Buyers guide

NHS entitlement.

The importance of having a regular eye test

Regular eye tests are important, which is why we recommend you have an eye test at least every two years, whether you feel you need glasses or not. At Vision Express, as well as a thorough vision test, you will also receive an eye health check to test for signs of eye disease and general health problems.

Who qualifies for an NHS sight test?

You can qualify for a free NHS funded sight test and an Optical voucher (which provides financial help towards the cost of your spectacles or contact lenses) if you meet the following criteria:

Criteria NHS funded sight test NHS Optical voucher
Aged under 16 Yes Yes
Aged 16, 17 or 18 in full time education Yes Yes
Aged 60 or over Yes Yes
Diagnosed with diabetes or glaucoma Yes Yes
Considered to be at risk of glaucoma
(as advised by an ophthalmologist)
Yes Yes
Aged 40 or over and the parent, brother, sister, son or daughter of a person diagnosed with glaucoma Yes Yes
Registered blind or partially sighted Yes Yes
Eligible for an NHS Complex Lens Voucher
(your optician will advise on your entitlement)
Yes Yes
Claiming Benefit
(Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Related Employment Support Allowance, Universal Credit, Income Support, Pension Credit Guarantee Credit or receiving Tax Credits and meeting qualifying conditions)
Yes Yes
On a low income and named on a valid HC2 (full help) or HC3 (partial help) certificate Yes Yes
A prisoner being seen outside prison Yes Yes

Scottish regulations

Free Eye Tests:

  • The traditional NHS sight test has been replaced by a comprehensive Eye Test
  • The new NHS Eye Test is not just an Eye Test for spectacles but an eye health assessment
  • The new test is free to all patients, in accordance with NHS terms and conditions
  • Eligible patients are entitled to a free NHS Eye Test every two years
    (More frequent tests may be required should your optometrist find it necessary.)
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You qualify for an optical voucher which provides financial help towards the cost of your spectacles or contact lenses if you are:

  • Aged under 16
  • Aged 16, 17 or 18 in full time education
  • Eligible for an NHS Complex Lens Voucher
    (your optician will advise on your entitlement)
  • Claiming Benefit
    (Income Based Job Seekers Allowance, Income Related Employment Support Allowance, Universal Credit, Income Support, Pension Credit Guarantee Credit or receiving Tax Credits and meeting qualifying conditions)
  • On a contribution based employment support allowance and named on a valid HC2 (full help) or HC3 (partial help) certificate
  • A prisoner being seen outside prison

For further information on whether you qualify for a free eye test, please visit the NHS Website.