Student specific Low Income Scheme FAQs




Q. Are students automatically entitled to free NHS treatment?

A. Students in full-time education who are under the age of 19 are automatically entitled to full help with health costs (except travel costs, in which case they can apply to the Low Income Scheme).

Students aged 19 and over entering higher education generally have access to their own resources and are no longer classed as dependant children.  They can apply to the Low Income Scheme, using form HC1, the same as all other adults to see if they qualify for help.   Click here to order an appliaction form.

Q. Do I only have to complete the student section of the HC1?

A. The HC1 is 'sign-posted and tells you what questions to answer next. You need to complete all parts of the form as directed.

Q. Do I have to send evidence of my student income with my claim?

A. Yes, we need to see evidence of all grants, bursaries and awards you receive.  Normally this will consist of an award notice showing how much money you get.

If you applied for a student loan, we need to see a copy of the financial assessment that was carried out, regardless of whether or not a loan was actually awarded.

Q. Does it make a difference when I make my claim?

A. Assessments are based on a 'snapshot' of a person's circumstances at the date of claim.  If your claim is made during the summer vacation, the assessment will reflect your circumstances at that time.  For example, if you are working, your earnings will be taken into account.

Some students find they qualify for more help if they claim during the academic year, as the assessment takes account of any liability they have for housing costs.  However, the outcome of any claim will depend on your circumstances at the time it is received.  The onus is therefore on the individual to decide when to claim.

Q. I have not applied for a student loan.  Why is it included in the assessment?

A. It is a matter of choice whether you apply for a student loan.  However the Government's policy is that as loans are the primary source of public support for students, they should be taken up before further help from public funds can be considered.  This policy applies equally for all income-related benefits, for example, Income Support.  This means that student loans are regarded as income for the purposes of calculating help with health costs.  A standard deduction is made from the student loan for books and travel costs.

Q. I have only applied for the non-income assessed element of the student loan.  Why is the income-assessed element also included in the assessment?

A. The regulations state that the full amount of student loan is included as income in the assessment. This includes the income-assessed and the non-income assessed loan elements available whether or not an application is made, and any assessed contributions to the loan whether or not they are actually paid.