free NHS eye test

Who can get a free NHS eye test?

What is the free eye test eligibility?

At Opticall Eyecare, we understand that health costs can be difficult to cover when you have to consider other bills and life costs. That does not mean that your eyesight should take a back seat on your list of priorities, however. If you are struggling to afford the cost of living, claim some benefits, or are registered blind or disabled, you may qualify for a free NHS sight test. You may also get support with the cost of glasses or contact lenses – should you need them. Find out more about the eligibility criteria below.

Free eye test eligibility criteria

To qualify for a free sight test (which includes an eye examination and eye health check), you need to meet one of the following criteria:

  • Aged 60 and over

  • Registered blind or partially sighted

  • Diagnosed as having diabetes or glaucoma

  • Considered to be at risk of glaucoma, as advised by an/our optician

  • Aged 40 or over with an immediate family member who has been diagnosed with glaucoma

  • Receiving benefits (income support, universal credit, income-based jobseeker’s allowance or pension credit guarantee credit)

  • Entitled to, or named on a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate

  • On a low income and named on a valid HC2 (full help) or HC3 (partial help) certificate

  • Eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher, as advised by an/our optician

What is a complex lens voucher?

A complex lens voucher covers individuals who are considered to have a complex prescription. To be eligible for this voucher, your prescription needs to be either -10/+10 dioptres (or more) or prism-controlled bifocal lenses. Complex lens vouchers contribute towards the cost of your glasses.

What is a full NHS optical voucher?

An optical voucher is something that is given in addition to your free NHS eye test if you qualify for support in paying for the cost of glasses or contact lenses. An optical voucher will either cover the cost of your glasses or partly cover the cost, leaving you with the remaining balance. The higher your prescription, the higher the cost of the voucher.

Will I receive help towards the cost of a pair of glasses or contact lenses?

You may be entitled to NHS help if you are:

  • Eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher – our optician can advise on eligibility

  • Receiving income support or universal credit

  • Receiving income-based jobseeker’s allowance (not contribution-based)

  • Receiving pension credit guarantee credit

  • Receiving income-based employment and support allowance (not contribution-based)

  • Entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate

  • Named on a valid NHS certificate for HC2 (full help) or H3 (partial help) certificate

Visit the NHS website to find out more about whether you qualify for a free NHS eye test or vouchers for glasses or contact lenses. If you’re not eligible for NHS-funded sight tests or optical vouchers, we advise you to book a private sight test, where you must cover the costs yourself.


Where can I get a free NHS eye test?

To qualify for a mobile optometrist to come to your home to carry out eye examinations you need to be unable to visit a high street opticians unaccompanied due to a physical or mental disability, age or poor health. Give us at Opticall a call on 020 8998 4228, and we can organise a free comprehensive NHS home-visit optician’s service in the comfort of your home .

Our eyecare services include the eye test and eye health check, help with selecting your prescription glasses (if needed) and then personally hand delivering and fitting the glasses once they are made to your requirements.

Opticall offer our services to the communities of Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Milton Keynes and North West London. If you, or someone you know, would benefit from using our services then please do get in touch. We are here to help you with our mission: To deliver the gift of optimum vision so you can see, live and enjoy life.

Can I have a free eye test every year?

If you qualify for a free eye test through the NHS, you can have your eyes tested every two years, unless otherwise recommended by your ophthalmologist or optician. You must remain eligible under one of the criteria listed above to continue to qualify for a free eye test.

Understanding sight test fees

If you do not qualify for a free NHS sight test, you may be wondering how much an eye test will cost you. You can expect to pay between £20-£30 for a high street optician such as Specsavers or Vision Express.

At Opticall Eyecare, our experienced home-visiting opticians offer services to those individuals who are unable to reach a high street store. We offer free NHS eye tests in the comfort of your own home. For more information or for a better understanding of our services, please get in touch.

NHS eye test support for Care Homes

For individuals living in assisted living or residential homes, travelling to a high street optician is often too much of a challenge. Opticall Eyecare supports care homes across the following areas: Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire,
Buckinghamshire, Essex, Milton Keynes and North West London. We pride ourselves on offering first-class eyecare services under the NHS. Our experienced team of qualified optometrists can visit your care home and carry out multiple NHS eye tests to all residents who need support.