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Help with the cost of NHS prescriptions ­ how to claim

Protecting your NHS

HC81

If you claim free NHS prescriptions, you will be asked for proof of why you do not have to pay.

This means You should show proof of your exemption at the pharmacy when you get your prescription dispensed. You must sign to say why you do not have to pay. If you do not show proof, you will still get your medicines or the items you have been prescribed but checks will be made later. Unsure about whether you can get free prescriptions? You should pay prescription charges but when you pay ask for an NHS receipt form FP57 (WP57 in Wales) you cannot get one later. The receipt form tells you how to get a refund. You will need proof of why you did not have to pay and apply for the refund within 3 months of paying the prescription charges.

Asylum seekers You need an HC2 certificate to be entitled to free prescriptions. If you are an asylum seeker supported by NASS (National Asylum Support Service) you should already have one of these. If not, you will need to apply for an HC2 by completing form HC1. The Refugee Council will give you an HC1 with a white envelope so that your HC1 can be dealt with quickly. Please note that if there is not a Refugee Council in your area, you can get HC1 forms from your nearest Jobcentre Plus office, or ring 08701 555 455 to get one sent to you.

IMPORTANT Patients found to have wrongly claimed help with health costs will face a Penalty Charge and in some cases prosecution, under powers introduced by the Health Act 1999. For more information visit www.cfsms.nhs.uk and read the "NHS Penalty Charge Guidance".

You can get free NHS prescriptions if you ... · · Are aged 60 or over Are aged under 16

The proof you need to have

Where and how to get the proof NHS medical cards are given out when you are first registered as a patient with a GP. If you need a card, contact your local Primary Care Trust (PCT). NOTE - Some PCTs no longer issue NHS medical cards, in this case use one of the other documents mentioned.

If your date of birth is printed on your prescription you do not have to show any other proof. If it is not, you can show things like your NHS medical card, current Child Benefit order book, retirement pension book, passport, birth certificate, driving licence, travel concession card, or any other official papers showing your name and date of birth.

·

Are aged 16,17, or 18 and in full-time education

A current Child Benefit order book. If you do not get child benefit, you should show proof of your date of birth (which might be on your prescription - see above) and proof that you are a full-time student.

The Child Benefit Centre is on: 0845 302 1444. Your school, college, university or your Local Education Authority can give you proof that you are in qualifying full-time education.

·

Are pregnant and named on a valid Maternity Exemption Certificate, or Card Have had a baby in the last 12 months and are named on a valid Maternity Exemption Certificate, or Card

A valid FP92 Maternity Exemption Certificate, or Card (Matex) (this will be issued to you if you are pregnant or have had a baby in the last 12 months).

To apply for a FP92 Maternity Exemption Card (Matex), ask your GP, midwife or health visitor for an FW8 application form. The form tells you what to do.

·

·

Have a listed medical condition and are named on a valid Medical Exemption Certificate, or Card

A valid FP92 Medical Exemption Certificate, or Card (Medex). This will be issued to you if you have a qualifying medical condition.

To apply for a FP92 Medical Exemption Card (Medex), ask your GP, or NHS hospital doctor for a FP92 application form. The form tells you what to do.

·

Are a War Pensioner, the prescription is for your pensionable disablement, and you are named on a valid War Pensions Exemption Certificate

A valid War Pensions Exemption Certificate, To apply for a War Pensions showing the disability or injury for which you have Exemption Certificate, you can the pension. write to: The Veterans' Agency, Norcross, Blackpool, FY5 3WP, call: 0800 169 2277, Text phone: 0800 169 3458, or Fax: 01253 330561.

You can get free NHS prescriptions if you ... · Are named on a valid Prescription Pre-payment Card

The proof you need to have

Where and how to get the proof Phone: 0845 850 0030 to pay by credit or debit card. To pay by cheque get an application form (FP95) from your pharmacy or go to: www.doh.gov.uk/nhscharges/fp95. htm. The FP95 tells you what to do. Or, you can buy online via www.ppa.org.uk.

A valid FP96 Prescription Prepayment Card (PPC). PPCs last for either 4 months or 12 months.

·

Are named on a valid HC2 Certificate

A valid HC2 Certificate for full help with health costs as part of the NHS Low Income Scheme.

Make a claim using form HC1, which you can obtain from your Jobcentre Plus office or by calling: 0845 850 116 or: 08701 555 455. You may also be able to get an HC1 from your local hospital, some dentists, opticians or pharmacists.

You can get free NHS prescriptions if you (or your partner) get one of the following... · Income Support

The proof you need to have

Where and how to get the proof

Your Income Support order You have to claim the benefit at your book, or an entitlement letter Jobcentre Plus office (the address will be in your local telephone book). from your Jobcentre Plus office. If payments are made into your bank or building society, you can obtain proof in the form of an entitlement letter from your Jobcentre Plus office.

·

Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance

An entitlement letter from your Jobcentre Plus office.

You have to claim the benefit at your Jobcentre Plus office (the address will be in your local telephone book). If payments are made into your bank or building society, you can obtain proof in the form of an entitlement letter from your Jobcentre Plus office.

·

Tax Credits and you or your partner meet the qualifying conditions

You are entitled to, or If you are eligible for free prescriptions, your named on, a valid NHS Tax NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate will Credit Exemption Certificate. be sent to you. If you need a prescription before your certificate arrives, you can go to the following website for further guidance: www.doh.gov.uk/nhscharges/taxcredits.htm.

·

Pension Credit guarantee credit (paid on its own or with savings credit)

You are named on a valid award notice for Pension Credit guarantee credit (paid on its own or with savings credit).

If you are eligible for Pension Credit guarantee credit (paid on its own or with savings credit) an award notice will be sent to you. The award notice includes a page with a heading "How your Pension Credit has been worked out". This includes personal information which you may prefer not to show. In this case, you should fold up the letter just to show item 5.

(Recipients aged 60 or over are Please note: savings credit automatically exempt on age grounds ­ so this only applies to on it's own does not entitle the recipient (or their partners who are under 60) partner) to free prescriptions. If a person getting savings credit wants help with their health costs, they need to apply for help with health costs under the NHS Low Income Scheme on an HC1 (See above for details).

Supplied free: You can also get the following supplied free: · · · · Medication administered in a hospital or Walk-in Centre Prescribed contraceptives Medication personally administered by a GP Medication supplied by a hospital for the treatment of a sexually transmissable infection (STI)

Health cost advice lines: For more information on Help with Health Costs and the Pharmaceutical Point of Dispensing checks, you can phone the Health Benefits Division advice line: 0845 850 1166 Medical and Maternity Exemption Certificates For enquiries: 0845 601 8076 Prescription Pre-payment Certificates For prices, phone orders and enquiries: 0845 850 0030 NHS Low Income Scheme HC2 Certificates To apply or for enquiries you can write to the: Health Benefits Division, Sandyford House, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 1DB, or call: 0845 850 1166 or: 08701 555 455 War Pensions Exemption Certificates To apply or for enquiries you can write to: The Veterans' Agency, Norcross, Blackpool, FY5 3WP, or call: 0800 169 2277, or Fax: 01253 330 561 For people with hearing or speech difficulties: 0800 169 3458 NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificates For enquiries (have your Tax Credit award notice ready to answer questions): 0845 609 9299 (Note - Does not deal with enquiries about applications or entitlement to Tax Credits ­ See number below) Other advice lines: Inland Revenue - Tax Credit Helpline To apply or for enquiries about entitlement to Tax Credits: 0845 300 3900 For people with hearing or speech difficulties: 0845 300 3909 Pension Service - Pension Credit Application Line To apply for Pension Credits: 0800 99 1234 For people with hearing or speech difficulties: 0845 606 4064 (Note - Does not deal with enquiries about entitlement to Pension Credits) Also available:

Guidance on Tax Credits is available from the following website: www.doh.gov.uk/nhscharges/taxcredits.htm. Guidance on Pension Credits is available from the following website: www.doh.gov.uk/nhscharges/pensioncredits.htm. HC11 - Help with Health Cost, available from main Post Offices, or go to: www.doh.gov.uk/nhscharges/hc11.htm. HC11 (TC) - Tax Credits, available from main Post Offices, or go to: www.doh.gov.uk/nhscharges/hc11tc.htm. HC12 - NHS charges and optical voucher values, available from main Post Offices, or go to: www.doh.gov.uk/nhscharges/hc12.htm. Copies of the above leaflets are available from: Department of Health Stores, PO Box 777, London, SE1 6XH. Telephone: 08701 555 455 Fax: 01623 724524 e-mail: [email protected] HC81 ­ Help with the cost of NHS prescriptions ­ how to claim, is available in the following languages: Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Croatian, English, Farsi, French, Kurdish, Portugese, Punjabi, Serbian, Somailian, Spanish, and Turkish. Copies can be downloaded from the CFSMS website: www.cfsms.nhs.uk. In future, the following will also be available from the CFSMS website www.cfsms.nhs.uk: [HC81(D) - Help with the cost of NHS dental charges-how to claim] [HC81(Op) - Help with the cost of NHS optical services-how to claim] [HC81(Pen) - The Penalty Charge explained]

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