About NHS optical vouchers

GOS 2 PRESCRIPTION INFO

GOS 3 VOUCHER £££

    GOS 2 PRESCRIPTION GREEN/BLUE - GOS 3 OPTICAL VOUCHER BLUE/YELLOW

Both the GOS 2 Prescription and the GOS 3 Optical Voucher should be given to you after your sight test by law under "THE OPTICIANS ACT"

At Ilkeston Factory Specs we can take your NHS optical vouchers towards all or some of the cost of your new glasses when you buy a complete pair of glasses or just prescription lenses from us.

We can take your current optical voucher towards the cost of our glasses bought instore but not online.

But what is an NHS voucher, how do you get one, and what is it worth? Read on and we'll explain how it all works.

When you have an eye test at your opticians, if you claim certain benefits, including DLA, Universal Credit, Guaranteed Pension Credit, or are the holder of a valid certificate for full or limited help towards the cost of Glasses (and also for use at the Dentists), you can claim an amount of money off or towards the cost of the glasses. Sometimes the value of the voucher will cover the full costs of glasses up to a given price range, depending on the particular opticians deals or prices. You will also be able to get a "free" eye test in reality paid for directly to the testing optician on your behalf by the NHS. You will be asked to sign two forms, one for the eye test claim the optician will make, and one which is an NHS optical voucher. Once you have had your eye test you can either buy new glasses at the opticians who provided the eye test, or, if your eyes have changed (or your glasses are worn out and need replacing), you can ask for the voucher and use it at the opticians or supplier of your choice. The idea is that you can then find the best glasses at the best price for you. The voucher must by law be given to you after an eye test, but you may need to prompt your optician (we often find) to give it to you, signed by them on the day. Again, remember this is your entitlement funded not by the optician, but the government and NHS, and is yours to spend as you'd like and where you like. This is there intention and why the system introduced in the mid eighties (known as the Opticians Act) is in place. Fair competition and ultimately a better deal for the customer.

Currently, your optical voucher must be issued on the statutary form in Blue and Yellow and is called a GOS 3 voucher (your prescription is known and marked as a GOS 2)

You must be given a copy of your prescription after your eye test and also any entitlements/ vouchers (GOS 3) to use at the suppliers of your choice. This is the Law.

Your voucher can be used against the cost of either new glasses in full, or just spectacle lenses. The full value of your voucher if entitled is as listed below, There will be a letter or two letters marked on the front of the voucher showing the banding value. If you have a "Limited help" certificate, the value of the voucher indicated by the letter banding will be reduced by the amount it says on your Limited Help certificate. You still usually get some of the value of the voucher left, but sometimes, if there is a high amount for you to pay towards getting the voucher (or to be deducted off the value of the voucher), a negative amount can occur. Confusing we know, but, lets say you have a certificate that says "Limited help with costs", you pay have to pay the first £100 in effect to get (towards)the voucher, if the value of the voucher (based on your prescription) is only £67, then obviously you would be £33 out of pocket. You would not pay £100 to get a voucher for help with glasses only worth £67. On the same basis, if you had to pay £10 towards obtaining a voucher worth £67, you'd be £57 up and better off. In reality of course, no money will be asked for for you to get your voucher. The amount on a limited help certificate would be deducted off the voucher, so, a £100 certificate would deem a voucher towards glasses valueless and a voucher would not be due. A £10 limited help certificate would be better, because the voucher worth £67 would be reduced by £10, giving a remaining balance of £57 due to you and a voucher should be issue. It is commonly miss understood, so remember, the lower the amount on a Limited help certificate, the better. Higher amounts can rule out help with costs towards glasses altogether. The reason a certificate for "Limited help towards glasses" may be issued is because the certificate will also be relevant for other NHS claims and products including dentists and even wigs. Glasses are restricted to a maximum amount the NHS Trust will pay due to the fashion element. Dental work is more expensive generally and less fashion orientated so a £100 payment towards £1000 dental bill would be viable as a £900 saving. This is an area that creates much confusion, so we have expalined in detail how a "Limited Help" claim works

Full help Certificate holders can always claim a voucher and at the full value (whatever the banding letters on the voucher dictate in value at the full amount of benefit)

Universal Credit and Guaranteed Pension Credit claimants also get the full benefit and value of the NHS optical voucher according to the banding on the voucher and your prescription power.

Optical Vouchers can only be issued by the testing Optician after you have had your eyes tested, and is generally issued at a maximum of one every two years, although it is possible an optician will issue a voucher more frequently if they deem it necessary and you have a prescription that changes more quickly or you have certain eye conditions. 

Here are the voucher values currently for "Full help" with glasses certificate holders/ Universal Credit claimants/DLA claimants.

"Limited help" certificate holders should deduct the amount it says for "costs towards full help"  (towards getting the value of a full help voucher) from the value of the voucher as depicted by the banding letter. This will help you understand the amount that can be claimed. We quote:

"NHS voucher values for glasses and lenses

There are 10 optical voucher values. The value of a voucher ranges from £39.10 to £215.50, depending on the strength of the lenses you need.

If, for clinical reasons, you need tints or prisms in your glasses, the value of the voucher will be higher to reflect this.

If you receive an NHS optical voucher, you're free to take it to any supplier of your choice, provided they accept NHS optical vouchers. They'll ask you to show proof of your entitlement to the voucher.

If your glasses or contact lenses cost more than the value of your voucher, you'll have to pay the difference.

Some vouchers cannot be issued if there is no change to your prescription and your current glasses are in good condition.

Voucher values

Voucher A: £39.10

Glasses with single vision lenses:

  • with a spherical power of no more than 6 dioptres and a cylindrical power of no more than 2 dioptres 

Voucher B: £59.30

Glasses with single vision lenses:

  • with a spherical power more than 6 dioptres, but no more than 10 dioptres, and a cylindrical power of no more than 6 dioptres

  • with a spherical power less than 10 dioptres and a cylindrical power more than 2 dioptres, but no more than 6 dioptres

Voucher C: £86.90

Glasses with single vision lenses:

  • with a spherical power of 10 or more dioptres, but no more than 14 dioptres, and a cylindrical power of no more than 6 dioptres

Voucher D: £196.00

Glasses with single vision lenses:

  • with a spherical power of more than 14 dioptres with any cylindrical power

  • with a cylindrical power of more than 6 dioptres with any spherical power

Voucher E: £67.50

Glasses with bifocal lenses (lenses with 2 distinct optical powers):

  • with a spherical power of no more than 6 dioptres, and a cylindrical power of no more than 2 dioptres

Voucher F: £85.60

Glasses with bifocal lenses:

  • with a spherical power of more than 6 dioptres, but no more than 10 dioptres, and a cylindrical power of no more than 6 dioptres

  • with a spherical power of less than 10 dioptres, and a cylindrical power of more than 2 dioptres, but no more than 6 dioptres

Voucher G: £111.20

Glasses with bifocal lenses:

  • with a spherical power of 10 or more dioptres, but no more than 14 dioptres, and a cylindrical power of no more than 6 dioptres

Voucher H: £215.50

Glasses with prism-controlled bifocal lenses of any power or with bifocal lenses:

  • with a spherical power of more than 14 dioptres with any cylindrical power

  • with a cylindrical power of more than 6 dioptres with any spherical power

Voucher I (HES): £200.80

This category covers glasses prescribed by NHS trusts (hospitals) that do not fall under any of the categories A to H.

Voucher J: £57.00

A voucher for contact lenses following a prescription issued by an NHS trust or NHS foundation trust.

Bring your voucher along to us at Ilkeston Factory Specs in Ilkeston after your eye test, and we will advise you on the full value of your voucher, and give you a great deal on new glasses and lenses with your voucher deducted. Often there is much less/ little or nothing extra to pay after the voucher is deducted from the cost of our glasses. Get better glasses than your optician offers for less.

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Lab and store: 135 Lower Bath St, Ilkeston, Derbyshire, England, DE7 8AS: Tel 01159 445656