Woman having her eyes tested, featured image for a blog around help with eye test costs multiple sclerosis

Can I get help with eye test costs?

I am in receipt of personal independence payment (PIP) and recently went for an eye test. I thought it would be free because I’m on PIP but that wasn’t the case! Are there any other benefits I can apply for that will cover the cost?

Unfortunately PIP does not cover the cost of eye tests. PIP is a disability-related benefit, rather than an earnings replacement benefit. Meaning, the benefit is given based purely on how your health condition affects you, rather than based on any income or savings.

Knowing what benefits you can apply for can be confusing. MS-UK have a dedicated webpage explaining the different benefits.

With regards to benefits that entitle you to a free eye test, you must be in receipt of one of the following

  • Income support
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • Receiving universal credit and you have no earnings or your (and your partner’s) monthly earnings are no more than £435, or £935 if your award includes the child amount or you (or your partner) have a limited capability for work
  • Claiming child tax credit or working tax credit and are named on a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate

You are also entitled to free eye tests if you have a valid HC2 certificate (full help with health costs) under the low income scheme. An HC3 form will help with partial costs.

It may be useful for you to use a benefits calculator to see if you may be eligible for other benefits that you are not currently in receipt of. They are free to use and are anonymous.

If you become eligible for one of the above listed benefits and therefore entitled to a free eye test, your optician will require you to fill in a specific form and show them proof of eligibility. A letter stating you have been awarded the benefit will suffice.