People in receipt of benefits

 

 

 

If you or your partner are in receipt of:

Income Support

You and your partner get free:

  • NHS prescriptions
  • NHS dental treatment
  • NHS sight tests
  • NHS wigs and fabric supports

You and you partner also get:

  • help towards the cost of glasses or contact lenses
  • refunds of necessary travel costs to receive NHS treatment.

This also applies to any dependent children, or young people under 20, included in your Income Support claim.

Universal Credit

Universal credit (UC) is a new benefit designed to combine a number of working age benefits. Up to 31 October 2015, anyone in receipt of an award of UC was entitled to full help with their health costs. From 1 November 2015 this only applies to those living in Wales until 31 March 2017.

For those living in England and Scotland there are very specific and different criteria for receiving full help with health costs because you receive UC.

From 1 November 2015, in order to be entitled to full help with your health costs because you are receiving UC and you live in Scotland you must be:

  • (a) receving UC, either as a single person or as a member of a couple, without the child element, the limited capability for work element or the limited capability for work or work related activity element and have no earned income or have earned income of £435.00 or less in the assessment period;
  • (b) receiving UC, either as a single person or as a member of a couple, where the UC award includes one or more of the child element, the limited capability for work element or the limited capability for work or work realted activity element and have no earned income or have earned income of £935.00 or less in the assessment period; or
  • (c) a child or qualifying young person for whom a recipient to sub-paragraphs (b) is responsible.

If you claim UC as a couple, the earnings limit is an individual not combined limit. if any member of the couple is above the limit, that member of the couple will not qualify.

Between 1 November 2015 and 30 November 2016 and you lived in England, your entitlement to full help with health costs was the same as people in Scotland.

From 1 December 2016, in order to be entitled to full help with your health costs because you are reciving UC and you live in England you must be:

  • (a) receiving UC and for the last complete assessment period there were no earnings or net earnings of £435.00 or less; or
  • (b) receiving UC and for the last complete assessment period there were no earnings or net earnings of £935.00 or less if you had a child element or had limited capability for work. The UC also covers the child or young person that the child element is for.

'Relevant assessment period' means the assessment period that ended immediately before the date you sign the declaration for help with your health costs. Or for refund purposes it can reflect either the period immediately before the date of the charge or travel, or the same assessment period in which the charge was paid or the travel expenses were incurred.

The earnings limit applied to the combined earnings of the couple where the claim for UC is made by a couple.

Your assessment period will run for a calendar month from the date your claim for UC (which will be shown on your award notice), and between the same dates each month after that.

You should tick the box for Income-related Jobseeker's Allowance and show your UC award notice as evidence of entitlement. Further information will be issued in 2017.

Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance

You, your partner and any dependent children, or young people under 20, included in your claim are entitled to the same things as people getting Income Support. 

Contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance 

Important: On its own, contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance does not automatically entitle you to help with health costs.  You may be eligible on other grounds, such as through the NHS Low Income Scheme.

If you are not sure about the type of  Jobseeker’s Allowance you are getting, ask at your Jobcentre Plus office. 

Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

You, your partner and any dependent children, or young people under 20, included in your claim are entitled to the same things as people getting Income Support. 

Contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance

Important: On its own, contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance does not automatically entitle you to help with health costs.  You may be eligible on other grounds, such as through the NHS Low Income Scheme

If you are not sure about the type of Employment and Support Allowance you are getting, ask at your Jobcentre Plus office. 

Pension Credit Guarantee Credit 

If you or your partner gets:
 
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit; or 
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit with Savings Credit 

you are entitled to the same help with health costs as people getting Income Support. 

Important: If you only get Pension Credit Savings Credit on its own, this does not entitle you to help with health costs.  You may be eligible on other grounds, such as through the NHS Low Income Scheme

How to check if you are getting Pension Credit Guarantee Credit

Only your award notice tells you what type of Pension Credit you get.  This is shown at item 5 on the page entitled ‘How your Pension Credit has been worked out’.  If you have not received an award notice, or have mislaid it, you should ring the Pension Centre on 0845 606 0265 and ask for a copy. 

Other benefits

Only Income Support, Universal Credit (in certain circumstances - see above), Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance and Pension Credit Guarantee Credit give you automatic help with health costs. 

Important: Other benefits, such as Incapacity Benefit, Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment, do not entitle you to help with health costs.  This is because they are not income related.  If you have to pay health costs, check to see if you are in any of the other groups. You might be able to get help if you are on a low income.