Wigs and fabric supports

The help you can get to pay for wigs and fabric supports is different across the UK.

In Wales and Northern Ireland, wigs and fabric supports are free for everyone. There are special arrangements for patients who are registered with GPs in Wales but have treatment in England.

In England and Scotland, you can qualify for free NHS wigs or fabric supports if:

  • you are aged under 16
  • you are aged under 19 and are in full-time education
  • you get a valid war pension and need the items for your war injury
  • you are a hospital inpatient when the wig or fabric support is given to you
  • your weekly income is low enough (see details of the Low Income Scheme)
  • you are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate.
  • you are entitled to, or named on a valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs (such as an HC2 certificate).

You may also qualify if you get:

Some hospitals in England and Scotland may cover the cost of wigs for outpatients having chemotherapy. Speak to your healthcare team for more information.

If you are entitled to a free wig or fabric support, you will need to tell the person who fits it. You will need to show proof that you qualify. For example, this could be the letter showing which benefits you get.

If you do not qualify for free wigs or fabric supports, you may be able to reclaim the VAT on these items. Contact the HMRC VAT helpline on 0300 200 3700 or use textphone 0300 200 3719. You can also visit gov.uk

Back to Help with health costs


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

Eye treatment

Some people may be able to get free eye tests. You will qualify if you meet certain criteria.

NHS Low Income Scheme

The NHS Low Income Scheme helps people who have a low income to pay for their healthcare costs.