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Help with health costs for people getting Universal Credit

If you receive Universal Credit, you may also qualify for help with health costs.

Find out about Universal Credit from GOV.UK.

Eligibility criteria

You qualify for help with health costs if, on the date you claim, you either:

  • receive Universal Credit and either had no earnings or had net earnings of £435 or less in your last Universal Credit assessment period
  • receive Universal Credit, which includes an element for a child, or you (or your partner) had limited capability for work (LCW) or limited capability for work and work-related activity (LCWRA), and you either had no earnings or net earnings of £935 or less in your last Universal Credit assessment period

If you're part of a couple, the net earnings threshold applies to your combined net earnings.

You should present a copy of your Universal Credit award notice to prove your entitlement. You'll need to have met the eligibility criteria in the last completed Universal Credit assessment period before your health costs arose. The NHS Business Services Authority provides an online eligibility checker.

Visit the GOV.UK website for more information about the Universal Credit assessment period.

Not all help with health costs claim forms have a tick box for Universal Credit. If that's the case, you should tick the box for income-based Jobseeker's Allowance instead.

Find out more about what you should do before making a health claim

Unsure if you meet the eligibility criteria?

You should pay for any health costs if you're unsure whether you meet the eligibility criteria. You can claim a refund once you're able to confirm your entitlement.

This might be the case because:

  • your Universal Credit claim is still being assessed
  • you're waiting for a decision about your Universal Credit claim that might change the threshold that applies to you
  • you're uncertain whether your earnings are within the threshold

You need to have met the eligibility criteria either in the Universal Credit period before you paid, or in the same assessment period in which you paid, to qualify for a refund.

Make sure you ask for and keep receipts. If you pay for a prescription, you must get a receipt and refund form (FP57) at the time you pay, as you will not be able to get one later.

Follow the NHS Business Services Authority (BSA) on Facebook or Twitter for the latest NHS BSA updates and answers to your questions about help with health costs.

Important numbers

Dental services helpline – 0300 330 1348

NHS Low Income Scheme helpline – 0300 330 1343

Prescription services helpline – 0300 330 1349

Queries about medical exemption certificates – 0300 330 1341

Queries about prescription prepayment certificates (PPCs) – 0300 330 1341

Queries about tax credit exemption certificates – 0300 330 1347

Call 0300 330 1343 for all other queries

Page last reviewed: 6 June 2023
Next review due: 6 June 2026