Skip to Content Skip to Navigation
Member Login

Member login

No account? JOIN US

Help with health costs

If you have a low income, or receive certain benefits or tax credits, you may be entitled to full or partial help towards NHS costs


Free NHS benefits

If you are getting one of the following means-tested benefits, you can get full help with NHS health costs:

  • Income Support or Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (not contribution based)
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit.

If you get Working Tax Credits, then you may be eligible for an NHS tax credit exemption certificate, which entitles you to full help with NHS health costs.

Help with NHS health costs can include:

If you are aged 60 and over, you can gain free prescriptions and NHS eye tests regardless of your income.

Low income

If you do not receive one of the qualifying benefits listed above but have a low income, then you may be able to get ‘full’ or ‘partial’ help towards NHS health costs through the NHS Low Income Scheme (LIS). You can apply for the scheme if your savings, investments or property (not counting the place where you live) do not exceed the capital limit.

In England, this is:

  • £23,250 for people who live permanently in a care home
  • £16,000 for everyone else.

Depending on your individual circumstances, you will either receive 'full help' (through an HC2 certificate) or 'partial help' (through an HC3 certificate). To apply for an HC2 certificate, you should complete an HC1 form, which is available from Jobcentre Plus offices and most NHS hospitals. You can also get an HC1 form by calling 0845 610 1112.

If you need an assistance in making your claim or have questions about the LIS, then you can contact an adviser on 0300 330 1343.

back to top

Wales, Scotland & Northern Ireland

The NHS is structured differently in Wales, Scotland & Northern Ireland. To find out more about help with health costs in each nation, click the relevant button below.



Northern Ireland

back to top

Join us

Hands join us

Together we're a supportive community and a movement for change.

How you can help

Carer and son

With your help we can reach more carers with timely support and advice.



We will keep campaigning until every carer gets proper recognition and support.

Talk to us

Phone footer

Caring can be complicated. We're here for you with help and advice.

Back to top