Hc3 Certificate in 2022: what it is and how to get it

8 December 2022 by Robin - 9 minutes of reading time

hc3 certificate

What is a hc3 certificate? What is an hc3 form? Are they the same? What can I get with it? The hc3 certificate is part of the NHS Low Income Scheme. Indeed, it allows you to receive help covering your health costs. You may be eligible either for this kind of certificate, or the HC2 certificate. Your Benefits will tell you everything you need to know about the hc3 certificate in 2022.

Hc3 certificate eligibility

You could be eligible for a hc3 certificate that allows you to receive partial help covering health costs. In fact, for this to be the case, your income, savingsinvestments, and property (excluding your primary address) must not be superior to the following:

  • £16,000;
  • £23,250 if you live in a care home in a permanent manner.
You may have a dependent partner or children. If this is the case, they could be eligible to receive the same kind of help as you. Then, to receive a certificate, you (or they) need to fill out an HC1 form.

Note that, ultimately, the NHS will decide if you are eligible for full help (hc2 certificate) or partial help (hc3 certificate). Indeed, you will receive the appropriate certificate depending on what you are entitled to.

If you are pregnant or had a baby, depending on your circumstances, you could get help. You could get help on cost of glasses, if you are pregnant or entitled to a valid treamtent.

Is a hc3 form the same thing as an hc3 certificate?

Many people sometimes refer to hc3 certificate as an hc3 form. However, they are the exact same thing. However, note that the HC2 and hc3 certificates are certificates. In fact, only the HC1 form is a form. 

You may apply for an HC2 or hc3 certificate at any time with a HC1 form. In fact, you would then receive a certificate that is appropriate for your situation, which either completely covers or partially covers health costs.

What is a hc3 certificate?

An hc3 certificate in 2022 is part of the NHS Low Income Scheme. It is a document that allows you to receive partial help with health costs. Unlike the HC2 certificate, the hc3 certificate in 2022 does not provide full help with help costs. On it, you will be able to see exactly how much help you are entitled to, for the costs of the following:

  • NHS wigs and fabric supports;
  • travel costs to receive NHS treatment;
  • NHS sight tests;
  • NHS dental treatment.

You could also receive help covering contact lenses or glasses. How much you may receive depends on the voucher value of your glasses or lenses. Furthermore, the voucher value depends on how strong your contacts or lenses are.
How much optical vouchers are in 2022
Voucher Value
Voucher A £39.10
Voucher B £59.30
Voucher C £86.90
Voucher D £196.00
Voucher E £67.50
Voucher F £85.60
Voucher G £111.20
Voucher H £215.50
Voucher I (HES) £200.80
Voucher J £57.00
You may be unsure what voucher value applies to you. If this is the case, ask your optician. In fact, by your certificate, they will be able to tell you what your voucher value is and the amount you will need to pay.

How do I know how much I need to pay?

What is a hc3 certificate?

The amount you have to pay is found with your voucher value and the amount written on your hc3 certificate. You will find how much you need to pay on your certificate. Then, if you subtract your voucher value from that, you obtain the amount you have to pay.

If the value indicated on your certificate is higher than your voucher value, then you will have to pay the full price of your contact lenses or glasses.

If money is a problem, you may want to know how many more benefits you are entitled to. Indeed, you could be entitled to many benefits and not be aware of it. Then, your Benefits can help. In fact, we offer a free simulator that can show you how many benefits you are entitled to. And it’s completely free!

Hc3 certificate renewal

Your hc3 certificate may have expired in 2022. Then, you will need to apply for a new one. To do so, you will need to fill out a new hc1 form. However, this form is required only if you wish to apply by post. However, you may instead want to apply online. You can do this on the NHS Business Services Authority website.

You may also have damaged or lost your hc3 certificate. If this is the case, you can ask for a new one. In fact, you should receive it in about 10 working days or earlier. You should not apply for help with health costs when your certificate is expired. If you do so, you could risk having to pay a fine that could rise to £100.

What if my financial circumstances change?

Unlike many benefits, you actually do not necessarily need to report changes in your circumstance. In factf you experience a change in your financial circumstances. Furthermore, you may continue to use your hc3 certificate in 2022 as you normally would. 

You may need to report certain changes in your financial situation. This is the case if your certificate is valid for 5 years. Then, you will need to contact the NHS. In fact, your certificate might actually change. 

However, it may also be the case that you earn less income, or your costs increase. Then, you could be entitled to a certificate which gives you more help covering health costs. Indeed, you can fill out a new HC1 form, even if your certificate hasn’t expired yet.
You may get a new certificate, which grants you less help with health costs. If this is the case, you can still use your old certificate until its expiry date. Then, you will need to use your new hc3 certificate.

What if I change my address or name?

You may change your address. Then, you will need to contact the NHS so they can update your file. Additionally, you may also change your name. This might be true for a multitude of reasons, including getting married. Then, you will need to send the NHS your current certificate, as well as a copy of one of the following:

  • Decree Absolute;
  • Passport;
  • Deed poll;
  • Civil partnership certificate;
  • Marriage certificate.

How can I contact the NHS?

You may want to contact the NHS for various reasons. Indeed, this may be because you lost or damaged your hc3 certificate. However, it could also be because you want an HC1 form sent to you. Then, you can contact them through various means. 

First, you may contact them online, on the NHS website. In fact, there, you will be able to use the contact form. Furthermore, you may phone them. Their number is 0300 330 1343. Finally, you may contact them by post at the following address:

NHS Help with Health Costs
NHS Business Services Authority
Bridge House
152 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle upon Tyne

How to get a hc3 certificate

Hc3 certificate eligibility

In order to apply for an hc3 certificate in 2022, you may do so online or by post. If you wish to do so by post, you will need to acquire a HC1 form. If you want to apply online, you may do so on the NHS Business Services Authority website.

You may wonder how much you will get. How much you receive with this scheme also depends on your income. More specifically, on the size of your income compared to your living requirements. You may be eligible if your income is either the same or less compared to your living requirements.

Your income might be more than your living requirement. If this is the case, but your income is the same or less than the typical cost of a prescription in England, you could still be eligible.

Let’s look at an example. Indeed, let’s say your weekly income is £122. Now, let’s say that your weekly requirements (necessary costs) are £125, then, the difference between the two would be -£3. Then, you would be eligible for full help with health costs. You would receive an hc2 (not hc3) certificate.

Do I need to apply for an hc3 certificate?

You may need to apply by post or online to receive an hc3 certificate in 2022. However, this may not even be the case. In fact, you could receive a benefit that makes you automatically eligible for full help with health costs. Then, you do not have to apply for the NHS Low Income Scheme. The benefits are as follows:

  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit ;
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA);
  • Income Support;
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA);
  • Universal Credit (if you receive this benefit, you need to be eligible for the NHS Low Income Scheme as well);
  • You are either named on or entitled to an NHS tax credit exemption certificate (the certificate has to be valid, but if you do not have one, you can use your award notice instead).

If one of these apply to you, you will be automatically able to receive help on your health costs. No need to apply. Not only that but you are entitled for full help with health costs.

If you are entitled to or named on an NHS tax credit exemption certificate, you may qualify for the scheme if more things apply to you. Indeed, then, two things need to apply.

First, you need to have an income (for tax purposes) that is the same or less than £15,276. Furthermore, you need to get Child Tax Credits or Working Tax Credits (with a disability element).

What is the NHS Low Income Scheme? 

The hc3 certificate is what allows you to get partial help with health costs. It is part of the NHS Low Income Scheme. As such, it is important to know what the scheme consists of.

The NHS Low Income Scheme is a scheme for those living in the UK who are on a low income. If this is the case for you, then you may be eligible. Then, you would be able to receive help covering health costs. Indeed, this may be on any of the following:

  • NHS wigs and fabric supports;
  • NHS prescription charges;
  • travel costs to receive NHS treatment;
  • NHS sight tests;
  • NHS dental treatment.
There are a multitude of factors that can affect your eligibility for this benefit. This includes your savings, investments, properties and investments. Furthermore, it also includes your income and necessary outgoings.
Autres questions fréquentes

Robin is a writer for Your Benefits, writing about aids that people may be entitled to. He is currently working on his Master in journalism at the Institut Supérieur de Formation au Journalisme in Lille.

Ask our experts a question

Your questions
  • Margaret Matthews

    I have a hc3 certificate and am receiving dental treatment for having a denture fitted which involves 5 appointments with dentist, do I have to pay towards all 5 appointments or is it classed as 1 treatment

    • Robin


      I believe they would each be treated as one appointment.

      Hope this helps,

  • zoe swateridge

    how can i get a hc3 form please

    • Robin


      You cannot get an Hc3 form online, as it is a certificate. To get it, you need to get an HC1 form online or apply to the nhs low income scheme online.

      Hope this helps,

  • Pringle Lillian

    Am I entitled to Dental Costs If I’m on state pension, which form HC2 or HC3 would I need to fill in to get help with NHS Dental Costs ?

    • Robin


      HC2 and HC3 are not forms, but certificates. You will get the one you are eligible for automatically. To get one, either apply to the NHS Low Income Scheme online, or by post with the HC1 form:

      Hope this helps,

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