NHS Rules For Low Income Scheme
The NHS is celebrated for being one of the more accessible health services in the world.
This is partly down to the NHS low-income Scheme (LIS).
This scheme offers financial support for test services and medical testing including dental, eye care, travel costs, wigs, and prescriptions.
The application and certification process for low-income support can be a confusing and daunting. This applies especially to those already struggling with illness and disability. The source of this confusion comes down to the different coded forms and certificates. These include the following:
- HC1 form for applying for help
- HC2 certificate for full help
- HC3 certificate for partial help
- HC5 forms D, O, T and W for refunds.
- FP57 form for prescription refunds.
It is a complicated system with a lot of steps, and it can be overwhelming for patients in need. That is why is it important understand what each code means and how the results are determined.
Obtaining Your HC1 Form To Apply For Help.
The first step to achieving support for test services via the LIS is to fill out the HC1 form.
This form can be obtained from doctor, dentist and optician offices, any NHS hospital and your local Jobcentre Plus.
There is also a version that can be get downloaded via the NHS website. LIS advisers are available by phone to help you to fill out the form.
Patients on Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit Guarantee Credit or Universal Credit do not need to apply.
How do the NHS determine whether patients will receive HC2 or HC3 certification?
It is important to remember that this form of medical testing is means tests. This means that not all patients will get the same level of support. Some will be eligible for full help while others will receive partial help. The eligible applicant in England has a capital limit of £16,000 unless they live in a permanent care home, where it is £23,250. Applicants are means tested and aspects like council tax, and housing costs are takes into consideration. Those with an income less then, or equal to the required costs will receive the HC2 full help. Those above the threshold can receive HC3 partial help.
Why Are The HC5 And FP57 Forms So Important?
The HC1 form for low-income support is great when you know that you are going to require financial aid to cover future treatments. The certification covers you for between six months and five years based on the circumstances of the claim. What some cases may not realize is that there is also a way to reclaim the costs of some treatments. There are conditions and, once again, the NHS have made things overly complicated. There are four separate HC5 forms for dental, optical, travel and wigs charges and an FP57 receipt form for prescriptions. The FP57 can be obtain at the pharmacy when paying for the prescription. HC5 forms must be submit within months of the service.
There is financial help out there for medical testing and test services. The problem is that it can just take a little effort to obtain the right certification. Talk to your healthcare providers, understand your rights to financial aid and ask for a review if you feel the outcome is incorrect.