Low income scheme

This is a means-tested scheme that’s available in England, Scotland and Wales. It is for people who do not get free healthcare costs, but who may be entitled to full or partial help if they have a low income.

The scheme includes help with:

  • NHS prescriptions
  • NHS dental treatment
  • NHS wigs and fabric supports
  • sight tests, glasses and contact lenses
  • travel to receive NHS treatment.

To qualify, there's a savings limit of £16,000. If you live in a care home, the savings limit is £23,250 in England and Scotland, and £24,000 in Wales.

This is a scheme for people in England, Scotland and Wales who don’t earn much money. It is for people who do not get free healthcare, but who may be entitled to full or partial help if they have a low income.

The scheme includes help with:

  • NHS prescriptions 
  • NHS dental treatment
  • NHS wigs and fabric supports
  • sight tests, glasses and contact lenses
  • travel to receive NHS treatment.

You cannot qualify if you have more than £16,000 in savings, unless you live permanently in a care home. If you live in a care home, the savings limit is £23,250 in England and Scotland, and £24,000 in Wales.

In Northern Ireland, similar help is available with Health Service costs if you have a low income. You can find more information at NiDirect.gov.uk

Call 0300 330 1343 and ask for a HC1 form, or visit nhsbsa.nhs.uk.

You can also get a HC1 form from your local Jobcentre Plus or NHS hospital. You may be able to get one from your GP, dentist or optician.

If you have already paid the healthcare costs, you can claim a refund using a HC5 form if you apply within three months. You must have the relevant receipt (such as a FP57 form for prescriptions). For more information, see the Department of Health leaflet HC11, Help with health costs, at nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcosts/Pages/nhs-low-income-scheme.aspx

Back to Help with health costs

Prescriptions

You may be eligible for free prescriptions if you have cancer. There are also other ways to help with the cost of medications.

Dental treatment

Dental charges vary across the UK. You may qualify for free dental treatment.

Eye treatment and glasses

Some people may be able to get free eye tests. There are certain criteria that qualify you for free eyetests.