NHS-funded Eye Tests

NHS-Funded eye tests

Qualifying criteria for an NHS-funded eye test

UK residents qualify for an NHS-funded eye test if one or more of the following apply:

AgeMedical ConditionIncomeOther
0-15Registered as partially sighted or blindReceive Income Support (you or your partner)Prisoner on leave from prison
16, 17 or 18 and in full-time educationDiagnosed with diabetes or glaucomaReceive Income-based (not Contribution-based) Jobseeker's Allowance (you or your partner)Eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher
60 or overAdvised by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) that you're at risk of glaucomaReceive Income-based Employment (not Contribution-based) and Support Allowance (you or your partner) 
 Aged 40 or over and your mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter has been diagnosed with glaucomaReceive Pension Credit Guarantee Credit (you or your partner) 
  Entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate (you or your partner) 
  On a low income and named on a valid HC2 (full help) certificate (you or your partner) 
  If you or your partner are named on a valid HC3 certificate, you might be able to get partial help towards the cost of your eye test. Ask in store. 

Who does not qualify for an NHS-funded eye test?

Unfortunately, you are not entitled to an NHS-funded eye test if you only receive the following:

  • Recipients of Child Benefit
  • Recipients of Disability Living Allowance
  • Recipients of Incapacity Benefit
  • Recipients of Housing Benefit
  • Recipients of Maternity Benefit
  • Recipients of Contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Recipients of Contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Recipients of Tax Credit without an NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate
  • Recipients of Pension Credit Savings Credit on its own

NHS-funded eye tests

The NHS, together with Specsavers, will cover the full cost of an eye test for anyone who qualifies (funding does not apply to everyone). In some cases, the NHS will also give an optical voucher towards the cost of glasses or contact lenses.

All of our customers receive the same level of care, attention, advice and follow-up services, regardless of whether their eye test is NHS-funded or not.

How to get your free eye test

How to book your NHS-funded eye test

To book an eye test at Specsavers, simply call or visit your local store. Alternatively, you can request an appointment online. When you make your booking, you do not need to specify that your eye test will be NHS-funded.

What you need to bring to your eye test

Use the table below to identify what proof you need to bring in store to show you qualify for an NHS-funded eye test (and in some cases, an NHS optical voucher for glasses too).

Proof you qualify

You only need to show ONE of these items, relevant to your circumstances (unless stated otherwise) as proof you qualify for an NHS-funded eye test or an NHS optical voucher for glasses.

Reason you qualifyWhat you qualify for:What you can show in store as proof you qualify
Aged 0-15An NHS-funded eye test (and an NHS optical voucher for glasses)Birth certificate
Aged 16, 17 or 18 and in full-time educationAn NHS-funded eye test (and an NHS optical voucher for glasses)Passport
Student card
Driving licence
Aged 60 or overAn NHS-funded eye testNational Insurance Number
Passport
Driving licence
Registered as partially sighted or blindAn NHS-funded eye testCertificate of registration as partially sighted or blind
Diagnosed with diabetesAn NHS-funded eye testDoctor's name and surgery address
Diagnosed with glaucomaAn NHS-funded eye testStatement that you are a glaucoma sufferer
Advised by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) that you're at risk of glaucomaAn NHS-funded eye testStatement that you are at risk of developing a glaucoma
Aged 40 or over and your mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter has been diagnosed with glaucomaAn NHS-funded eye testNational Insurance Number
Passport
Driving licence
You are receiving benefits that entitle you to NHS funding for eyecareAn NHS-funded eye test (and an NHS optical voucher for glasses)An entitlement letter stating the benefits you receive
Your partner is receiving benefits that entitle you to NHS funding for eyecareAn NHS-funded eye test (and an NHS optical voucher for glasses)Partners need to: be married or living together; have all of their partner’s details; and be able to prove the benefit received
You or your partner are receiving Pension Credit Guarantee CreditAn NHS-funded eye test (and an NHS optical voucher for glasses)Award notice from the Pension Centre
Entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificateAn NHS-funded eye test (and an NHS optical voucher for glasses)A valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate
In need of complex lensesAn NHS-funded eye test (and an NHS optical voucher for glasses)No proof needed - the optician will decide during the eye test if complex lenses are required

The GS01 form

When you come in store for your eye test, we will help you complete the NHS GOS1 form that determines if you qualify for an NHS-funded eye test. You will also be asked to show proof you qualify.

More information

How often you can have an NHS-funded eye test

If you qualify, you are entitled to have an NHS-funded eye test every two years.

Your optician may recommend more-frequent eye tests if you are:

  • Diabetic
  • Over 40 with a family history of glaucoma
  • Over 70
  • Under 16 and wear glasses
  • Experiencing particular vision problems

If you have concerns about your vision or eye health within two years of your last NHS-funded eye test, please visit your local Specsavers and we can tell you if you qualify for another eye test.

NHS-funded eye examinations in Scotland and the Isle of Man

Scotland

The Scottish Government funds NHS eye examinations, free to all residents. If you are aged between 16 and 60 you can have an NHS-funded eye examination every two years, if required.

Certain people can have an NHS-funded eye examination once a year, if required, including if you are:

  • Under 16
  • Aged 60 or over
  • Diabetic or have ocular hypertension or glaucoma
  • Over 40 and have a mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter with glaucoma

If you have concerns about your vision or your eyes before your next NHS eye examination is due, speak to your optician as you may be able to have another NHS-funded eye examination. The guide to NHS-funded eye examinations in Scotland provides more information.

Isle of Man

In the Isle of Man, eye tests are free to anyone on the IOM NHS.

Need further assistance?

If after reading this page, you still have questions about NHS-funded eye tests, please contact your local Specsavers and our friendly staff will be happy to help.