The 15 Medical Conditions and Benefits That Get You Free Prescriptions


The cost of living crisis is felt by everyone. The energy crisis, food prices and council tax increases have put pressure on households, but fortunately the government has announced that there will be no change to prescription fees in April . Prices will remain the same at £9.35.

People over 60 or under 16 do not have to pay for their medication, as well as those aged 16 to 18 who are studying full time and those who are pregnant or have had a baby during the previous year. Contraceptive drugs are also free.

There are also five DWP benefits and 10 medical conditions that give you free NHS drugs, but they come with restrictions according to Birmingham Live.

READ MORE: DWP puts Universal Credit next month – here’s how much you’ll get

People receiving DWP support are eligible if you or your partner (including civil partner) receives one of the following payments:

  • Income support

  • Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance

  • Employment and Income Support Benefit

  • Pension credit (guarantee credit element)

  • Universal Credit (and meet the criteria detailed below)

For those on Universal Credit, applicants must have had zero income or a net income of £435 or less in their last assessment period. Alternatively, a request for free prescriptions can be made if those on Universal Credit receive a payment that includes the addition of the child, or if they (or their partner) have a limited work capacity (LCW), limited work and work-related activity. (LCWRA), and had no income or net income of £935 or less during the last Universal Credit assessment period.

However, the NHS has warned that not all prescription forms have a tick box for the Universal Credit exemption. In this scenario, claimants are advised to tick the income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance box instead.

There are also 10 medical conditions that mean people are exempt from drug costs. Proof of the condition will need to be provided through a Medical Exemption Certificate (MedEx), which can be issued by your doctor.

The conditions included are:

  • 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 kidney dialysis fistulas) requiring a continuous surgical dressing or device

  • A form of hypoadrenalism (for example, Addison’s disease) for which specific replacement therapy is essential

  • Diabetes insipidus or other forms of hypopituitarism

  • Diabetes mellitus, except when treated with diet alone

  • Hypoparathyroidism

  • Myasthenia gravis

  • Myxedema (hypothyroidism requiring thyroid hormone replacement)

  • Epilepsy requiring ongoing anticonvulsant therapy

  • A persistent physical disability that prevents you from going out without the help of another person (temporary disabilities do not count, even if they last several months)

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