Help with health costs (HCS1): information booklet - August 2021
Information booklet (HCS1) providing advice on what help a person may be entitled to for NHS charges.
Children Under 16
You get free:
- NHS dental treatment.
You also get:
- Vouchers towards the cost of glasses or contact lenses, including when you have lost or damaged your glasses or contact lenses.
If you need help with travel costs to and from hospital for NHS care – read Other Groups.
Young People In Full-Time Education Aged 16, 17 And 18
Full-time education means you must be receiving full-time instruction at a recognised education establishment or in another setting comparable to a school, college or university (for example, home education).
You are generally not considered to be receiving full-time education once you have come off a school or college register, or have finished receiving comparable education. However, if you do plan to continue in full-time education and have a letter offering you a place for the following term, you may be entitled to help during the break until your 19th birthday.
Education-based exemption applies until your 19th birthday and includes education beyond A levels or equivalent. It does not depend on entitlement to Child Benefit or on your family’s income.
If you are not entitled to education-based exemption, you may be able to claim for help with health costs under the NHS Low Income Scheme – read Income Groups.
You get free:
- NHS dental treatment for any course of treatment that starts before your 26th birthday (this applies even if you are not in education).
You also get:
- A voucher towards the cost of glasses or contact lenses:
- If you have lost or damaged your glasses or contact lenses – read page 23.
- If you need help with travel costs to and from hospital for NHS treatment – read .
Qualifying Young People aged between 16 and under 20
You will qualify if you are aged between 16 and under 20, and someone (usually a parent) gets:
- Child Tax Credit payment for you and their income used to work out their Child Tax Credit is within the qualifying level;
- Child Tax Credit for you and they receive Income Support (IS) or Income-base Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA-IB), or Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA-IR) or Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit); or
- Universal Credit for you and their earnings for Universal Credit are within the qualifying level.
You may also qualify if someone (usually a parent) receives a benefit, for example Income Support, with an amount for you.
If you meet all the conditions on Income Groups, you are entitled to the same things as the person getting the benefit – see Income Groups. This exemption depends on your family’s income and entitlement to the benefit.
If you do not meet all the above conditions, you may be able to claim for help with health costs under the NHS Low Income Scheme – read Income Groups.
Other Young People (Up To Age 26)
- You get free NHS dental treatment for any course of treatment which starts before your 26th birthday, whether or not you are in full-time education;
- If you need help with travel costs to and from the hospital for NHS treatment – read Other Groups;
- If you are aged 16 or 17 and supported by a Local Authority because you have recently left Local Authority care – read Other Groups;
- If you don’t have much money to pay other health costs, you can still apply for help under the NHS Low Income Scheme – read Income Groups.
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