How to get a free eye test

Thursday, 14 March 2019
How to get a free eye test

Are you entitled to a free eye test? Under the NHS, you may be entitled to a free eye test, read our guide to make sure you don’t spend money if you don’t have to.

Can I get a free eye test?

Whether or not you can get a free eye test depends on your age, the current condition of your eyes and personal circumstances. Special concessions are usually made for children, older people, the blind and those receiving government assistance are among the main groups entitle to a free eye test on the NHS.

 

Who is entitled to a free eye test?

Under the NHS in the United Kingdom, there are certain parameters that entitle an individual to a free eye test.

- Young people

If you are under the age of 16, are 16, 17 or 18 and in full-time education - i.e. College, 6th form, or an apprentice you are entitled to a free eye test on the NHS.

- The elderly

If you are 60 years old or over, you are entitled to a free eye test on the NHS.

- The visually impaired

If you are officially registered as partially sighted or blind, you are entitled to a free eye test on the NHS. If you are 40 or over with a mother, father, sibling or child that has been diagnosed with glaucoma, and if you have been advised by an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) that you’re at risk of glaucoma you are also entitled to a free eye test.

- Prisoners

If you are a prisoner or on leave from prison, you are entitled to a free eye test on the NHS.

- Those on benefits

Those on governments benefits are also entitled to a free eyes test. This includes people who receive:

- Income based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income Support
- Tax credits and meet the specified criteria
- Universal Credit and meet the specified criteria
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income – based Employment and Support Allowance
- Get Pension Credit Guarantee Credit


Additionally, if you have a low income and are named on a valid NHS HC2 certificate for full help with health costs. You may also be entitled to a reduced cost sight test if you have a low income and are named on a valid NHS HC3 certificate for partial help with health costs.

Most of the people who qualify for a free eye test, may also qualify for Optical Vouchers.

 

 

Who is eligible for a free mobile eye test?

Those who are eligible for a free NHS eye test, may also be entitled for a mobile eye test, in which a qualified optician comes to you for an examination, as opposed to you going to an optician. 

You are eligible for a mobile eye test if:

    • - You reside in a care/residential home and are not able to leave your residence without a guide because of a physical/ mental illness or disability.
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    • - You reside at your own home but are not able to leave unaccompanied because of a physical/ mental illness or disability.
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    • - You have difficulties communicating your health needs unaided and need a specialised practitioner.

 

 

How often can I get a free eye test?

You can get an eye test as and when you feel there is a problem with your eyes, or there has been a noticeable change in your visual acuity. You should aim to get an eye test at least once a year.

Some opticians will waive the cost of an eye test if you purchase lenses directly from them after you eye test or sign up to a direct-debit scheme. In the long term, it is more cost effective to pay for your contact lens test, receive your prescription from your optician and buy your contact lenses online. Feel Good Contacts offer a Price Match Guarantee against all major UK contact lens retailers.

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