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Help with health costs - What help does it provide?

Find out more about how to get help with health costs.

What help does it provide?

If you qualify for full help with NHS charges, you, your partner and your children get:

  • Free prescriptions in England (they are free in Scotland and Wales)

  • Free dental treatment and check-ups

  • Free sight tests

  • Vouchers for glasses or contact lenses (optical vouchers)

  • Travel costs to hospital for NHS treatment. 

  • Travel costs if travelling abroad for treatment

  • Wigs and fabric supports, for example, abdominal and spinal supports, and support tights. 

NHS Low Income Scheme

If you do not  automatically qualify for help with NHS charges but need help under the NHS low income scheme, you can apply for a certificate.

The amount of help you get will depend on the amount of income you have. You might not be entitled to any help at all if you have too much capital.

There are two types of certificate:

  • A full help certificate (HC2)

  • A limited help certificate (HC3) which does not qualify you for free prescriptions.

If you need frequent prescriptions but do not qualify to get any help with the cost, you can buy a prepayment certificate which will save you money.


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