Step 1

Check you qualify for an NHS eye test

Step 2

See what you need to bring with you as proof

Step 3

Book your eye test online

What is an NHS-funded eye test?

The NHS will cover the full cost of an eye test with us for anyone who qualifies (funding doesn’t apply to everyone). In some cases, the NHS will also give an optical voucher towards the cost of glasses or contact lenses. Find out if you qualify and what you need to do to get your free NHS-funded eye test.

1. Who qualifies for an NHS-funded eye test?

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. Find out if you qualify and what you need to do to receive your free eye test.

Who qualifies?

AgeMedicalIncomeOther
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 voucher
Eligible for an NHS complex voucherAdvised by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) that you’re at risk of glaucomaReceive Income Support (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.

Information sourced from the NHS.

Scottish residents aged between 16 and 60 can have an NHS-funded eye examination every two years, if required. This provision only applies to eye examinations conducted in Scotland. In the Isle of Man, eye tests are free to anyone on the IOM NHS.

2. What to bring to your eye test

So once you’ve checked through the eligibility criteria and you think you qualify, you’ll need to bring along a document to your appointment just to show that you qualify for an NHS-funded eye test (and in some cases, an NHS optical voucher for glasses too).

You only need to show one of these items (unless stated otherwise), so whichever is easiest for you.

Proof you qaulify

Reason you qualifyWhat you qualify forWhat you can show in store as proof you qualify
Aged 0-15An NHS-funded eye test (and an NHS optical voucher for glasses)No proof needed for this age group
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 license
Aged 60 or overAn NHS-funded eye testNational Insurance number, passport, driving license
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 glaucoma
Aged 40 or over and your mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter has been diagnosed with glaucomaAn NHS-funded eye testAn NHS-funded eye test
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 GOS1 form

When you come in for your eye test, you’ll be asked to declare the reason and sign the NHS declaration stating that you’re entitled to an NHS-funded eye test. You’ll also be asked to show the relevant proof that you qualify.

3. Find your local store and book an eye test

Once you’re happy that you qualify and have the right information to show as proof, all you need to do is search for your local store and book your eye test online. Don’t forget to bring your document with you to your appointment.

Who doesn’t qualify for an NHS-funded eye test?

Unfortunately, you won’t be entitled to an NHS-funded eye test if you only receive:

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

If you’re still not sure whether you qualify for an NHS-funded eye test, pop into your local store and we’ll be happy to help.

NHS staff aren’t automatically entitled to an NHS-funded eye test either.

If you don’t qualify for an NHS-funded eye test, you can still book an eye test with us online. The cost of an eye test varies, but it’s usually around £20-25.

Will an NHS Medical Exemption Certificate Card cover the costs of an eye test?

If you are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate, then you will be entitled to a free eye test through the NHS every two years and, if required, a voucher towards the cost of glasses.

What is Universal Credit?

You’re entitled to NHS-funded eyecare if you receive Universal Credit, but you’ll need to show us your certificate of entitlement when you come in for your appointment. You can apply for a certificate using an HC1 form which is available here.

If you don’t have your certificate, we can still see you as a private patient and you can reclaim your entitlement on an HC5 form, as detailed on the last page of the HC1.

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

Scotland

Eye examinations are free to all Scottish residents, funded by the NHS and Scottish Government. If you’re aged between 16 and 60, you can have an NHS-funded eye exam every two years, if required. This only applies to eye examinations carried out in Scotland.

Certain people can have an NHS-funded eye exam once a year, if needed, 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-funded eye exam is due, get in touch with your optician as you may be able to have another NHS- funded eye exam.

Isle of Man

Eye tests are free to all residents in the Isle of Man.

Other information you might need

How much is an eye test at Specsavers?

The cost of an eye test varies, but it’s usually around £20-25.

Book an appointment

Can I get glasses free on the NHS?

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.

How often can you have an NHS-funded eye test?

If you qualify, you’re 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

Can I get free glasses on Universal Credit

Depending on your income, you’ll be entitled to help towards the cost of your glasses or contact lenses if you’re receiving Universal Credit.

NHS-funded glasses

If you qualify for an NHS optical voucher, you can put it towards the cost of your glasses.

Eye tests

Discover more information on what happens in a typical Specsavers eye test.

NHS-funded hearing aids

Find out if you’re eligible for NHS-funded hearing aids and hearing services.

Terms and conditions

NHS eligibility criteria applies. Offer available in the UK only. See if you qualify above OR ask in store for details