Low income scheme

We are currently updating our financial information following the March 2015 budget announcement. For the most up-to-date information, please contact us on 0808 808 00 00.

Low Income Scheme means-tested

This means-tested scheme, available to people in England, Scotland and Wales, provides help to people who are not exempt from 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, or £23,250 for those who live permanently in a care home.

How can I claim?

Phone 0845 850 1166 and ask for form HC1, or visit the NHS Business Services Authority.

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

If you’ve already paid for your prescriptions, fares to hospital, dental treatment, eye treatment or a wig, you can claim a refund using form HC5 if you apply within three months. You must have the relevant receipt (such as form FP57 for prescriptions). For more information, see the Department of Health leaflet HC11 Help with health costs.

In Northern Ireland

Visit nidirect.gov.uk for information on help with health care costs.

Back to Help with health costs


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

Wigs and fabric supports

You may be able to get free wigs and fabric supports, depending on your situation.

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.