Who is it for?
Those qualifying for help with prescription charges, teeth, glasses and hospital fares, either because of age, receipt of a passported benefit, low income, or specified medical condition.
Healthy Start is for people :
• under 18 and been pregnant for more than 10 weeks; or
• over 18, pregnant for more than 10 weeks and getting income support or income-based jobseeker’s allowance or child tax credit (CTC) and not entitled to working tax credit (WTC) with gross annual income of no more than £16,040; or
• a family with a child under the age of 4 getting income support , income-based jobseeker’s allowance or CTC with gross annual income of no more than £16,040 and not entitled to WTC.
Healthy Start food vouchers are fixed value vouchers worth £3.10 a week which can be exchanged for fresh cows milk and infant formula milk, as well as fresh fruit and vegetables
Who pays it?
Prescription Pricing Authority
Which leaflet? And how is it claimed?
P11 for prescription charges, D11 for teeth, G11 for glasses, H11 for hospital fares, WF11 for fabric supports. leaflet HC11 covers all health benefits. Claim form is HC1. HSO1 for healthy start – 08701 555455
What are the age limits?
For prescriptions the age limits for age exemption are under 16 – or under 19 and in full-time education – and over 60
National Insurance based?
Yes, except those exempted on age or specified medical conditions.
How long does it last?
Depends on circumstances governing exemption or help.
What is effect on other benefits?
None, but IS/income based JSA and ESA and guarantee credit part of PC are all ‘passporting’ benefits. People getting WTC with a disability or severe disability element or CTC with an income of £15,276 or less also qualify
Is it taxable?
Increases for dependants?
Passporting benefits qualify dependants for help. The low income scheme takes dependants into account in the calculations.
Payable if in EU or other?
Exemption certificates and vouchers are only valid in GB or Northern Ireland. The E111 is the only route for assistance abroad.
Points to watch
Getting refunds after paying is possible for prescriptions and dental treatment if you act quickly and have receipts. A special, shorter form is used for people in residential care. People getting Healthy Start food vouchers also get free vitamins from the NHS
The A-Z of Benefits 2009 was compiled by Gary Vaux and Community Care Inform