People who fall into the following categories are exempt from prescription charges:
- children under 16 years old.
- students under 19 in full time education.
- people on income support or family credit.
- people getting Jobseeker's Allowance.
- people receiving Disability Working Allowance.
- war pensioners - for prescriptions relating to their war disablement.
- women who have had a child in the past year.
- people with some specific medical conditions, including diabetes, epilepsy, permanent stomas, myasthenia gravis, Addison's Disease and thyroid conditions.
To get free prescriptions:
- tick the appropriate box on the back of the prescription form FP10 (GP10 in Scotland) to say why you don't have to pay.
- enter your HC2 certificate number if you have one.
- sign the prescription form before you give it to the pharmacist.
In case you want to claim your money back, ask for receipt FP57 (EC57 in Scotland) when you pay - you can't get one later.
Otherwise you will have to pay £5.65 for each item on prescription.
If none of the above applies to you and you need a lot of medication, you may be able to reduce prescription costs by getting a prepayment certificate. Prepayment charges are £29.30 for four months and £80.50 a year. You use the prepayment like a season ticket to pay for prescriptions. You can get an application form FP95 (EC95 in Scotland) from a Social Security office, main post office, pharmacist or Health Authority. The form tells you what to do.
For more information see Benefits Agency leaflet HC11 'Are you entitled to help with health costs?' available from main post offices, Benefits offices, or pharmacists.