Q. What is the new social benefit - Universal Credit - that is being rolled out in certain areas and does it affect me?
A.Yes it can affect all pharmacies:
Universal Credit combines six benefits payments for people on low incomes or out of work.
Recipients of Universal Credit are now entitled to claim help with health costs and this took effect on the 1 November 2015. UC (Universal Credit) is being rolled out for people in certain areas. A list of the areas can be found on the government website.
As patients can choose to get their prescriptions dispensed from any NHS community pharmacy, pharmacies should be aware of these arrangements.
Points for pharmacy staff to remember:
- Check that the patient has a valid UC award letter bearing their name as valid entitlement
- The patient must tick the ‘Income based jobseekers Allowance’ exemption and then sign and date the back of the prescription
- If the patient does not have any evidence of entitlement - ‘Evidence not Seen’ on the back of the of prescription should be marked with an 'X' by pharmacy staff.
Patients can contact the NHS on 0300 330 1343 for information on health costs.
For funding help visit the NHS website.
Visit the government website for more information about the Universal Credit.
If you have any questions about this particular tip or any other drug tariff query you can call Information Services on 0800 783 5709.
Tariff Tip written by Sue Swift, UK Drug Tariff and Information Technician