View in High Contrast

Are you entitled to an NHS sight test?

In England, Northern Ireland & Wales you qualify for a free NHS sight test if you are:

  • Aged under 16
  • Aged 16, 17 or 18 in full-time education
  • Claiming benefit (i.e. Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit Guarantee Credit). If you are receiving Tax Credits you may also be entitled to help on the NHS.
  • On a low income and named on a valid HC2 (full help) or HC3 (partial help) certificate

To apply for a HC2 or HC3 certificate complete a HC1 form available from a Job Centre Plus office, NHS hospital or by phoning the NHS health cost advice line on 0845 850 1166. Some dentists, opticians and doctor surgeries also have them

In Scotland NHS eye examinations are available free to all.

More Information on free NHS sight test entitlement in:

What is an NHS voucher and who is entitled to it?

If you need new glasses or contact lenses, and qualify for help with the cost, you will be given an optical voucher along with your prescription. You are free to use your voucher as full or part payment towards the cost of the glasses or contact lenses of your choice, at an optician of your choice.

In England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales you can get help with the cost of glasses or contact lenses if you are:

  • Aged under 16
  • Aged 16, 17 or 18 in full-time education
  • Prescribed complex lenses (your optician will advise on your entitlement)
  • Claiming Benefit (i.e. Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit Guarantee Credit).
  • receiving Tax Credits you may also be entitled to help on the NHS.
  • On a low income and named on a valid HC2 (full help) or HC3 (partial help) certificate. (To apply for a HC2 or HC3 certificate complete a HC1 form available from a Job Centre Plus office, NHS hospital or by phoning the NHS health cost advice line on 0845 850 1166. Some dentists, opticians and doctor surgeries also have them.)

More Information on Optical Voucher entitlement in: