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VAT Exempt icon


We are so happy that we can make beautiful, accessible clothes. But, we also like to shout about the fact we can offer VAT relief on the majority of them too. This is because they have been specifically designed to help make dressing easier.

We often get asked how does it work? Am I eligible, is my relative eligible? So we have put together this guide to make it all a little clearer.

VAT exemption logo from HMRC


We have had several people call us for clarification about VAT exemption and whether it applies to them. Others have simply put through orders oblivious to the fact that they may be eligible for VAT exemption on The Able Label clothing. 


We therefore wanted to help explain VAT exemption on our clothes to help with future orders. 


What is VAT exemption?

VAT is a tax that you pay when you buy goods and services as a consumer within the European Union, including the UK. 20% is the standard rate for VAT. H M Revenue & Customs (HMRC) states that “equipment that has been designed solely for people with a disability, chronic or terminal illness or on the adaptation of equipment so they can use it can be VAT exempt”.  This means that they pay the retail price excluding VAT. 


Who is entitled to VAT exemption?

As per HMRC wording, “people with a disability, chronic or terminal illness” can be VAT exempt. Chronically sick means that you have an illness that is likely to last a long time and disabled means substantially and permanently handicapped by illness or injury. Some disabilities covered by this include arthritis, diabetes, lupus, angina, parkinson’s, stroke, dementia, fibromyalgia, MS and ME.


Please be aware that VAT exemption does not apply to 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. 


The items must not be purchased for the general use of other able-bodied persons, they have to be for the own ‘personal and domestic use’ of the disabled individual.


What items are VAT exempt?

Only products shown with "excl VAT" prices are available for purchase with VAT exemption.


How do I claim?

To claim VAT exemption when placing an order is simple. When you are at checkout follow these steps:



1. Tick the box “I qualify for VAT Exemption”.

2. You will then be prompted to create an account by clicking on the “Create an Account” link. 

3. Complete details fully for all boxes to set up an account, and tick the button to show that you do qualify for VAT Exemption. Go on to complete the extra details fully for the VAT Exempt claimant and then click ‘Create’

4. Your account has now been created so click ‘Take me to my Cart’ to proceed  with the order.

5. For future orders, log in and VAT exemption will automatically be applied.



What HMRC require

The Government requires that you fill in a simple declaration setting out the nature of your disability and/or chronic or terminal illness. We are required to retain a copy of your declaration and it may be passed to HMRC as evidence of your eligibility. 


The Able Label require no proof of your disability or a doctor’s letter, however you need to remember that it is an offence to falsely claim that you or someone you are buying for is eligible for VAT exemption under the guidelines.


What to do now?

If after reading this guide you are still unsure if you or the person you are buying for qualifies for VAT exemption then please read the HMRC guide, consult your doctor for clarification or email us at where we will be happy to help.

Healthy breakfast on world diabetes day


“Off to the right start” is the message from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) this World Diabetes Day. It is aimed at raising awareness and advocacy of the condition.


This year, the emphasis is on healthy living with particular focus on starting the day with a healthy breakfast. A healthy breakfast may not seem like a big deal but the IDF have found it helps avoid complications through effective management of all types of diabetes. It can even help prevent the arrival of type 2 diabetes.

This breakfast time, try replacing…

-fruit juice or smoothies with unsweetened tea

-white bread for brown bread

-jam, honey or chocolate spread with peanut butter

-fried eggs for boiled, scrambled or poached eggs


*Diabetes is caused when the pancreas gland stops producing insulin or does not produce enough causing an imbalance as the blood glucose levels rise.

*There are two main types of diabetes; Type 1, which accounts for about 10% and Type 2, which affects around 90% of diabetic adults NHS Choices, advises.

*Nothing can prevent Type 1 however Type 2 is influenced by age, family history, weight and lifestyle. The IDF have even found that through healthier lifestyles, over 70% of type 2 diabetes can be prevented or at least delayed.

*Those aged between 40 and 59 are within the age range that has the greatest number of people with the condition.

*In the UK, 3.2 million people have been diagnosed however it is believed that a further 630,000 people have the condition without realising according to Diabetes UK.

Affects on the Body

*Diabetes can affect the whole body including:

-kidneys leading to dehydration, intense thirst and frequent urination,

-eye sight causing blurred vision

-nerves giving tingling, numbness, pain in feet, legs or hands

-skin becoming more sensitive, dry and prone to infection as well as swelling due to circulation being affected

World Diabetes Day

So… if you think you may be one of the 630,000 people in the UK that has the condition without realising, go straight to your GP for a check up. It is easily diagnosed so no harm in checking.

This World Diabetes Day, help to raise awareness alongside the IDF and The Able Label. Ensure you and the others’ around you have a healthy breakfast, today, tomorrow and everyday after to get “off to the right start”. We will be enjoying a bowl of granola with fat free yoghurt, nuts and fruit along side a cup of tea without sugar this morning. What will you be having?

For more information on diabetes, take a look at the following websites…

November 14, 2014 by The Able Label Team