Free NHS eye checks and vouchers

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Information & Advice


Free NHS eye checks & vouchers

Find out if you could be eligible for a free NHS eye check or glasses discount

Boy having an eye check

NHS eye care

Find out if you could be eligible for a free NHS eye check or glasses discount

Taking care of your eyes is important because it not only helps make sure you can see clearly but it can also provide a window to your overall health by showing the early signs of conditions like diabetes.

That's why, if you need help paying for an eye check, glasses or contact lenses, you may be eligible for an NHS discount.

The NHS provides the following discounts for certain groups of people:

Book an eye check

Free NHS eye checks

Who can get a free NHS eye check?

You are entitled to a free NHS eye check if you:

  • are aged under 16
  • are aged 16, 17, or 18 and are in full-time education
  • are aged 60 or over
  • are registered as partially sighted (sight impaired) or blind (severely sight impaired)
  • have been diagnosed with diabetes or glaucoma
  • are aged 40 or over, and your mother, father, brother, sister, son, or daughter has been diagnosed with glaucoma
  • have been advised by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) that you're at risk of glaucoma
  • are eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher - your optometrist can advise you about your entitlement
  • receive Income Support
  • receive Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (not Contribution-based)
  • receive Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • receive Income-based Employment and Support Allowance (not Contribution-based)
  • receive Universal Credit
  • are a prisoner on leave from prison
  • are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate
  • are on a low income and named on a valid HC2 (full help) or HC3 (partial help) certificate
How do I claim my free NHS eye check?

At your Boots Opticians appointment, one of our colleagues will go through the relevant NHS forms with you and fill them in, so you can begin having free eye checks.

Please bring with you official documentation certifying your proof of entitlement if you:

  • receive Income Support
  • receive Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (not Contribution-based)
  • receive Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • receive Universal Credit
  • receive Income-based Employment and Support Allowance (not Contribution-based)
  • are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate
  • are on a low income and named on a valid HC2 (full help) or HC3 (partial help) certificate
How often can I get a free NHS eye check?

How often you can claim your free NHS eye check depends on where you live:

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland only
If you're under 16, or over 70 years of age, you're entitled to a free eye check every year. If you're 16 to 69, you can get a free NHS eye check every two years. Also, if there are any changes to your prescription or health, you may be entitled to more regular eye checks as recommended by your optician.

In Scotland only
If you're under 16, or over 60 years of age, you're entitled to a free eye check every year. If you're 16 to 59, you're entitled to a free eye check every two years. Also, if there are any changes to your prescription or health, you may be entitled to more regular eye checks as recommended by your optician.

Book an Eye Check

NHS Optical vouchers

You may also be entitled to an NHS optical voucher to help with the cost of your glasses or contact lenses.

Who can get an NHS optical voucher?

You can get an NHS optical voucher if you:

  • are aged under 16
  • are aged 16, 17, or 18 and are in full-time education
  • are eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher - your optometrist will advise you on your entitlement
  • receive Income Support or Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (not Contribution-based)
  • receive Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • receive Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • receive Universal Credit
  • are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate
  • are named on a valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs (HC2). People named on an NHS certificate for partial help with health costs (HC3) may also get help
How much is the voucher worth?

The value of the voucher you get depends on your prescription. The stronger or more complex your prescription, the greater the value of the voucher you can receive.

How often can you get an optical voucher?

You can get a voucher whenever there is a significant change in your prescription. This is determined at the discretion of your prescribing optometrist. In some cases you may also get a voucher for replacement or repair but please speak to your local Boots optometrist who can advise you further on this.

How do you claim an NHS optical voucher?

When you visit your nearest Boots Opticians to buy your glasses, our colleagues will go through the relevant NHS forms and fill them in for you, so you can begin receiving your vouchers.

Please bring with you official documentation certifying your proof of entitlement if you:

  • receive Income Support
  • receive Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (not Contribution-based)
  • receive Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • are awarded Universal Credit
  • receive Income-based Employment and Support Allowance (not Contribution-based)
  • are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate
  • are on a low income and named on a valid HC2 (full help) or HC3 (partial help) certificate

Children's NHS eye checks and optical vouchers

Eye checks are particularly important during childhood because it means potential problems with vision can be spotted early. This improves the chances of successful treatment, if it's needed.

All children under 16 years old are entitled to a free eye check every year. In addition, they can also get an optical voucher to help pay for their glasses, which means many of our pairs are completely free for children.

How often can children get a free NHS eye check?

When you are under 16 you can get a free NHS eye check every year, or as directed by your optometrist.

How often can children get an optical voucher?

Children can get a voucher whenever there is a significant change in their prescription. This is determined at the discretion of the prescribing optometrist. In some cases, they may also get a voucher for replacement or repair but please speak to their local Boots optometrist who can advise you further on this.

How do I claim a child's free NHS eye check or optical voucher?

Simply book your child's appointment at your nearest Boots Opticians as normal. At the appointment, our colleagues will go through the relevant NHS forms with you and fill them in.

Book an Eye Check

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NHS eye care

Find out if you could be eligible for a free NHS eye check or glasses discount

Taking care of your eyes is important because it not only helps make sure you can see clearly but it can also provide a window to your overall health by showing the early signs of conditions like diabetes.

That's why, if you need help paying for an eye check, glasses or contact lenses, you may be eligible for an NHS discount.

The NHS provides the following discounts for certain groups of people:

Book an eye check

Free NHS eye checks

Who can get a free NHS eye check?
 

You are entitled to a free NHS eye check if you:

  • are aged under 16
  • are aged 16, 17, or 18 and are in full-time education
  • are aged 60 or over
  • are registered as partially sighted (sight impaired) or blind (severely sight impaired)
  • have been diagnosed with diabetes or glaucoma
  • are aged 40 or over, and your mother, father, brother, sister, son, or daughter has been diagnosed with glaucoma
  • have been advised by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) that you're at risk of glaucoma
  • are eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher - your optometrist can advise you about your entitlement
  • receive Income Support
  • receive Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (not Contribution-based)
  • receive Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • receive Income-based Employment and Support Allowance (not Contribution-based)
  • receive Universal Credit
  • are a prisoner on leave from prison
  • are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate
  • are on a low income and named on a valid HC2 (full help) or HC3 (partial help) certificate
How do I claim my free NHS eye check?
 

At your Boots Opticians appointment, one of our colleagues will go through the relevant NHS forms with you and fill them in, so you can begin having free eye checks.

Please bring with you official documentation certifying your proof of entitlement if you:

  • receive Income Support
  • receive Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (not Contribution-based)
  • receive Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • receive Universal Credit
  • receive Income-based Employment and Support Allowance (not Contribution-based)
  • are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate
  • are on a low income and named on a valid HC2 (full help) or HC3 (partial help) certificate
How often can I get a free NHS eye check?
 

How often you can claim your free NHS eye check depends on where you live:

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland only
If you're under 16, or over 70 years of age, you're entitled to a free eye check every year. If you're 16 to 69, you can get a free NHS eye check every two years. Also, if there are any changes to your prescription or health, you may be entitled to more regular eye checks as recommended by your optician.

In Scotland only
If you're under 16, or over 60 years of age, you're entitled to a free eye check every year. If you're 16 to 59, you're entitled to a free eye check every two years. Also, if there are any changes to your prescription or health, you may be entitled to more regular eye checks as recommended by your optician.

NHS Optical vouchers

You may also be entitled to an NHS optical voucher to help with the cost of your glasses or contact lenses.

Who can get an NHS optical voucher?
 

You can get an NHS optical voucher if you:

  • are aged under 16
  • are aged 16, 17, or 18 and are in full-time education
  • are eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher - your optometrist will advise you on your entitlement
  • receive Income Support or Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (not Contribution-based)
  • receive Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • receive Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • receive Universal Credit
  • are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate
  • are named on a valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs (HC2). People named on an NHS certificate for partial help with health costs (HC3) may also get help
How much is the voucher worth?
 

The value of the voucher you get depends on your prescription. The stronger or more complex your prescription, the greater the value of the voucher you can receive.

How often can you get an optical voucher?
 

You can get a voucher whenever there is a significant change in your prescription. This is determined at the discretion of your prescribing optometrist. In some cases you may also get a voucher for replacement or repair but please speak to your local Boots optometrist who can advise you further on this.

How do you claim an NHS optical voucher?
 

When you visit your nearest Boots Opticians to buy your glasses, our colleagues will go through the relevant NHS forms and fill them in for you, so you can begin receiving your vouchers.

Please bring with you official documentation certifying your proof of entitlement if you:

  • receive Income Support
  • receive Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (not Contribution-based)
  • receive Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • are awarded Universal Credit
  • receive Income-based Employment and Support Allowance (not Contribution-based)
  • are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate
  • are on a low income and named on a valid HC2 (full help) or HC3 (partial help) certificate

Children's NHS eye checks and optical vouchers

Eye checks are particularly important during childhood because it means potential problems with vision can be spotted early. This improves the chances of successful treatment, if it's needed.

All children under 16 years old are entitled to a free eye check every year. In addition, they can also get an optical voucher to help pay for their glasses, which means many of our pairs are completely free for children.

How often can children get a free NHS eye check?
 

When you are under 16 you can get a free NHS eye check every year, or as directed by your optometrist.

How often can children get an optical voucher?
 

Children can get a voucher whenever there is a significant change in their prescription. This is determined at the discretion of the prescribing optometrist. In some cases, they may also get a voucher for replacement or repair but please speak to their local Boots optometrist who can advise you further on this.

How do I claim a child's free NHS eye check or optical voucher?
 

Simply book your child's appointment at your nearest Boots Opticians as normal. At the appointment, our colleagues will go through the relevant NHS forms with you and fill them in.

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