NHS funding in Northern Ireland

Find out if you're eligible for an NHS sight test in Northern Ireland

NHSTestNI

This leaflet aims to help you understand whether you’re eligible for a sight test paid for by the NHS (an NHS sight test) or help towards the cost of your glasses or contact lenses.

In Northern Ireland, you are entitled to an NHS sight test if you:

  • Are aged 60 or over
  • Have glaucoma, or been told by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) that you are at risk of glaucoma
  • Are aged 40 or over and have a parent, brother, sister, son or daughter who has been diagnosed with glaucoma
  • Have diabetes
  • Are registered blind or partially sighted
  • Are eligible for an NHS ‘complex lens voucher’
  • Receive, or your partner receives, Pension Credit Guarantee Credit (the ‘guarantee credit’ element)
  • Are on Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Have a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate or
  • Have made a claim to the NHS Low Income Scheme and have a valid NHS exemption certificate (HC2 or HC3)

You may also get a voucher towards the cost of glasses or contact lenses if you:

  • Receive, or your partner receives, Pension Credit Guarantee Credit (the ‘guarantee credit’ element)
  • Are on Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, or income-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Have a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate or have a valid NHS exemption certificate (HC2 or HC3) or
  • Have been prescribed complex lenses

Help if you are on a low income

If you are on a low income, you may be able to get help with health costs by making a claim to the NHS Low Income Scheme. The amount of help you get will depend on the amount of income you have.

To apply for help, fill in form HC1, which is available from some hospitals and Jobcentres.

More information

A lot of the information in this leaflet is taken from the NI Direct Government Services website.

Resources for your practice

NHS funding Northern Ireland leafletDownload our patient leaflet on NHS funding in Northern Ireland.