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Exemptions from NHS costs

If you or your partner is getting income support, pension credit guarantee credit, income-based jobseeker’s allowance or if you are named on a Tax Credit NHS Exemption Certificate then you will be exempt from NHS charges. If you paid any health costs before you were getting any of these benefits or credits, you may be entitled to claim your money back.

Help with NHS costs

Entitlement to help with health costs (dental charges, optical and hospital travel costs) is based on the principle that those who can afford to contribute should do so, while those who are likely to have difficulty in paying should be protected.

Who can get help
People can get help on age or medical grounds or by being in receipt of one of the exempting benefits or tax credits.

Low income
People who have to pay NHS charges may be able to get help under the NHS Low Income Scheme. The amount of help is based on a comparison between a person's income and requirements at the time that a claim is made or a charge was paid.

What it can be used for
The HC1 form can be used to claim help with NHS dental treatment, NHS wigs and fabric supports, glasses and contact lenses; and travel to hospital for NHS treatment. It can be used to claim for yourself, your partner and your children. You should fill in the form before you need help to pay with health costs. You do not need to wait until you require treatment.

How to make a low income claim

You will need to complete form HC1. You can pick up an HC1 claim form from a Jobcentre Plus Office or NHS hospital. Your doctor, dentist or optician may have one too. You can also request a form by telephoning 0845 850 1166

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Last updated: 25 February 2016

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