People on a low income in the UK may be entitled to help with meeting prescription charges. Do you qualify for help? If you do qualify for government assistance, how do you apply for help?
If you do not automatically qualify for free prescriptions in the UK (based on age, disability or other qualifying factors) you may still be entitled to help with prescription charges, based on low income. Your basis for eligibility will rest on factors such as your level of income, savings and other forms of income.
Form HC1 Claim for Help with Health Costs
Form HC1 Claim for Help with Health Costs should be completed, outlining your personal circumstances and why you feel that you are entitled to help with prescription charges. Send the application off using the pre-paid envelope.
Where to Obtain Form HC1
Form HC1 can be obtained from your local JobCentre Plus office, from any NHS hospital, your dentist or optometrist. You can also obtain Form HC1 from the NHS Formsline, by calling 0845 610 1112, or textphone 08700 102 870. The Department of Health Publications Orderline also stocks HC1 forms. Call 0845 610 1112, or textphone 08700 102 870 to order your copy.
HC2 Certificate for Full Help or HC3 Certificate for Partial Help
Once you have submitted Form HC1, your application will be considered based on the information you have provided. If you are indeed eligible for help with meeting your prescription costs, you will receive an HC2 Certificate for Full Help or an HC3 Certificate for Partial Help.
Paying for Prescriptions
You must present your HC2 or HC3 certificate when paying for prescriptions. The pharmacist will need to know whether you will be meeting some of the costs yourself, or if the prescription charge will be fully covered by the certificate. Patients whose financial circumstances improve can continue to use the HC2 or HC3 until the certificate expires. However, if your personal circumstances change for the worse during the eligibility period, you should submit another claim.
If you are on a low income, but do not automatically qualify for help in meeting prescription charges, submit Form HC1 Claim for Help with Health Costs. Successful applicants will receive HC2 Certificate for Full Help or HC3 Certificate for Partial Help, which must be presented to the pharmacist when you fill a prescription.
Free or Reduced Cost Prescriptions