Entitlement to Help


If you fall into one of the categories below, you may be exempt from paying health care charges, including charges for treatment, dental treatment, dentures, sight tests, glasses and fares to hospital:

  • You or your partner is in receipt of pension credit guarantee credit, income-related employment and support allowance, income support, or income-based jobseeker’s allowance.
  • You are a war/service pensioner, have a war pension exemption certificate and need treatment because of the disability for which they get the pension
  • You or your partner is in receipt of child tax credit and are not eligible for working tax credit, For example, you do not work sufficient hours to qualify and your income is less than £15,276 per year.
  • You or your partner is in receipt of child tax credit and working tax credit and your income is less than £15,276 per year.
  • You or your partner is in receipt of working tax credit including a disability or severe disability element and their income is less than £15,276 per year.
  • You are a prisoner
  • If you are claiming Universal Credit or if you are on a low income and do not fit into Groups 1 or 2, you may be able to get help with your health costs by making a claim under the Health Service Low Income Scheme.

Wigs and Fabric Support

If you need a wig or a fabric support for medical reasons, you may be entitled to help with the cost of these.

If you are in the hospital, entitled to health benefits or hold an HC2 certificate, you may automatically free wigs and fabric supports.

You may get help with wigs and fabric supports if you hold an HC3 certificate. It will state on your certificate the amount of help they can receive.

When you are having a fitting (for example, at a hospital), you need to bring your benefit award letter, HC2 or HC3 certificates with you as evidence that you are entitled to help with costs or charges.

If you have incurred a charge for a wig or fabric support and think you may now be entitled to help, you must complete an HC5 refund form which is relevant to the charge you paid. You have 3 months in which to claim a refund.

You can get these HC certificates from your local Social Security office. Visit the NI Direct website for details of your local office

For further information download HC1: Help with Health Costs