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Help with health costs

Universal Credit

In April 2013 the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) introduced a new benefit called Universal Credit. Universal Credit aims to simplify the benefit system by bringing together the current working-age benefits for those in and out of work into a single payment system. For more information visit the DWP website.

Anyone who is in receipt of Universal Credit up until October 31 2015 is entitled to full help with health costs. This is a temporary arrangement and the Department of Health will issue further guidance about future arrangements in due course. 

Help with health costs is provides for:

To claim help with health costs through Universal Credit you should show your award notice as proof that you have been awarded Universal Credit.

Anyone not receiving Universal Credit may be able to claim help with health costs. Look at the other pages in the Help with health costs section to see if any of them apply to you. 

How to claim help with health costs

You can claim help with health costs in the same way as those getting other qualifying benefits, such as income-based Jobseeker's Allowance. You will need to sign the NHS form to say you do not have to pay. This could be a prescription form given to you by your doctor, or a dental treatment form given to you by your dentist’s receptionist.

Most forms will not yet have a box for Universal Credit. If this is the case, you should tick the box for income-based Jobseeker's Allowance.

You should show your Universal Credit award letter to the healthcare professional when you sign the form.

The arrangements described above are for the period April 2013 to October 31 2015. Further information will be issued later in 2015.


The 3 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

Editor NHS Choices said on 28 November 2014

If you want answers about help with health costs, join the Help with Health Costs Facebook page where the NHS Business Services Authority will respond to help with health costs questions Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm;

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DentalSoftwareSupplier said on 30 October 2014

As we are now approaching the end of October 2014 would you be able to confirm whether the arrangement described above is now being extended or is due to be replaced and the claim forms updated.

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susan4567 said on 12 April 2013

I'm confused.

If UC is also replacing tax credits , housing benefit etc then surely you are allowing millions of extra people who move on to UC to get free health costs, when they currently do not.

You are merging a group who currently receive free health costs ( jsa ib, ESA ib etc) with a group who do not ( housing ben, wtc, )

This will cost millions for the government surely ?

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Page last reviewed: 02/04/2014

Next review due: 02/04/2016

Important numbers

Phone 0300 330 1348 for the dental services help line

Phone 0300 330 1343 for the Low Income Scheme help line

Phone 0300 330 1341 for queries about medical exemption certificates.

Phone 0300 330 1341 for queries about PPCs.

Phone 0300 330 1349 for the prescription services help line

Phone 0300 330 1347 for queries about tax credit certificates

Phone 0300 123 0849 to order a paper copy of the HC12, HC5 and HC1 (SC) forms

For all other queries call 0300 330 1343 

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