These pages are about benefits in the UK. If you are looking for information about benefits in another country, please contact your local epilepsy organisation
If you have epilepsy and take epilepsy medicines, you are entitled to free prescriptions in the UK. How you get this entitlement depends on which part of the UK you live in. Click on the country below to find out more.
If you have epilepsy and take epilepsy medicines, you are entitled to a medical exemption certificate. This allows you to get all your prescription medicines for free, not just your epilepsy medicines. But it does not cover dental charges. You will also get free prescriptions if you’re on certain benefits.
How to get free prescriptions
To claim free prescriptions, ask your GP or hospital doctor for application form FP92A. This is the application form for a medical exemption certificate. Once you have filled in the form, the hospital doctor, GP or a member of staff at your GP surgery will sign to confirm that the information you have given is correct. They will then send for an exemption certificate for you.
Renewing your medical exemption certificate
Medical exemption certificates last 5 years. It is your responsibility to renew your certificate, so keep an eye on the expiry date. The NHS should send you a reminder one month before the expiry date, but don’t rely on this. To renew your certificate, ask your doctor to submit another FP92A form. If you don’t renew your certificate and continue to use it to get free prescriptions, you could be fined up to £100.
Reclaiming prescription costs
You will have to pay for your prescriptions until you have your exemption certificate, but you can claim the money back. To do this, ask the pharmacist for an FP57 receipt and refund claim form when you pay for the prescription. When you receive your exemption certificate the start date will be one month before you applied for it. You will be able to claim the money back for any prescriptions you paid for after the start date. There is information on form FP57 that tells you how to claim the money back.
Using a prescription from England in other parts of the UK
If you need to get an English prescription dispensed from a pharmacy in Wales or Scotland, you can use your medical exemption certificate to get it for free. All UK prescriptions are dispensed free of charge in Northern Ireland.
For more information about medical exemption certificates contact NHS Choices
Tel: 0300 330 1341
If you are registered with a GP in Wales and get your prescription medicines from a pharmacy in Wales, you will get them for free.
Using a prescription from Wales in other parts of the UK
You can get a Welsh prescription dispensed for free at any pharmacy in Scotland and Northern Ireland. If you need to get a Welsh prescription dispensed at a pharmacy in England you will need to pay, unless you have a medical exemption certificate.
To apply for a medical exemption certificate, ask your doctor for form FP92W (Wales).
If you are registered with a GP in Scotland and get your prescription medicines from a pharmacy in Scotland, you will get them for free.
Using a prescription from Scotland in other parts of the UK
You can get a Scottish prescription dispensed for free at any pharmacy in Wales and Northern Ireland. If you need to get a Scottish prescription dispensed at a pharmacy in England you will need to pay, unless you have a medical exemption certificate. To get a medical exemption certificate, ask your GP to complete a Medical Exemption (EC92A) form.
All NHS prescriptions are free of charge in Northern Ireland.
Using a prescription from Northern Ireland in other parts of the UK
Prescriptions issued in Northern Ireland can be dispensed free of charge in any part of the UK.
Where can I get help with benefits?
Provides a free online benefits calculator and grants search tool to help you find out what financial help you are entitled to.
Helpline: 0808 802 2000
Citizens Advice provides advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities. Check the website or your local phonebook for details of your nearest Citizens Advice service.
Telephone advice in England: 0344 111 444
Telephone advice in Wales: 0344 77 20 20
Find your local Citizens Advice Bureau in Scotland
Find your local Citizens Advice Bureau in Northern Ireland
Disability Information and Advice Line services, run by and for disabled people. They may be able to refer you to someone who can help you fill out claim forms for benefits (provided there is someone in your area).
Helpline: 0808 800 3333 (to find your local group)
This website has lots of information about all the different benefits that are available.
Disability Rights UK
This website has a number of free factsheets you can download. It offers basic information about benefits, tax credits, social care and other disability-related issues for claimants and advisers.
Welfare Rights Unit
Welfare Rights Units give free advice and support on benefits. Some can also help with completing claim forms and appealing benefits decisions. Contact your local council to find out if they have a Welfare Rights Unit. To find your local council visit gov.uk/find-your-local-council
This website has lots of information about the benefits that are available in Northern Ireland.
Offers information, advice, advocacy and representation for people in Northern Ireland.
Helpline: 0800 988 2377
If you would like to see this information with references, visit the Advice and Information references section of our website. If you are unable to access the internet, please contact our Epilepsy Action Helpline freephone on 0808 800 5050.
This information has been produced under the terms of The Information Standard.
- Updated November 2016To be reviewed November 2017