Struggling Britons eligible for free prescriptions and more: Low Income scheme explained

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The Low Income Scheme can help with a range of costs from prescriptions to sight tests, transport and wigs. Pensioners, students, employees and benefit recipients could all be eligible for the scheme if their capital and savings is below a certain threshold. 

The NHS Low Income Scheme provides proportional support for Britons depending on their income levels. 

The scheme can help cover the costs of:

  • NHS prescriptions
  • NHS dental treatment
  • Sight tests
  • Glasses
  • Contact lenses
  • Travel costs to receive NHS treatment
  • NHS wigs
  • NHS fabric supports.


Eligibility for the scheme and how much support people will get depends on how their income relates to their outgoings.

Savings and investments are included in this amount, however Britons that find they are eligible for the scheme but have been paying the full costs themselves could also get a refund.

Additionally, if one person qualifies for this support so will their partner. 

An online application is being trialled for the scheme, which some of the eligible Britons will be able to use.

Britons can apply online if their capital or savings are £6,000 or less. 

Britons must also be at least one of the following:

  • Pensioner
  • Student
  • Earning a wage
  • Receiving state benefits
  • Living in a care home.

Anyone can apply for the scheme if their savings, property and investments are below:

  • £16,000 not including the property they live in
  • £23,250 if they live in a care home permanently
  • £24,000 if they live in a care home permanently in Wales. 

Some people are already entitled to help with health costs and will not need to apply. 

This includes people who receive:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • Universal Credit.

Universal Credit claimants qualify if, in their last assessment period, they earned £435 or less, or £935 or less if they have a child element or limited capability for work. 

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