NHS Sight Tests

You qualify for a free NHS-funded sight test if:

  • you’re under 16
  • you’re under 19 and in full-time education
  • you’re 60 or over
  • you’re registered as blind or partially sighted
  • you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes or glaucoma
  • you’re 40 or over and your mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter has been diagnosed with glaucoma
  • you’ve been advised by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) that you’re at risk of glaucoma
  • you’re a prisoner on leave from prison
  • you’re eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher – your optometrist (optician) can advise you about your entitlement

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

  • receive Income Support
  • receive Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (not Contribution-based)
  • receive Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • receive Income-based Employment and Support Allowance (not Contribution-based)
  • are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate
  • are named on a valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs (HC2)
  • If you’re named on an NHS certificate for partial help with health costs (HC3), you may get some help towards the cost of your sight test.

Proving your entitlement to a free NHS eye test

When you go for your eye test, tell your optician that you’re entitled to a free NHS sight test.
They will give you a form called a GOS1 to fill in and sign.

You may be asked to show proof that you’re entitled to a free NHS sight test.
Ask staff for further info or visit www.dh.gov.uk/helpwithhealthcosts

Those groups highlighted above may also be entitled to an optical voucher towards the cost of spectacles or contact lenses. The value of the voucher depends on the strength of the optical prescription and the type of lens needed.

The optometrist issues vouchers when there is a clinical change in prescription, or when spectacles have been damaged through wear and tear.