When you're rebuilding your life after a stroke, the cost of paying for your medication can be an extra worry. But you may be able to get help with prescription payments.
In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland prescriptions are free, and in England, they're free to people who are aged 60 and over, under 16, or 16 to 18 and in full-time education. If you get certain benefits like Universal Credit they're also free.
NHS Low Income Scheme
Even if you're not getting qualifying benefits you might still be able to get help with prescriptions and other health costs like dental treatment, glasses and some health-related travel costs through the NHS Low Income Scheme.
If your savings, investments or property (not including your main home) are worth less than £16,000 then depending on your circumstances you may be entitled to full or partial help. If you live permanently in a care home and are aged 60 and under, the limit is £23,250.
Ask your doctor, optician or dentist for a form called HC1. If you need help making a claim or need to speak to an adviser, call the NHS Low Income Scheme helpline on 0300 330 1343. They can help you fill in the form over the telephone and then post it out for you to sign. You can also download a form from the NHS website.
Prescription prepayment certificates
If you can't get help through the NHS Low Income Scheme, a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC) might be another way to save money. A PPC covers the costs of all your prescriptions, no matter how many items you have. The prescription charge in England is £9.35 per item. A PPC costs £30.25 for three months, or £108.10 for 12 months.
So if you need two prescribed medicines each month you could save more than £25 in three months with the three-month PPC, or more than £115 a year with the 12-month PPC.
You can pay for a PPC online or by calling the PPC helpline on 0300 330 1341. You can pay by debit or credit card, or spread the cost with a Direct Debit. Or you can pay in full at a pharmacy that's registered to sell PPCs.
Find out more
If you need advice on applying for benefits or filling in forms, visit the Citizens Advice website.
Find out more about the financial support available after a stroke.
Stroke News magazine
This article is featured in the summer 2021 edition of our magazine, Stroke News. Subscribe to our future editions available in print, on audio CD, or via email.