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Eligibility for a free NHS eye examination

kids eyetest

In England and Wales, the National Health Service (NHS) makes free eye examinations available to UK residents who fall in to one or more of the following categories:

  • Children under 16 years*
  • Full time students under 19 years*
  • Those aged 60 years and over
  • If you or your partner receives income support, income-based job seeker's allowance, pension credit guarantee credit, or you receive tax credits and are named on a valid exemption certificate*
  • The named individual on a valid HC2 certificate*
  • Individuals who are registered blind or partially sighted
  • Individuals suffering from diabetes or glaucoma
  • Individuals who have been advised by an ophthalmologist that they are at risk of glaucoma
  • Individuals aged over 40 who are the parent/brother/sister/child of a person who has or had glaucoma

  • Individuals who have been prescribed complex lenses

* These individuals are also entitled to help with the cost of spectacles.

If you think you may qualify for a free eye examination but are not sure, download leaflet HC11 - Are you entitled to help with health costs? This leaflet is also available from post offices, social security offices, NHS hospitals and your local GP surgery.

You may be entitled to partial help towards the cost of a private sight test if you are named on a valid HC3 certificate.