If you’re referred to hospital or other NHS premises for specialist NHS treatment or diagnostic tests by a doctor, dentist or another primary care health professional, you may be able to claim a refund of reasonable travel costs under the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS).
What are the qualifying benefits and allowances?
You can claim help with travel costs if you or your partner (including civil partner) receive any of the following benefits:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Working Tax Credit (WTC) with Child Tax Credit (CTC)
- WTC with a disability element or a severe disability element
- CTC but you’re not eligible for WTC
- Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
- You receive Universal Credit and meet the criteria
You can also claim for help with travel costs if:
- you’re named on, or entitled to, an NHS tax credit exemption certificate (if you do not have a certificate, you can show your award notice) – you qualify if you get child tax credits, working tax credits with a disability element (or both), and have income for tax credit purposes of £15,276 or less
- you have a low income and are named on certificate HC2 (full help) or HC3 (limited help) – to apply for this certificate, you should complete the HC1 form: claim for help with health costs, which is available from your local hospital, Jobcentre Plus offices or the NHS print contract order line on 0300 123 0849.
How do I claim a refund?
To claim your travel costs, take your travel receipts, appointment letter or card, plus proof that you’re receiving one of the qualifying benefits, to a nominated cashiers’ office.
Nominated cashiers’ offices are located in the hospital or clinic that treated you. They’ll assess your claim and make the payment directly to you.
In some hospitals, the name of the office you need to go to may be different (for example, the General Office or the Patient Affairs Office). If you’re not sure, ask reception or Patient Advice and Liaison Services (PALS) staff where you should go.
Some hospitals and clinics do not have cashier facilities. In this case, you can complete an HC5(T) claim travel charges form and post it to the address stated on the form.
You can make a postal claim up to three months after your appointment took place.
- Call 0300 330 1348 for the dental services helpline
- Call 0300 330 1343 for the Low Income Scheme helpline
- Call 0300 330 1341 for queries about medical exemption certificates
- Call 0300 330 1341 for queries about prescription prepayment certificates (PPCs)
- Call 0300 330 1349 for the prescription services helpline
- Call 0300 330 1347 for queries about tax credit certificates
- Call 0300 123 0849 to order a paper copy of the HC12, HC5 and HC1 (SC) forms
- Call 0300 330 1343 for all other queries