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Once you reach the age of 60, many NHS services are free but charges are made for some services, such as NHS dental treatment and the purchase of glasses or contact lenses.

However, if you're on a low income or if you receive the Guarantee Credit portion of Pension Credit, you may be eligible for full or partial help with these costs.

What help do I get if I'm on Pension Credit?

If you receive the Guarantee Credit portion of Pension Credit, you're entitled to the following:

  • free prescriptions
  • free dental treatment
  • vouchers towards glasses or contact lenses
  • wigs and fabric supports
  • help with the costs of travel to hospital.

However, if you receive the Savings Credit portion of Pension Credit on its own, you're not entitled to help with health costs.

The NHS Low Income Scheme

If you're on a low income and have savings of less than £16,000 (£23,500 if you live in a care home) you may be entitled to help with the cost of:

  • prescriptions
  • NHS dental checks and treatment
  • glasses or contact lenses
  • travel costs to receive NHS treatment while under the care of a consultant and, in some cases, following a referral from a doctor or dentist.

You can get a form to apply for the NHS Low Income Scheme from Jobcentres, many opticians, dentists, local hospitals and GP surgeries.

You can find out by calling the Help with Health Costs Helpline on 0300 330 1343.

Further information


Our Information guides are short and easy to digest, giving a comprehensive overview of the relevant topic. Factsheets are longer with more detail, and are aimed at professionals.

You can download other guides in our series from publications

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 678 1174

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