NHS Optical Vouchers

NHS optical vouchers for the cost of
glasses or contact lenses

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:

AgeIncomeOther
0-15Receive Income SupportPrisoner on leave from prison
16, 17 or 18 and in full-time education or trainingReceive Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (not Contribution-based)Eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher
 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 
 If you are named on a valid HC3 certificate, you might be able to get partial help towards the cost of your glasses or contact lenses. Ask in store. 

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.

NHS optical voucher for glasses

What is an NHS optical voucher?

The NHS gives funding towards the cost of glasses or contact lenses, in the form of an NHS optical voucher, to anyone who qualifies (this funding does not apply to everyone). Some people are also eligible for NHS-funded eye tests.

Although it is called a 'voucher', an NHS optical voucher is actually the name given to the GOS3 form that your optician completes after your eye test (if your prescription has changed and you qualify for an NHS optical voucher).

How much an NHS optical voucher is worth

The value of an NHS optical voucher depends on how strong your prescription is. The stronger the lens prescription, the more it costs to manufacture so the higher the value of the NHS optical voucher.

For more information about help with eye health costs, see eyecare entitlements.

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 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

Getting the best value

Free glasses using your NHS optical voucher

If you choose a pair of glasses from our £25 or £45 ranges, your NHS optical voucher will fully cover the cost so you won’t need to pay anything. Choose from an extensive selection of frame designs in these ranges.

Using your NHS optical voucher to buy glasses from another range

You can increase the value of your NHS optical voucher to purchase prescription glasses from our £69 range or above (excluding sunglasses) by simply paying a 'top up' price, together with your NHS optical voucher, and we pay the rest. For example, if you pay a £10 top up, you can get a £69 pair of glasses; if you pay a £35 top up, you can get a £99 pair of designer glasses.

If you're under 16, or under 19 and in full-time education, you can use your NHS optical voucher for some huge savings. Pick any frames from our £99 designer ranges and only pay £14 with our designer glasses for teens offer.

How our special offers work with your NHS optical voucher

You can choose one Specsavers special offer that you would like to use your NHS optical voucher with. Popular choices include:

You can either use your NHS optical voucher with the ‘top up’ prices or with one of our offers but you cannot do both.

Our store staff can explain how to make your NHS optical voucher go further so you get the very best value.

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.