If you’re getting Universal Credit, your entitlement to free or reduced cost NHS healthcare depends on your earnings for the most recent assessment period. You’re entitled if your earnings during that period were:
- £435 or less
- £935 or less if your Universal Credit includes an element for a child, or if you have a limited capability for work or limited capability for work and work related activity.
‘Most recent assessment period’ means the assessment period that ended immediately before the date you claim free NHS healthcare. It runs for a calendar month.
If you claim Universal Credit as a couple, the earnings limit applies to the joint income of you and your partner.
Your Universal Credit award notice can be shown as proof that you’re entitled.
New prescription forms have been introduced in England from January 2020. The updated prescription forms include a new exemption box U 'Universal Credit and meets the criteria' for patients who are entitled to free NHS prescriptions because they claim Universal Credit and their earnings in their last assessment period are within the threshold.
If you’re entitled to free NHS prescriptions because you claim Universal Credit and you meet the earnings criteria above, until you are presented with the updated prescription form you should continue to tick the Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance box (box K).
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