NHS Optical Vouchers

Qualifying criteria for an NHS optical voucher

You can get an NHS optical voucher to help pay for the cost of glasses or contact lenses if you're a UK resident and one or more of the following apply to you:

Age
0-15
16, 17 or 18 and in full-time education or training
Income
Receive Income Support
Receive Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (not Contribution-based)
Receive Income-based Employment and Support Allowance (not Contribution-based)
Receive Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
Entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate
Named on a valid HC2 certificate
Other
Prisoner on leave from prison
Eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher

Who doesn’t get an NHS optical voucher?

Unfortunately, you are not entitled to an NHS optical voucher 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 staff are not automatically entitled to this NHS-funded eye test either. Funding is available to people who meet the eligibility criteria.

If you’re not sure whether you qualify for an NHS-funded eye test, please visit your local Specsavers store and our staff will be happy to help.

How to get your NHS optical voucher

What you need to do to receive an NHS optical voucher

If you know you qualify for an NHS optical voucher, just show us one piece of proof (see the table below), then we’ll complete your GOS3 form/optical voucher and help you choose the most suitable glasses or contact lenses option. If you’re not sure you qualify, see if any of these criteria applies to you or come in store and our staff can assist you.

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 qualify What you qualify for What you can show in store as proof you qualify
Aged 0-15 An NHS-funded eye test (and an NHS optical voucher for glasses) Birth certificate
Aged 16, 17 or 18 and in full-time education An NHS-funded eye test (and an NHS optical voucher for glasses) Passport
Student card
Driving licence
Aged 60 or over An NHS-funded eye test National Insurance Number
Passport
Driving licence
Registered as partially sighted or blind An NHS-funded eye test Certificate of registration as partially sighted or blind
Diagnosed with diabetes An NHS-funded eye test Doctor's name and surgery address
Diagnosed with glaucoma An NHS-funded eye test Statement that you are a glaucoma sufferer
Advised by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) that you're at risk of glaucoma An NHS-funded eye test Statement 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 glaucoma An NHS-funded eye test National Insurance Number
Passport
Driving licence
You are receiving benefits that entitle you to NHS funding for eyecare An 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 eyecare An 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 Credit An 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 certificate An NHS-funded eye test (and an NHS optical voucher for glasses) A valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate
In need of complex lenses An 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

More information

How often you can receive an NHS optical voucher for glasses or contact lenses

You can receive an NHS optical voucher every two years if your prescription changes or your glasses are no longer serviceable due to general wear and tear (decided by your optician). If your prescription hasn’t changed and your glasses are still usable, you won’t be given an NHS optical voucher for new glasses.

Sometimes NHS optical vouchers can be issued more frequently, for example in the case of a young child’s rapidly changing prescription, people recovering from cataract surgery or diabetics.

Using your NHS optical voucher to buy glasses or contact lenses at Specsavers if you had your eyes tested elsewhere

You can purchase your glasses from Specsavers even if you did not have your eyes tested with us. Just bring your prescription and NHS optical voucher (the GOS3 form) from your eye test and we can advise you on frame styles and explain how the different pricing bands work with your NHS optical voucher value.

NHS funding for optical repairs or replacements

Children under 16 are entitled to NHS funding to help towards repair or replacement costs if glasses or contact lenses are lost or damaged.

For anyone aged 16 or over, the NHS will only fund repair or replacement costs if you qualify for an NHS optical voucher and the damage or loss was caused by an illness (confirmed by your local NHS authority).

Need further assistance?

If you have any questions about NHS optical vouchers, please contact your local Specsavers and our friendly staff will be happy to help.