderly person who is otherwise able-bodied or any person who is only temporarily disabled or incapacitated, such as with a broken limb. Q: What proof do we need to provide?  VAT on an eligible purchase, the government requires a simple declaration to be made as to the nature of your disability at the time of ordering. No proof of your disability need be shown to any party at any time.

It’s very easy to claim VAT relief, all we need to know is the name, address & disability of the person the item is for & what their chronic sickness or disability is. We don't need a doctor's letter or any reference numbers. The above information can be provided during the online checkout or if you order by phone or post we will send you a form & a free post return envelope asking you for the above information. All this information is collected over our secure connection and we keep it completely confidential.

Q:Which Items are eligible?

A:VAT Exemption only applies to certain items; these are items which have been designed to be used by someone who is chronically sick or disabled. Examples of such products are Bath Aids, Bath Lifts, Mobility Aids, Toileting Aids, Wheelchairs & many more daily living aids and care equipment. If an item is displayed as 'Available VAT Exemption' or the price is shown "with VAT Relief" on our site, and you are eligible (as above) then you are entitled to buy these products with VAT Relief. 0% Rated for VAT.

However, this relief does not apply to any supplies made to or for the NHS or non-charitable nursing homes and hospitals or other similar institutions. 

Things to Remember We do NOT decide if an item is or isn't exempt and we don't make any more or less money if we charge you VAT or if we don't charge you VAT. If you do not complete the VAT exemption form, or you are not eligible for VAT relief, we are obliged to charge you the full prevailing VAT on the whole of your order. Not all products are eligible for VAT relief, so we are obliged to charge VAT at the prevailing rate for those products that are not VAT exempt, even after you complete this form. Click the link below to visit the Government page on VAT for disabled people section. That also has links to other financial help if you are disabled.

What HMRC means by ‘designed solely for disabled people’

This means that the original intention of the product’s designer was to produce an appliance or equipment solely to meet the needs of people with one or more disability.

You cannot buy goods that are designed for use by disabled and non-disabled people alike VAT-free. Goods that are bought to be used by or that are mainly bought by disabled people cannot be bought without VAT unless they’re designed solely for use by disabled people. For example, general purpose equipment such as a laptop, an air conditioning device, a reclining chair or an orthopaedic bed might benefit a disabled person but cannot be bought VAT-free because they’re not designed solely for use by a disabled person.

Our furniture section and some other items like overbed tables are charged with VAT as they are designed for use by disabled and non disabled individuals. Please contact Shelden on 0800 014 8672 for more information.

VAT on Delivery

Please see information and guidance on VAT status of deliveries

Did You Know

The number of NHS hospital beds has halved in the last 30 years (Source: See note 1)  with sustainability and transformation plans being drawn up to develop health care systems even further. This is in an attempt to modernise services and provide better quality throughout a range of hospitals in the UK. Due to the reduction in Acute hospital beds there will always be a growing demand for quality and reliable hospital equipment for people nursed at home or in a professional care home setting.

At Shelden, we hope to be a part of the journey for hospitals that are looking to enhance their overall service for the comfort of patients or the the private individual at home looking for a cost effective but homely care bed.

1. NHS hospital bed numbers: past, present, future. Kings Fund 26th March 2020,