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Hospital and benefits - Help with the cost of travel to hospital

When you or a member of your family go into or come out of hospital, the welfare benefits you get may change. What will happen to your benefits depends on the type of benefit you get. A stay in hospital can also affect the benefits your partner or carer gets.

Help with the cost of travel to hospital

If you have to visit hospital to attend outpatient appointments or have treatment, you may be able to get help with your travel costs and those of a companion (if this is medically necessary) paid to and from a place where you receive National Health Service (NHS) treatment.

If you get Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Pension Credit (guarantee credit) or income-related Employment and Support Allowance, you can claim back the costs of travel on form HC5 (link opens in a new window)  You will usually make a claim at the hospital you are attending.

If you get Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit, you might also be able to claim help with travel costs if your gross annual income is £16,000 or less (the threshold is higher if you live in a care home). You can also get help with travel costs if you get a war or service disablement pension and are going for NHS treatment for that disability.

If you do not get one of the benefits above but have a low income, you may get some help with travel costs.  You can apply for help with healthcare costs on form HC1. See the NHS Business Services Authority website for information about how to obtain a HC1 form (link opens in a new window) .

You may be able to apply to your local authority's Local Welfare Provision scheme to help with travel costs to visit a relative or friend in hospital. This will depend on your local scheme.

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