Entitlement to free NHS wigs and fabric supports (2015 - 2016), help
with the cost and how to claim refunds
NHS wig and fabric support costs (April 2015)
- Surgical brassiere – £27.45
- Abdominal or spinal support – £41.50
- Stock modacrylic wig – £67.75
- Partial human hair wig – £179.45
- Full bespoke human hair wig – £262.45
There are no nationally set limits on the number of wigs a patient can have from the NHS. However, there is nothing preventing local NHS organisations from setting their own limit.
See also: Alopecia - Hair Loss
You can get free wigs and fabric supports if you:
- are under 16
- are 16-18 and in full-time education
- are a hospital inpatient
- are a war pensioner and the wig or fabric support is for your accepted disablement and you have a valid war pension exemption certificate
You are entitled to help if you receive either:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, or
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Pension Credit Guarantee Credit,or
- You are named on, or entitled to (use your award notice as evidence) an NHS tax credit exemption certificate, or
- are named on a valid HC2 certificate (full help with health costs)
If you are named on a valid HC3 certificate (limited help), you might get some help towards the cost of your NHS dental treatment. The certificate tells you how much you will have to pay.
How to get an HC2 or HC3 certificate:
If you have a low income the NHS Low Income Scheme may help you. To apply for an HC2 certificate, you should complete form HC1 available from Jobcentre Plus offices or most NHS hospitals. Your doctor, dentist or optician may have one too. You can also get an HC1 by calling 0300 123 0849 .
You will qualify for a full help HC2 certificate (which includes free NHS prescriptions), if your income is less than or equal to your requirements, or your income is greater than your requirements by no more than half the current English prescription charge.
You will qualify for a limited help HC3 certificate if your income is greater than your requirements by more than half the current English prescription charge. The HC3 certificate shows how much you have to pay towards your health costs.
Certificates are usually valid for periods of between 6 months to 5 years, depending on your circumstances.
Find out more about the NHS Low Income Scheme (LIS).
How to claim for help with NHS wigs and fabric supports:
Tell the person who fits your wig or fabric support that you are entitled to it free, and show proof of your entitlement or war pension exemption certificate.
You might also be entitled to help with charges if you have a valid HC3 certificate. You are only asked to pay the amount stated on the certificate or the actual cost - whichever is the least.
How to claim a refund:
Ask the hospital for a receipt that shows that you have paid an NHS charge, and complete form HC5 - claim wigs and fabric supports (PDF).
An information leaflet HC11- Help with health costs, is available.
Further information is also available from the NHS Business Services Auhtority (NHSBSA) or by calling the customer enquiry line on 0300 330 1343