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Find out whether you are entitled to help with NHS costs via the Low Income Scheme and how to get a certificate.

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First published:
22 September 2020
Last updated:

If you are entitled to NHS treatment and meet certain conditions you may get help with the costs of:

  • NHS dental treatment
  • sight tests
  • glasses and contact lenses
  • necessary travel to and from hospital for NHS treatment under the care of a hospital consultant

To find out if the scheme can help you, try the online checker or complete a HC1W form. 

You can apply for the scheme as long as your savings, investments or property (not including where you live) do not exceed:

  • £24,000 for people who live permanently in a care home
  • £16,000 for everyone else

Please note that the Low Income Scheme does not entitle you to NHS treatment. It helps people who are entitled to NHS treatment with certain costs.

Low Income Scheme certificates

 If you quality for help you will be send a NHS certificate:

  • HC2W certificate entitles you to full help with health costs
  • HC3W certificate entitles you to partial help with health costs

The certificate will tell you what it covers and how long it lasts.

The low income scheme and children

Children will not be included in the NHS Low Income Scheme assessment.  You will need to claim Child Tax Credit from HMRC

If you need help urgently

If you need help urgently with health costs before any benefits you are eligible to are awarded, make a separate claim on an HC1W form.

If you don't want to delay your NHS treatment or repair/replacement of glasses you may need to pay and claim a refund later.

If you need further help, please contact:

NHS Business Services Authority

Telephone: 0300 330 1343 or 0191 279 0565

Opening hours: 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 3pm on Saturday.

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