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Help with health costs

If you receive Universal Credit you may be entitled to help with health costs such as prescriptions, eye tests and dental check-ups. 

Eligibility depends on your household circumstances and where you live (for example everyone in Scotland and Northern Ireland qualifies for free prescriptions as the government in these areas have scrapped the costs). 

Eligibility for help with health costs

You qualify, if:

  • 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

  • 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


Key notes:

  • If you're on a joint claim, the earnings threshold applies to your combined earnings.

  • Earnings refers only to income paid from an employer (or self-employment) and doesn't include your income from Universal Credit.

  • Because UC is assessed monthly, it may mean that you qualify for help with health costs some months but not others. 


If you're still unsure whether you meet the criteria try using the NHS checker


Other help if you're on a low income

If you don't qualify for help with health costs due to earning above the threshold, you may still be eligible for some support via the NHS Low Income Scheme (LIS).

Help with healthcare travel costs

If you're referred to hospital for specialist NHS treatment or diagnostic tests by a doctor, dentist or another health care professional, you may be able to claim a refund of reasonable travel costs under the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS).


You cannot claim help with travel costs for

  • Visiting someone in hospital

  • Attending your GP, dentist or other primary care provider for routine appointments or services, including vaccinations or cervical screenings

  • Out-of-hours visits to urgent primary care services


For more information check the NHS page on Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme.

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