March 15th, 2016
Patients on a low household income may be entitled to prescription costs help through the NHS Low Income Scheme (LIS). There are two types of LIS certificate availabe for prescription costs help. Eligible patients will receive either a full support certificate (HC2) or a partial support certificate (HC3).
The eligibility process for prescription costs help is very similar to the process for means-tested benefit. However, unlike means tested benefits, LIS takes deducts council tax and housing costs from your income, making the qualification threshhold slightly higher.
Before applying for prescription costs help you should check if you are eligible to receive free prescriptions.
To apply for an HC2 certificate, you should complete form HC1, which is available from any Newline Pharmacy branch. You can also get an HC1 form by calling 0845 610 1112.
Whether you qualify for help is based on a comparison between your weekly income and assessed requirements at the time the claim is made. For more information about requirements visit NHS: help with health costs.
You will qualify for a full help HC2 certificate (which includes free NHS prescriptions) if your income is less than or equal to your requirements, or your income is greater than your requirements by no more than half the current English prescription charge.
You will qualify for a limited help HC3 certificate if your income is greater than your requirements by more than half the current English prescription charge. The HC3 certificate shows how much you have to pay towards your health costs.
Certificates are usually valid for periods of between six months and five years, depending on your circumstances.
If you have any questions about the NHS Low Income Scheme prescription costs help then please feel free to visit any Newline Pharmacy branch and we will be pleased to provide help and further information. Alternatively, you can call the NHS Low Income Scheme helpline 0300 330 1343.
Detailed information is available on the NHS website: