Help with NHS costs

People affected by dementia receiving certain benefits may also be eligible for help with NHS costs. Find out what you may be entitled to.

NHS benefits

People receiving Income support, income-based Jobseeker’s allowance, Pension credit, Working tax credit (a payment that you may qualify for if you work but are on a low income) or income-related ESA (providing their capital is less than a certain amount.)

  • free prescriptions (prescriptions are also free for anyone aged 60 and over)
  • free dental treatment from NHS dentists
  • free sight tests and vouchers towards the cost of glasses – sight tests are also free for anyone aged 60 and over
  • help with hospital travel costs for NHS treatment and free appliances for outpatients or day patients.

NHS hearing aids are prescribed by an NHS consultant to anyone needing them on free loan. They are fitted, serviced and supplied with batteries free of charge.

NHS low income scheme

If you do not receive any of the above benefits but are on a low income and have savings below the limit, you can apply for help towards NHS health costs.

The amount of financial help you receive will depend on your savings and income. You need to complete form HC1, which you can get from Jobcentre Plus offices and NHS hospitals. Some GPs, dentists and opticians may also stock them. If you live in a care home you can apply on a special short form called HC1(SC). Ask the care home manager or a carer for this form or use the HC1 form.

For more information on help with NHS costs, see the booklet HC11 Help with health costs, available from any of the above sources or search for ‘HC11’ on the Department of Health website.

Special notes

Benefits in hospital 

Benefits may be affected if either a carer or a person with dementia goes into an NHS hospital for more than a short stay. In this case, it is important to seek advice and inform, Jobcentre Plus office, Pension Centre or DWP Disability Service Centre as appropriate.

Benefits in a care home

For information on benefits for people living in a care home Paying for care in England, or Paying for care in Wales.

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