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POLICY/DESTITUTION: Paying for prescriptions and dental treatment if you are an asylum seeker whose appeal rights are exhausted

Mary from Asylum Matters sparked an interesting discussion this week:

As some of you may be aware, asylum seekers who are in receipt of Home Office Support or who have an appeal pending are entitled to apply for an HC2, which gives someone full help with health costs. PAFRAS and Red Cross caseworkers apply for these all the time.  

Mary had heard about a Home Office Letter sent to an asylum seeker saying that

  • their appeal had been unsuccessful and that consequently
  • their HC2 was no longer valid

Pascale from Refugee Action then posted this exceptionally helpful link which explained the rules 

(Help with Health Costs HC11) :

Page 16: Asylum seekers The Home Office will send people seeking asylum who they support financially, including those on subsistence support only, an NHS Low Income Scheme certificate (HC2) for full help with health costs. An asylum seeker will get this with their first support payments. People seeking asylum who are not supported by the Home Office, or who are failed asylum seekers, may be entitled to help with health costs because of their age.

Otherwise, they may

  • apply for a medical or maternity exemption certificate (see pages 17 and 18) or may
  • apply to the NHS Low Income Scheme – read pages 14 and 15. 

Here is a link is to the NHS Low income Scheme, which has links to HC1 & HC2 application forms

This is a fantastic example of information sharing across the sector and a really helpful set of responses. Thanks to everyone involved in the conversations, even if you were not credited in this write-up  

Mary is keeping an eye on all things health and charging related, so if you come across anything you think is amiss to do with healthcare asylum seekers and charging, please get in contact with her directly [email protected]

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