Free NHS eye tests and optical vouchers

Find out if you're entitled to a free NHS sight test or an optical voucher to reduce the cost of glasses or contact lenses.

If you're not eligible for NHS-funded sight tests or optical vouchers, you'll have to cover the costs yourself.

Eye examination

Free NHS eye tests

You're entitled to a free NHS sight test if you:

  • are under 16
  • are 16, 17 or 18 and in full-time education
  • are 60 or over
  • are registered as partially sighted or blind
  • have been diagnosed with diabetes or glaucoma
  • are 40 or over and your mother, father, sibling or child has been diagnosed with glaucoma
  • have been advised by an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) that you're at risk of glaucoma
  • are a prisoner on leave from prison
  • are eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher – your optician can advise you about your entitlement

You're also entitled if you or your partner – including civil partner – receive, or you're under the age of 20 and the dependant of someone receiving:

  • Income Support
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • Universal Credit

If you're entitled to or named on:

  • a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate (if you do not have a certificate, you can show your award notice), you qualify if you get Child Tax Credits, Working Tax Credits with a disability element (or both), and have income for tax credit purposes of £15,276 or less
  • a valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs (HC2)

NHS optical vouchers

You're entitled to an optical voucher for help towards the cost of your glasses or contact lenses if you:

  • are under 16
  • are 16, 17 or 18 and in full-time education
  • are a prisoner on leave from prison
  • are eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher – an optician can advise you about your entitlement

You're also entitled if you or your partner – including civil partner – receive, or you're under the age of 20 and the dependant of someone receiving:

  • Income Support
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • Universal Credit and meet the criteria