Ask the Optician

Do I get help if I am on income support?

Question

I became a full time carer at the beginning of this year and I am in receipt of income support. I wear prescription glasses all of the time but every year I get daily contact lenses for the summer. Will I need to pay the full cost or will I get help with this?  If I get help what do I need to do?  Is it just a case of showing proof of income support and the local store or do I contact the NHS?

Answer Written answer:
Qualified optometrist Simon Kay BSc(Hons) MCOptom answers this question.

When you attend for your eye test you just need to take some proof of income support with you if possible. If you have no proof you can still have the test and the NHS will probably do checks on your eligibility later. You will get a free eye test through the NHS and a voucher towards the cost of glasses or contact lenses. The voucher may cover the full cost or you may have to contribute towards them depending on where you go.

Optician's Biography

Simon Kay BSc(Hons) MCOptom has been a qualified Optometrist for over 30 years, and has a vast experience of almost all aspects of optometry. He joined Specsavers Opticians in 1993 first in Liverpool and for 15 years as a director of Lancaster and Morecambe. He served on many panels and committees whilst a director, including those responsible for IT design and professional advancement. He was regional chairman of the North West directors of Specsavers for over 12 years and as such was involved in almost all aspects of optometry on a business and professional level. He has been involved on the Local Optical Committee for many years and is currently Vice Chairman in his area.
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