How to apply





How to apply

You need to fill in an HC1 form and post it back to us at:

Low Income Scheme
NHS Business Services Authority
Help with Health Costs
Bridge House
152 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 6SN 

You will need to use a stamp.

Where to get an HC1

If you live in:

  • England - print an HC1 form or you can order a form to be sent to you
  • Scotland - print an HC1 form or get a paper copy from job centres, GP surgeries, pharmacies and Citizens Advice centres
  • Wales - call 0845 603 1108 (select the option for health publications) to get a copy sent to you or job centres, NHS hospitals, dentists and opticians might stock copies of the HC1 too

If you need any help making your claim, please call us on 0300 330 1343.

Renew your certificate

To renew your certificate, you need to re-apply using an HC1 form.

What happens next

We'll normally assess your application within 18 working days of receiving your form.

If you're entitled to help you will get either:

  • Full help with health costs and will be given an HC2 certificate (this gives you free prescriptions)
  • Partial help and be given an HC3 certificate which shows how much you have to pay towards your health costs

You should get your certificate within four weeks of applying.

Your certificate is usually valid for between six months and five years depending on your circumstances.

Ask for a review

If you disagree with the outcome of your application, you can ask for it to be formally checked by a Quality Reviewer. The Review Team will check that your application was correctly assessed.

You can request a review by emailing  or write to:

LIS Review Team
Help with Health Costs
Bridge House
152 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle Upon Tyne

Include the following in your correspondence:

  • your certificate number 
  • full name
  • date of birth
  • address and post code
  • telephone number
  • a brief description of why you are requesting a review