If you are on a low income or receiving specific benefits you may be able to receive support with your travel to your appointments.

The Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme is part of the NHS Low Income Scheme, and was set up to provide financial assistance to people who uses our services who do not have a medical need for ambulance transport, but who require assistance with their travel costs.

People on low incomes or receiving specific qualifying benefits or allowances will be reimbursed in part or full for their travel costs for attending appointments or clinics where the journey meets certain criteria.

Please ask your care co-ordinator or key worker for full details on how to claim.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for payment of your travel expenses you need to meet the following two conditions:

  1. At the time of the appointment, the person using our services must be receiving one of the qualifying benefits or allowances, or meet the eligibility criteria of the NHS Low Income Scheme.
  2. The journey must be made to receive NHS funded non-primary medical care services, to which you have been referred to by a GP or hospital consultant; or by social services and self referral if that is normal for that service e.g. alcohol services.

People who use the Trust’s services can claim travel costs for their children if the above applies at the time of the appointment. Any young person aged 16 or over may make their own Low Income Scheme claim. There is more information in this leaflet: HC11 Help with health costs.

People who use our services can claim travel costs for an escort if their doctor or consultant says that for medical reasons they need someone to travel with them.

There is a three month limit for the claim to be made (e.g. for an appointment on 15 December 2014, a claim must be made by 15 March 2015).

Qualifying Benefits & Allowances

The person who uses the Trust’s services receives:

  • Income Support
  • Income Based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit
  • Pension Credit – Guarantee Credit

or the person falls into these categories:

  • NHS Low Income Scheme – must provide proof of an HC2 or HC3 form
  • Persons living permanently in a care home or accommodation provided by a local authority
  • War pensioner and the treatment is for the accepted disability
  • Children of 16/17 being supported by a local authority unless they have a valid certificate.

The claim can also be paid in cases of low income where the partner, dependent children or young people under 19 whose names are shown on the notice of entitlement (HC2 or HC3 certificate).

Where people who use our services meet the three conditions set out above, the amount of travel expenses to be reimbursed must be calculated using the cheapest means of transport which is reasonable, having regard to the person’s relevant circumstances.

Please ask your care co-ordinator or key worker for full details on how to claim.

Read our policy on travel and subsistence for people who use services.