UC claimants may be missing out on free prescriptions and dental care

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UC claimants may be missing out on free prescriptions and dental care

Post by Caker on Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:22 pm

https://newshoundsnewsround.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/exclusive-people-on-universal-credit-are-being-refused-prescriptions-and-dental-care/

NewsroundNewshound wrote:......The problem stems from the fact that the administration system hasn’t caught up. There is no way on NHS forms to make it clear how to declare that individuals are on UC – whereas for existing benefits, such as income support or JSA, there are specific boxes to confirm eligibility.

One single mum in touch with Gingerbread has incurred fines because of the changes in health assistance under UC. She has received a letter from the NHS informing her that she owes money for dental treatment and a prescription, explaining that they have fined her as a result.

She says she was never fully informed how UC would affect her NHS support – and is currently unable to pick up a prescription given to her GP because she can’t afford to pay. She says she will only be able to get this essential prescription when she receives her next payment.
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Re: UC claimants may be missing out on free prescriptions and dental care

Post by Admin on Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:31 pm

caker ive moved this as i believe its more important to be at the top of the page so placed it here in the lounge as people should be informed they may have problems with nhs and also dental services it may also interfere with glasses perscriptions as well
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Re: UC claimants may be missing out on free prescriptions and dental care

Post by Admin on Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:57 am

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Re: UC claimants may be missing out on free prescriptions and dental care

Post by Caker on Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:09 am

OK, thanks Admin'.
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Re: UC claimants may be missing out on free prescriptions and dental care

Post by Caker on Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:46 am

Information for those claiming UC:-

https://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcosts/Pages/universal-credit.aspx

nhs.uk wrote:Help with health costs for people getting Universal Credit

If you receive Universal Credit, you may also qualify for help with health costs.

Eligibility criteria

You qualify if, on the date you claim help with health costs:

a) you receive Universal Credit and either had no earnings or had net earnings of £435 or less in your last Universal Credit assessment period

or

b) you receive Universal Credit, which includes an element for a child, or you (or your partner) had limited capability for work and work-related activity, and you either had no earnings or net earnings of £935 or less in your last Universal Credit assessment period

Note: If you're part of a couple, the net earning threshold applies to your combined net earnings.

You should present a copy of your Universal Credit award notice to prove your entitlement. You'll need to have met the eligibility criteria in the last completed Universal Credit assessment period before your health costs arose.


So it appears from this information, that there is a (very low) earnings threshold for eligibility. This raises the question for those doing casual work. If eligibility refers to the most recent UC assessment period then eligibility will vary depending upon whether the person earned over the threshold in that period, even though they may have earned below it on previous occasions and may earn below it in future (because that is the nature of casual employment). This has implications for someone needing regular prescriptions or having a protracted course of dental treatment.

At best, a person would need to time their access to healthcare, to coincide with their periods of below threshold income. This is easier to do when accessing optical services but not if needing an urgent prescription or urgent dental care. For instance, of two people earning the same annual income, one could find him/herself out of pocket for requiring care during a period when their most recent UC assessment placed them over the income threshold for free care, while the other person may not be out of pocket if their need for care arose while their most recent assessment placed them under the income threshold for free care.

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