UK Credit

Free Universal Credit Prescriptions: Are You Eligible for Free NHS Medicines on UC?

Millions of Britons in England could soon be billed for their drugs as the government plans to raise the age of eligibility for free NHS prescriptions to 66, in line with the state’s retirement age. But what does this mean for others entitled to free prescriptions? And can you get free prescriptions if you get universal credit?

Most treatments on the NHS are free, but notable exceptions include paying for prescriptions.

Most Britons have to pay for their prescriptions, but there are exceptions, including those for people of a certain age, claimants and pregnant women.

Anyone under the age of 16, 16 to 18 but in full-time schooling or over 60 is automatically eligible for free prescriptions.

For the elderly, the government plans to raise the age for admission to free prescription from 60 to 66, which could come into effect as early as April 2022.

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Some prescriptions are always free, like contraception, but others are chargeable, unless you are part of an exempt group.

Do people on universal credit receive free prescriptions?

According to the advice of the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, people on universal credit (UC) are entitled to help with health costs if their income is less than £ 435 during the assessment period before health expenditure.

You will also be entitled to help with your healthcare costs if your income was less than £ 935 during the assessment period before you had to pay healthcare costs, and your UC includes an item for:

  • Child
  • Health problem
  • Disability
  • Limited working capacity

If you benefit from one of these benefits, your spouse and any dependent young person under the age of 20 are also entitled to free prescriptions.

If you or your partner has a pension credit guarantee credit or a pension credit guarantee credit with savings credit, you are entitled to free prescriptions.

Can you get free prescriptions from the NHS if you have a low income?

People with low incomes, such as students and retirees, can apply for an HC2 certificate which gives them access to free prescriptions.

If you receive contribution-based benefits, such as Jobseeker’s Allowance, Contribution-Based Employment and Support Allowance, you are not immediately eligible for free NHS prescriptions, but you can apply for help from the NHS low income scheme.