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).
Who can claim for help with travel costs?
To qualify for help with travel costs under the HTCS, you must meet 3 conditions:
- At the time of your appointment, you or your partner (including civil partners) must receive one of the qualifying benefits or allowances listed on this page, or meet the eligibility criteria for the NHS Low Income Scheme.
- You must have a referral from a healthcare professional to a specialist or a hospital for further NHS treatment or tests (often referred to as secondary care).
- Your appointment must be on a separate visit to when the referral was made. This applies whether your treatment is provided at a different location (hospital or clinic) or on the same premises as where the GP or another health professional issued the referral.
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 (PDF, 218kb), which is available from your local hospital, Jobcentre Plus offices or the NHS print contract order line on 0300 123 0849
Patients who are not in receipt of a qualifying benefit, but are on a low income, and whose savings are £16,000 or less (or £23,250 or less if in a care home, or £24,000 or less if residents in Wales) may be eligible for assistance with their NHS travel expenses.
Find out more about the NHS Low Income Scheme.