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NHS tax credit exemption certficates

You're entitled to full help with health costs if your annual family income is £15,276 or less and you receive either:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit paid together
  • Working Tax Credit including a disability element

Check whether you’re entitled to a certificate

If you meet these conditions, HM Revenue and Customs will inform us and we will send you an NHS tax credit exemption certificate. You don’t need to apply.

Certificates are valid for up to seven months. If you’re still entitled, you will be sent a new certificate before your current one expires. If your current certificate has already expired and you have not received a new one, this is normally because your circumstances have changed and you no longer meet the qualifying conditions. 

It’s your own responsibility to check the expiry date, and if you claim help with your health costs after your certificate expires, you could have to pay a penalty charge of up to £100.

What your certificate covers

The certificate entitles you, your partner (if you have one) and any dependent children included in your tax credit claim to:

  • free NHS prescriptions
  • free NHS dental treatment
  • free NHS sight tests
  • help with the cost of glasses or contact lenses
  • free NHS wigs and fabric supports
  • help with the cost of travel to receive NHS treatment

Use your certificate or your tax credits award notice when claiming help with your health costs. If you have dependent children aged 16, 17 or 18, they may need to show evidence that they are in full time education.

Replacement certificates

If you lose or damage your certificate, we can send you a replacement.

Contact us

Certificates are issued once a month, so you will receive your replacement no later than the end of the month after the month when you contacted us. You can use your tax credit award notice to claim help with your health costs while you’re waiting for your replacement.

Change of circumstances

We issue certificates based on the information we receive from HM Revenue and Customs. If your name, address or financial circumstances change, you will need to contact them so they can update the information they send to us.

Contact HM Revenue and Customs

If you no longer receive tax credits, you can continue to use your certificate until it expires as long as your tax credit payments stopped after its start date. If your payments stopped before your certificate’s start date, you should return it to the address on the back.

If you’re not currently entitled to a certificate

You could save money on prescription charges with a prescription prepayment certificate. Or, if you have a low income you may qualify for help through the NHS Low Income Scheme.