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All about NHS optical vouchers and free eye tests

Do you want to know if you are eligible to receive an NHS optical voucher or to take a free eye test? Lentiamo has put together the most important information for you.

Read on to find out who gets optical vouchers from the NHS and how it helps you save on your glasses or contact lenses

Who is entitled to a free NHS eye test?

You can get a free eye test from the NHS if you meet one of the following requirements. You are entitled if you:

  • are under 16
  • are 16, 17 or 18 and in full-time education
  • are 60 years old 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 that you're at risk of glaucoma
  • are a prisoner on leave from prison
  • are eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher

Please ask your optician to advise you about your entitlement.



Who is entitled for a free NHS eye exam?


Moreover, you have the right to take a free eye test if you or your partner receive:

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


Free NHS eye exam conditions


Who's entitled to receive an optical voucher from the NHS?

You are entitled to an optical voucher with which you can pay 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.

Please ask your optician to advise you about your entitlement.

You are also entitled to take a free eye test if you or your partner receive:

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

What is an NHS complex lens voucher?

Complex lens vouchers are a contribution to the cost of contact lenses that are either –10/+10 diopters (or more) or prismatic bifocal lenses. Currently, the contribution is £14.60 for single vision lenses and £37.40 for bifocal lenses.

The vouchers are only available to those who meet the clinical criteria and are not eligible for any of the general optical vouchers.

What is a mobile sight test?

If you are entitled to a free eye test from the NHS, you may be able to have it done at home under certain circumstances. These circumstances include:

  • If you are not able to leave home unaccompanied due to a physical or mental illness or disability
  • If you are a resident and cannot leave the home unaccompanied due to a physical or mental illness or disability
  • If you are unable to take a vision test at an optician's office due to a physical or mental illness or disability or have difficulty communicating your health needs without help

Where and how can I apply for an NHS optical voucher?

All you need to do is make an appointment for an eye examination. When you speak to your doctor or optician, be sure to mention that you are eligible for a free eye exam and an NHS optical voucher. There is no obligation to use this voucher with the optician who did the eye test – it can be used with any optician, so be sure to ask for it if they do not give it to you automatically.



Please do not hesitate to contact our customer service (info@lentiamo.co.uk and 0800 249 4219) if you have any further questions.

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Leonie is the head of content at Lentiamo. She researches medical content, discusses complex matters with our opticians and creates educational texts for our blog, glossary and various guides. Her speciality is to make complex ophthalmological issues understandable.

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