Claiming refunds of prescription prepayment certificates (PPCs)

Will I be able to get a refund?

The amount of refund depends on the length of PPC and when and how circumstances change. The table below shows when a refund may be claimed. 

 


Three-month PPC


12-month PPC


You become exempt from prescriptions before your PPC starts


Full refund


Full refund


The PPC holder dies, or goes into hospital and dies there before the PPC runs out


During first month -
full refund


During first month -
full refund


During month two - proportional refund


During months two to 11 - proportional refund


During month three -
 no refund


During month 12 -
no refund


You become exempt, or go into hospital and stay there until the PPC runs out


During first month - proportional refund


During months one to 11 - proportional refund


During month two or three -
no refund


During month 12 -
no refund

If the PPC holder dies, any refund due will be paid to their estate.

Amount of the refund

Fee paid in full

If you paid the PPC fee in full, the money refunded will be the difference between the amount due for the months before you became exempt and the amount actually paid. For example, a 12-month PPC starts in June, you become exempt from January, so the payment covers the period from June to January. You will get a refund for the unused period from February to May (of four months out of the 12 months covered by the PPC).

Fee paid by instalments

If a 12-month certificate is being paid by 10 monthly direct debit instalments and you have not made the full payment, the amount of refund will be the difference between the amount to cover the months before you became exempt and the amount you have actually paid by direct debit. For example, a 12-month PPC starts in June, you become exempt in January, so the payment is due for June to January - eight months of the full fee due. The refund is the difference between that amount and the total of the direct debit payments you have made.

Depending on when your exemption starts and the number of direct debit payments made, there may be times when you will not be entitled to a refund.

Claiming the PPC fee refund

If you want to claim a refund, send the original certificate to:

NHS Business Services Authority
PPC Issue Office
152 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE1 6SN. 

You need to say why you are claiming the refund. If you are paying by direct debit and become exempt, you will need to contact your bank or building society to cancel the payments.

Time limits for applying for a refund of a PPC fee

• If the PPC holder dies, their estate must claim within 24 months.
• If you go into hospital and stay there until the certificate runs out, you must make a claim within three months of the PPC running out.
• If you become entitled to free prescriptions, you must make the claim within three months of becoming exempt. That is, you must claim within three months of the start date of an exemption certificate or the award of a qualifying benefit.