Survey on food and economic support
for coeliac people in the European Union
Coeliac people need to consume specific gluten-free products. When we talk about specific gluten-free products, we refer to those that have been made specifically for people with coeliac disease (bread, pasta, sweets, flour, etc.) avoiding the use of gluten-containing flours and preventing cross-contact in their production.
A family with a coeliac person among its members can increase its spending in the shopping basket by almost €100 per month compared to another family that does not have any coeliac among its members.
Although the supply and availability of these foods have expanded considerably in the last decade, the price of these products is still too high.
Our member society the Federación de Asociaciones de Coeliacos de España (FACE) has prepared a brief summary of the current economical support situation for coeliac people in some European countries. This was made possible through information provided by FACE and the other European member societies of the Association of European Coeliac Societies (AOECS)
AOECS members advocate for lowering the final price of gluten-free food products or obtaining some type of economic subsidy because the gluten-free diet is the only effective treatment today.
Economic support for coeliacs in various countries
No aid for coeliacs.
An aid of 38 euros/month is granted, proving the diagnosis of CD. It must be renewed every 2 years, demonstrating with a medical document that the person is following a gluten-free diet.
Patients with coeliac disease are entitled to 10-12 packages/month of gluten-free flour plus a financial aid of 250 Bulgarian leva, which is 125 euros/year for 50% to 70% disability.
Aid is available only for people with coeliac disease with low income or government employees, there is an aid of 10 kg/quarter of free gluten-free flour.
No aid for coeliacs.
An aid of 95 euros/month for children under 16 years of age (before 2016 there was also aid for those older than this age). You can also apply for social assistance, but there is a complex bureaucratic process to access it.
No aid, but Social Security allows some coeliac products to be partially reimbursed.
Aid of 100 euros/month for adults and up to 150 euros/month for children. The aid must be justified with proof of purchase of gluten-free products, monthly diagnosis of CD together with the tests that prove the existence of the disease.
A tax refund of up to a maximum of 20% of the expense, always proven by a medical diagnosis of CD.
All coeliac people have a monthly coupon whose amount depends on sex and age. This amount is to buy gluten-free products in pharmacies or stores that cooperate with the National Health Service.
No aid for coeliacs.
A reimbursement aid of 553.50 euros/year, and the illness must be proven through proof of gluten-free purchases. A renewal of the diagnostic certificate is requested every 2 years.
All duly accredited coeliac people have a monthly coupon of 45 euros (pensioners 50 euros). Coupons can be redeemed for specific foods from supermarkets and also from pharmacies that enter into a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with the government agency that issues the coupons. Coupons are valid for one month and cannot be renewed or replaced if lost.
A reduction of 950 euros in income tax, but only if the patient reaches a threshold (if it falls below, the 950 euros are not deductible).
Grants an aid of 1047 NOK (104.7 euros/month) for people between 5 and 30 years old; and NOK 686 (€68.6/month) for people over 30 and under 5 years old.
Coeliac patients up to the age of 10 are entitled to supplementary disability allowance (as long as their parents are not in a step equal to or higher than the 6th step), requiring a statement proving that they have the disease. This aid is around 170 euros per year. Another economic support available is the possibility of deducting specific gluten-free food products in the income statement for the current year, as long as the distribution establishment has it registered as a health product (6% VAT). All this including a proof of diagnosis.
In Spain there is no aid granted at the governmental level, but the different autonomies can grant subsidies through patient associations.
Health authorities provide benefits to children under 16 with coeliac disease through food or economic aid. The aid in the form of food is around 100 euros/year; and aid in the form of money, in some regions, they are around 80-100 euros/year and in others, depending on the age of the minor, they can receive up to 150 euros/year. Only some regions of the country grant these aids to children between 16 and 18 years old.
Generally no aid, but in some cantons there is the possibility of taking a tax deduction.
The Ministry of Social Security provides a small monthly benefit depending on the patient's age.