Eligibility for the NHS tax credit exemption certificate is based on certain factors that determine whether or not someone may be awarded the benefit as well as the duration of time until when they will remain eligible. There are certain circumstances that may change in a claimant’s living conditions or their income due to which they may lose eligibility for this benefit. Through this blog post, we will explore the details of the eligibility criteria of the NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate,  the eligibility criteria for it as well as alternate options for those who may not be able to qualify.   

Can I Get NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate?

Yes, you can get an NHS tax credit exemption certificate if your annual household income is less than ££15,276 and you are currently claiming any of the following state benefits:

  • Child Tax Credit, 
  • Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit, or
  • Working Tax Credit including a disability or severe disability element

If you are a claimant of any of the above, HMRC informs the NHS of your situation and they issue an NHS tax credit exemption certificate in your name so that you can receive help in reducing health care costs.

The NHS tax credit exemption certificate entitles you, your partner and your children under the age of 20 years to credit claim on the following:

  • free of cost NHS prescriptions
  • free of cost dental treatment at NHS
  • free of cost sight tests at NHS or through a partner
  • free wigs and fabric supports through NHS
  • help with the cost of glasses or contact lenses
  • help with the cost of commute to receive NHS treatment

If your NHS tax credit exemption certificate is lost or damaged, you can contact NHS for a replacement. 

These certificates are generally valid for a period of 7 months; after which the HMRC reevaluates claimants’ situation. If they continue to remain eligible for health care support, a new certificate is issued to them. 

If your previous certificate has expired and you haven’t received a renewed NHS tax credit exemption certificate, the reason could be a change in your circumstances due to which you are no longer eligible to claim the benefit.

What Should I Do If I Am Not Eligible For NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate?

If you are not eligible for NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate, you can apply for the NHS Low Income Scheme. To qualify for this it is essential you and your partner can comply with the following:

  • you have less than or equal to £16,000 in savings, investments or property (this does not include the value of the house that you live in)
  • you have less than or equal to £23,250 in savings, investments or property if you live in a care home

You can apply online through the NHS website. It generally takes 18 days for them to revert to your application.

If you are able to qualify for the NHS Low Income Scheme, you and your partner can avail of health cost support in the form of:

  • free of cost NHS prescriptions
  • free of cost dental treatment at NHS
  • free of cost sight tests, glasses or lenses at NHS or through a partner
  • free wigs and fabric supports through NHS
  • free of cost of commute to receive NHS treatment

However, if you are already claiming any of these benefits, you need not apply to the scheme as your health costs are covered through them:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • Universal Credit 

What Is The Difference Between NHS Medical Exemption Certificate And NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate?

The NHS Medical Exemption Certificate is a five-year certificate that is applied through your GP in case of severe medical conditions including cancer. Claimants do not have access to the online form which can only be filled in by medical practitioners. The certificate can only help claimants by providing them with free prescriptions.

On the other hand, an NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate is meant for individuals on low income and claiming tax credits to help them with a wide range of healthcare costs including prescription fees, certain health screenings. You cannot claim for this certificate, rather it is HMRC who considers you eligible based on your benefits claims and informs the NHS regarding your eligibility. The certificate is valid for a 7-month duration; after which claimants’ eligibility is reassessed.  

Who Is Eligible For Tax Credits?

Although tax credits have been replaced with Universal Credit, they can be categorised as Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.

Working Tax Credit is for people who may be employed but are on low income. It takes into account the number of hours worked by an individual as well as the amount earned during this time.

Child Tax Credit is paid to families who need support with childcare costs. To be eligible for this benefit, you must also be eligible for Working Tax Credit. You will be able to claim the maximum amount of Child Tax Credit if you are already in the claim of any of the following state benefits:

• Income Support

• Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance

• Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

• Pension Credit

Tax credits are paid on annual basis to claimants and take the following factors into consideration to confirm eligibility:

  • your household income
  • the number of children or qualifying young persons the claimant is responsible for
  • the number of weekly hours you work for
  • any disability that a claimant has
  • registered or approved childcare expenses of the claimant

Can Universal Credit Help With Health Costs?

Yes, you may be eligible for health costs to be covered by the NHS if you are on Universal Credit and fulfil the below criteria:

  • you have either no earnings or earnings less than £435 as per your most recent assessment for Universal Credit; or
  • your Universal Credit claim includes an element for a child or you (or your partner) with limited capability for work (LCW) or limited capability for work and work-related activity (LCWRA) and your earnings are less than £935 as per your most recent assessment for Universal Credit.

Your benefit claim for Universal Credit makes you eligible for the following health costs:

  • Free prescriptions
  • Dental treatment
  • Sight tests
  • Glasses and contact lenses
  • Essential travel costs
  • Wigs and fabric support

If you are not eligible for benefits but are on low income, you may be able to avail of discounts for healthcare costs under the NHS low-income scheme.

Who Is Eligible For Universal Credit?

To qualify for Universal Credit, claimants must be able to fulfil the below eligibility criteria:

  • aged between 18 (in some cases it may be 16 or 17) and state pension age
  • unemployed or on low income
  • between the claimant and their partner, total savings are less than £6,000
  • experiencing high costs for child care
  • suffering from a disability or health condition
  • caring for someone else

The amount of Universal Credit that an individual receives depends on their personal circumstances and income (if any). For instance, someone who is single and younger than 25 years of age will be eligible for Universal Credit amounting to around £257 per month. Meanwhile, this amount will rise to around £509 for someone who is living with a partner and either one of them or both of them are above the age of 25.

What Is Classed As Low Income?

Households in the UK are classified as being on low income if they live on less than 60 per cent of the median net disposable income earned. As per recent data gathered and analysed by the Department for Work and Pensions People in low-income households – GOV.UK Ethnicity facts and figures a household with a couple having no children would be considered to be in low income if their annual household income is less than £17,100 BHC (before housing costs) and £14,800 AHC (after housing costs). The median income for the term 2019-2020 has been taken as £547 per week; while 60 per cent of the median income mark falls at £328 during the last fiscal. This means that any household with a combined income of less than £328 is considered to be on low income.

Conclusion:

The NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate can help with a wide range of healthcare-related costs; however, there may be individuals who fail to meet the eligibility criteria despite being on low income. In such cases, one may be able to low income scheme of the NHS to avail similar discounts and exemptions. In cases where an individual is claiming benefits such as Universal Credit, they may not need to apply for an NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate as their health care costs are covered under the benefit they claim.

FAQs: Can I Get NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate?

How do I get an NHS exemption card?

You should ask your GP for a form FP92A to get an NHS exemption card. The form is available to your GP who also has access to your medical records. It cannot be downloaded and is only accessible to healthcare providers. They can fill the form online and sign it to confirm your eligibility for the certificate. 

Where can I get the form FP92A?

The form FP92A is available to your GP who also has access to your medical records. It cannot be downloaded and is only accessible to healthcare providers. They can fill the form online while the NHS proceeds with the necessary checks before your exemption certificate is made.

Can I get free glasses with a medical exemption certificate?

Yes, you can get free glasses with a medical exemption certificate. Additionally, you can also claim free of cost NHS prescriptions, dental treatment at NHS, sight tests at NHS or through a partner, free wigs and fabric supports through NHS as well as help with the cost of commute to receive NHS treatment.

How do I renew my NHS medical exemption certificate?

You should contact the NHS for the renewal of your medical exemption certificate and they will arrange it for you. Similarly, n case your certificate is lost or damaged, you must contact the NHS helpline to seek advice and support so that a duplicate certificate is issued to you.

How long do medical exemption certificates last?

A medical exemption certificate is valid for a period of five years. You should inform your GP when your certificate is about to expire and they will reapply on your behalf by applying through a new FP29A form online.

References:

NHS tax credit exemption certificates | NHSBSA

Check if you have an NHS exemption

Who-can-get-free-prescriptions

NHS Low Income Scheme (LIS)

NHS exemption certificates and tax credits update « Blog « Revenue Benefits

NHS Low Income Scheme | NHSBSA

What was missing from this post which could have made it better?