Medical conditions and DWP benefits that qualify for free NHS prescriptions

NHS prescription charges are set at £9.35 each and although they have been frozen so far, they can still mount up for those who must pay for repeat prescriptions. As the cost of living increases day by day, it is worth knowing that there are a number of ailments that qualify people to get their NHS prescriptions for free.

This is in addition to those people usually entitled to free prescriptions such as the over 60s, the under 16s and 16-to-18 year olds still in full-time education. Women who are pregnant and new mums whose babies are under 12 months old also get free prescriptions.

However, others may also be exempt from paying. These include people who get some DWP state benefits and those with specific medical conditions, reports Birmingham Live.

Read more Derbyshire health stories

DWP benefits that qualify for free prescriptions

In terms of those on DWP support who are eligible, you are entitled to free prescriptions if you or your partner (including civil partner) receive any of the following payments:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit element)
  • Universal Credit (and meet the criteria detailed below)

Those who are under the age of 20 and are the dependant of someone receiving one of those benefits should also be exempt from paying for medication. And in the case of Universal Credit, it’s not a widespread exemption available to all on the benefit but instead has specific criteria attached.

Medical conditions that qualify for free prescriptions

Those with certain conditions – regardless of whether they receive Personal Independence Payment (PIP), detailed below – can get free NHS prescriptions if they have been given a medical exemption certificate (MedEx). These look like a credit or debit card. Certificates and last for five years. They can be issued if you have any of these conditions:

  • cancer, including the effects of cancer or the effects of current or previous cancer treatment
  • a permanent fistula (for example, a laryngostomy, colostomy, ileostomy or some renal dialysis fistulas) requiring continuous surgical dressing or an appliance
  • a form of hypoadrenalism (for example, Addison’s disease) for which specific substitution therapy is essential
  • diabetes insipidus or other forms of hypopituitarism
  • diabetes mellitus, except where treatment is by diet alone
  • hypoparathyroidism
  • myasthenia gravis
  • myxoedema (hypothyroidism requiring thyroid hormone replacement)
  • epilepsy requiring continuous anticonvulsive therapy
  • a continuing physical disability that means you cannot go out without the help of another person (temporary disabilities do not count, even if they last for several months)

Ask your doctor for an FP92A form to apply for a medical exemption certificate. The form has to be sent off to the NHS Business Services Authority.