NHS Services

Free NHS eye tests

You're entitled to a free NHS sight test if you:

  • are under 16

  • are 16, 17 or 18 and in full-time education

  • are 60 or over

  • are registered as partially sighted or blind

  • have been diagnosed with diabetes or glaucoma

  • are 40 or over and your mother, father, sibling or child has been diagnosed with glaucoma

  • have been advised by an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) that you’re at risk of glaucoma

  • are a prisoner on leave from prison

  • are eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher – your optician can advise you about your entitlement

You also qualify for a free NHS sight test if you:

  • get Income Support

  • get Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance

  • get Income-based Employment and Support Allowance

  • get Pension Credit Guarantee Credit

  • get tax credits and meet the criteria

  • get Universal Credit and meet the criteria

  • have a low income and are named on a valid NHS HC2 certificate for full help with health costs

You may be entitled to a reduced cost sight test if you have a low income and are named on a valid NHS HC3 certificate for partial help with health costs.

NHS optical vouchers

You’re entitled to an optical voucher for help towards the cost of your glasses or contact lenses if you:

  • are under 16

  • are 16, 17 or 18 and in full-time education

  • are a prisoner on leave from prison

  • are eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher – your optician can advise you about your entitlement

You also qualify for an optical voucher if you:

  • get Income Support

  • get Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance

  • get Income-based Employment and Support Allowance

  • get Pension Credit Guarantee Credit

  • get tax credits and meet the criteria

  • get Universal Credit and meet the criteria

  • have a low income and are named on a valid NHS HC2 certificate for full help with health costs

You may be entitled to an optical voucher if you have a low income and are named on a valid NHS HC3 certificate for partial help with health costs.

Universal Credit Eligibility criteria.

You qualify if, on the date you claim help with health costs:

a) you receive Universal Credit and either had no earnings or had net earnings of £435 or less in your last Universal Credit assessment period

or

b) you receive Universal Credit, which includes an element for a child, or you (or your partner) had limited capability for work (LCW) or limited capability for work and work-related activity (LCWRA), and you either had no earnings or net earnings of £935 or less in your last Universal Credit assessment period

Note: If you're part of a couple, the net earning threshold applies to your combined net earnings.

You should present a copy of your Universal Credit award notice to prove your entitlement. You'll need to have met the eligibility criteria in the last completed Universal Credit assessment period before your health costs arose.

Visit the GOV.UK website for more information about the Universal Credit assessment period.

Not all help with health costs claim forms have a tick box for Universal Credit. If that's the case, you should tick the box for income-based Jobseeker's Allowance instead.



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