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Am I entitled to free NHS prescriptions?

Some patients are automatically entitled to free prescriptions from the NHS. Some of the reasons you might not pay for your prescriptions include:

  • If you've given birth in the last 12 months and have a Maternity Exemption Certificate
  • If you receive certain benefits or tax credits
  • If you're aged under 16 or over 60

Find out if you're eligible for free NHS prescriptions, here.

You’re eligible for free NHS prescriptions if at the time the prescription is dispensed you’re in one of the following groups:


  • aged 60 or over 
  • under 16 years old
  • aged 16 - 18 and in full time education 


If you receive one of these benefits below, then you, your partner and any dependent aged under 20 are also entitled to free prescriptions.

  • income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance

You are entitled to free NHS prescriptions if you or your partner receive:

  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit with Savings Credit

If you’re receiving Pension Credit Savings Credit alone, or contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, or contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance then you can apply for help with prescription costs through the NHS Low Income Scheme.

You are entitled to free NHS prescriptions if you receive:

Tax Credits

If you're entitled to or named on:

  • a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate. 

You qualify for this if you get Child Tax Credits, Working Tax Credits including a disability element (or both), and your annual family income for tax credit purposes is £15,276 or less.

Low Income

You can apply to the NHS Low Income Scheme for one of the below certificates:

  • a valid HC2 certificate, for full help with health costs including NHS prescription charges
  • named on a HC3 certificate, but this is only for partial help with health costs and does not entitle you to free NHS prescriptions

Medical reasons

You qualify for free prescriptions if you:

  • are pregnant or have had a baby in the previous 12 months and have a valid maternity exemption certificate (MatEx)
  • have specific medical condition and have a valid medication exemption certificate (MedEx) 
  • have a valid war pension exemption certificate and the prescription is for your accepted disability 
  • Medication given to NHS hospital inpatients is always free



  • all contraception that is prescribed on an NHS prescription is free



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