NHS HC2 Certificate

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Alexandre Desoutter updated on March 10, 2023

You might be entitled to get full help with your healthcare costs that you need to pay towards the NHS? You do not know what you are eligible to or how to apply?

We will explain everything you need to know about the HC2 form in this guide. Let's dive in!

What is a HC2 certificate?

A HC2 form is a certificate delivered by the NHS allowing you to get full help with your healthcare expenses.

In the UK, the National Health System (NHS) pays for almost any healthcare and for any UK resident. However, some healthcare charges such as optical care, dental care, prescription or wigs and fabric support still need to be paid by patients. For people with low income, the NHS implemented a specific scheme allowing them to get full or partial help for those healthcare expenses not covered by the system.

Good to know

You can't get HC2 certificate without filling in first a HC1 Low Income Scheme application form.

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Who can apply for a HC2 certificate?

You can be entitled to get full help with your healthcare costs if your savings, property (excluding your permanent address), investments do not exceed:

  • £23,250 if you live in care home permanently; or
  • £16,000.

Your dependent children or partner will also be entitled to get the same help.

How to get a HC2 certificate?

To get a HC2 certificate, you must apply for the HC1 Low Income Scheme at the NHS.

You will find everything you need to know about the HC1 application form here.

Once filled in and sent, the NHS will decide whether you are entitled to get partial (HC3 certificate) or full help (HC2 certificate) with your healthcare costs.

What can I get with HC2 certificate?

With a HC2 form, you will get, as long as you go through the NHS (and not private healthcare system):

  • free dental care
  • free prescriptions
  • free sight tests
  • free wigs and support
  • help with the cost of your glasses and contact lens
  • help if you need to travel to receive treatment.

What if my HC2 certificate expires?

Each HC2 form has an expiry date. Once expired, you must apply for a new one filling in the HC1 Low Income Scheme form from the NHS.

Watch out!

If you claim on your healthcare expenses but your certificate has expired, then you might need to pay a £100 penalty.

What if I lose or damage my HC2 form?

You can ask for a new one and the NHS will send it to you within 10 working days.

You can contact the NHS either through their online form or by phone at the number 0300 330 1343. Lines are opened from Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm and Saturday, 9am to 3pm.

You can also contact them by mail at the address: NHS Help with Health Costs, NHS Business Services Authority, Bridge House, 152 Pilgrim Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6SN.

Can I still use my HC2 form if my financial situation changed?

Yes, until it expires. Afterwards, you will need to apply again using the HC1 form and see if you are still entitled to get NHS help with your new financial situation.

Does it exist a specific HC2 form for students?

No, there is no specific HC2 form for students. Basically, the HC2 certificate will be the same, no matter your age, status, profession or other distinctive categories. Indeed, the HC2 certificate is the same in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England.

What is the difference between a HC2 form and a HC2 certificate?

Both terms basically refer to the same thing. You normally apply to receiving a HC2 certificate after you have filled in and sent to the NHS the HC1 form.

What is the difference between the HC2 certificate and the HC3 certificate?

Both certificates are delivered after applying to the NHS Low Income Scheme (LIS) through the HC1 form. The difference them is just about the level of coverage:

  • A HC2 certificate means you will receive full help.
  • A HC3 certificate means you will receive partial help.
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Alexandre Desoutter

Alexandre Desoutter has been working as editor-in-chief and head of press relations at HelloSafe since June 2020. A graduate of Sciences Po Grenoble, he worked as a journalist for several years in French media, and continues to collaborate as a as a contributor to several publications.

In this sense, his role leads him to carry out steering and support work with all HelloSafe editors and contributors so that the editorial line defined by the company is fully respected. and declined through the texts published daily on our platforms.

As such, Alexandre is responsible for implementing and maintaining the strictest journalistic standards within the HelloSafe editorial staff, in order to guarantee the most accurate, up-to-date information on our platforms. and expert as possible. Alexandre has in particular undertaken for two years now the implementation of a system of systematic double-checking of all the articles published within the HelloSafe ecosystem, able to guarantee the highest quality of information.