Wigs and fabric support
Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for free wigs or fabric supports.
You qualify for free NHS wigs or fabric supports if:
you’re under 16, or under 19 and in full-time education
you receive a valid war pension and need the items for your war disability
you’re a hospital inpatient when the wig or fabric support is supplied
your weekly income is low enough (see details of the Low Income Scheme)
you’re included in an award of: Income Support; the guarantee element of Pension Credit; income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance; income-related Employment and Support Allowance; or are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax exemption certificate.
Wigs and fabric supports are free for everyone in Wales.
There are special arrangements for patients who are registered with GPs in Wales but have treatment in England.
Some hospitals in England and Scotland may cover the cost of wigs for outpatients receiving chemotherapy. Speak to your healthcare team for more information.
If you’re entitled to a free wig or fabric support, you’ll need to tell the person who fits it that you can get it free of charge. You will need to show proof that you qualify, for example the letter showing which benefits you receive.
If you don’t qualify for free wigs and fabric supports, you may be able to reclaim the VAT on these items. Contact HMRC on 0845 302 0203 or visit hmrc.gov.uk/vat
In Northern Ireland
All prescriptions are free in Northern Ireland, including wigs.
Bengu lost her hair when she had treatment for leukaemia. She has shared her story of how she coped. You can also read more information about coping with hair loss.