Britons wo suffer from sleep apnoea could be entitled to £156 benefit payment

Symptoms include gasping, snorting and loud snoring during sleep

Matt Mathers
Thursday 18 August 2022 15:34 BST

Related: Poor Sleep Could Be Caused By These Health Problems

People who suffer from sleep apnoea could be entitled to a government payment of up to £156 per week.

Sleep apnoea is when a person’s breathing stops and starts while they are sleeping.

Symptoms include gasping, snorting and loud snoring during sleep. If left untreated it can lead to high blood pressure and increase the risk of stroke.

Some 2,217 people across the UK claim personal independence payments (PIP) for sleep apnoea and other respiratory tract conditioms, Deparment for Work and Pensions figures show.

Of those, 206 claims were made in Scotland, 1,850 in England and 162 in Wales.

PIP is a benefit made available to people who have long-term physical or mental health conditions or disability. It replaced Disability Living Allowance.

The payments are based on how badly the condition affects the claimant.

People who have sleep apnoea can feel tired during the day, find it hard to concentrate, have mood swings and suffer from headaches when they wake up.

Serious cases of the condition can be treated with CPAP machines to help regulate breathing during sleep by pumping air into a mask to prevent airways from restricting.

Earlier this year the Hope2Sleep charity said that sufferers of sleep apnoea who use such machines while they sleep were fearful of the potential cost of keeping the machines on the entire night during the cost of living crisis.

It said it had been advising people not to stop using the machines after hearing that one woman was considering turning hers off to save money.

Charity founder and chief executive Kath Hope said the organisation has been forced to encourage ventilator users to find other ways to cut down on electricity bills as switching it off is a “risk” and the electricity cost of the machines is relatively low.

“The first thing people think with rising energy bills is what can you cut back on,” Ms Hope said. “We want to put the message out there - please do not switch your machine off.

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