Ask the Optician

How do I know if I qualify for NHS support with my eyecare?


Can you tell me how do I know if I qualify for NHS support with my eyecare?

Answer Written answer:

Have a look at this link to a webpage on this site: (

The benefits it refers to are listed below. If you are not on any benefits but on low income, you can apply on a form called an HC1 from your opticians, pharmacy, benefits office or post office. The reply will tell you if you are entitled to any help.

  • receive Income Support
  • receive Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (not Contribution-based)
  • receive Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • receive Income-based Employment and Support Allowance (not Contribution-based)
  • are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate
  • are named on a valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs (HC2)

If you’re named on an NHS certificate for partial help with health costs (HC3), you may also get help towards the cost of your glasses or contact lenses.

If you’re entitled to an NHS optical voucher, you can take it with your prescription to any optician and use it towards the cost of your glasses or contact lenses.


We recommend you seek professional advice if you are concerned about your eye health:

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Optician's Biography

Simon Kay BSc(Hons) MCOptom has been a qualified Optometrist for over 35 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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    Ask the optician, receive friendly, professional advice