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Other benefits

Other financial help

If your income is low you may be able to receive a top-up benefit. Top-up benefits include Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, and Pension Credit. They can be:

  • contributory, that is, payable if you've paid enough National Insurance contributions in a set period, or if you become too ill to work when classed as a young person; or
  • income-based or income-related, which means they may be paid on top of a contributory benefit if your income is too low.

Top-up benefits are worth claiming because they give you access to extra help with everyday costs. This could include:

You will need to show proof of your benefit entitlement to the pharmacist, dentist or optician, or at the hospital if you're claiming help with travel fares.

If you don't claim when you use a service, have a treatment or buy a product, you may be able to ask for a refund of costs. You need to request this within three months and you’ll need proof of what you spent and your entitlement to help.

If you don’t qualify for a top-up in income from a means-tested benefit but you're on a low income, you may be able to apply for partial help with health costs through the NHS Low Income Scheme. This scheme provides help for people who are not exempt from charges but are on a low income, and covers many of the health costs mentioned above, except for prescriptions.

See Help with health costs for details about the support you can get and how to make a claim or request an exemption certificate.


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Page last reviewed: 20/05/2013

Next review due: 20/05/2015

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Get help with health costs

You may be entitled to help with health costs. Read about what help is available and how to claim