1 February 2017

NHS exemption certificates and tax credits update

When a claimant gets Working Tax Credit (WTC) or Child Tax Credit (CTC), the claimant (and their family) may be entitled to help with NHS health costs. If they are entitled, the NHS Business Services Authority, on behalf of the Health Departments in the UK, automatically sends claimants an NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate.

To be entitled to receive an NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate a claimant must:

o        receive CTC and WTC, or

o        receive WTC which includes the disability element, or

HMRC run a scan every April and October to create a full list of claimants who fall into the eligibility criteria to receive this NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate. The scan is shared with the NHS Business Services Authority.

HMRC have recently discovered that this scan was picking up a disability “marker” from the HMRC system, rather than checking whether the disability element was being paid. This led to a number of ineligible tax credit claimants incorrectly being sent exemption certificates.

As a consequence, from April 2017, 7037 tax credit claimants will not receive a new exemption certificate, unless they have a change of circumstance(s) which means they meet the eligibility rules. The Department of Health will write to all 7037 customers in February 2017 to warn them that they will not receive a new certificate in April 2017. They will not be asked to repay prescriptions they have already had.

An IT solution has now been put in place to ensure the scan will now pick up the correct disability element, commencing with certificates that are renewed in April 2017.

Claimants do not need to take any action.  The NHS Business Services Authority will be writing to all affected people to inform them that they will not receive a new certificate in April, and signpost them to any other help that they may be entitled to.