Paying for your wig
The choice in wigs for cancer patients is often the cost of the wig. Human hair wigs can cost from a few hundred to a few thousand pounds depending on where you purchase and, as synthetic wigs are considerably cheaper than human hair wigs, the choice is often made for you as synthetic wigs are free on the NHS.
Here at Peruke, we think this is less than fair. Since most people choose wigs and hairpieces out of need rather than luxury we think there ought to be more choice for those with lower budgets.
The NHS in the UK offer free acrylic wigs if you are having or have had cancer treatment and:
• You are a patient in hospital when the wig is supplied
• You or your partner are claiming Income Support, Family Credit, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or Disability Working Allowance
• You have an NHS tax credit exemption certificate
• are named on an HC2 certificate
• You are under 16 years old or between 16 and 19 years old and in full-time education.
If you’re entitled to a free wig on the NHS you’ll be able to get a new one for free every six months. Human hair wigs are not be prescribed on the NHS unless you are allergic to acrylic wigs or have a skin condition that may be made worse by an acrylic wig.
The Department of Health leaflet HC11 “Are you Entitled to Help With Health Costs?” can tell you whether you can get a free wig from the NHS. This leaflet is available from the post office and hospital or you can go to the Department for Work and Pensions’ website.
The Department of Health leaflet “Charges and Optical Voucher Values” (HC12) gives information about how much NHS wigs cost. You can get a copy of this from your post office or JobCentre Plus office.
If you are not entitled to a free wig you can still get one from the hospital at a subsidised price. You will need to apply for help with the costs on an HC1 form, which you can get from a JobCentrePlus office or staff at the hospital.
After that the full cost or part of the cost may be covered by the NHS. Ask your social worker or specialist nurse to make sure you’re receiving all the help you are entitled to.
Alternatively you can buy a wig privately, which may be one of the reasons you’re visiting this site.
VAT (Value Added Tax) does not have to be paid on wigs for cancer patients, the stipulation being that the hair loss is caused by cancer treatment not a separate pre-existing condition. You will need to fill in a VAT form and the tax cannot be claimed back at a later date.