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Prescription fraud?

Haydn39 Member Posts: 6 Listener
I hadnt been able to collect my recent prescription from the pharamacy until last friday. Whilst ticking the boxes it dawned upon me that i Do not currently recieve esa as i have been found fit for work after a WCA. I am appealing against this decision. Am i commiting an offence by obtaining my prescription? I have no money and no way of paying for it. Its been on my mind all weekend. Thoughts....


  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,676 Disability Gamechanger
    edited December 2017
    Hi @Haydn39 

    If you are claiming free prescriptions and are not entitled then you are committing an offence and could get an NHS penalty charge.

    You can check if you are entitled to free prescriptions here.

    "How we check claims

    What happens to your prescription or dental treatment claim form after it’s been signed

    At the end of each month, pharmacies and dental practices send their NHS prescriptions and NHS dental treatment claim forms to the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA). These forms are scanned into our processing system.

    After scanning, we calculate how much each pharmacy or dental practice needs to be reimbursed by the NHS.

    Every day more than four million prescription items are scanned.

    We carry out monthly randomised checks on the prescription forms and dental treatment claim forms to check for fraud.

    If your entitlement to free NHS prescriptions or dental treatment cannot be confirmed, you will be sent a Penalty Charge Notice.

    Matching your details

    During the checking process, your personal details on the prescription or dental form (including first name, surname, date of birth, first line of address and postcode) will be checked against our records using ‘matching’ criteria.

    Where they do not match our database, a Penalty Charge Notice will be issued.

    You can reduce the risk of getting sent a Penalty Charge Notice by keeping your personal details at your GP surgery, dental practice, benefits organisations and the NHSBSA, up to date.

    After a Penalty Charge Notice has been issued

    If you can show us that there has been a mistake (you were exempt from NHS prescription or NHS dental charges at the time), the Penalty Charge Notice will be cancelled.

    If you have an exceptional reason not to pay, the penalty charge could be eased or removed, but you will still have to pay the original NHS prescription charge or NHS dental treatment charge.

    If you cannot challenge the Penalty Charge Notice, you must start paying the charges listed on the letter as soon as possible.

    How penalty charges are calculated

    If you are sent a Penalty Charge Notice you will be asked to pay the original NHS prescription or dental treatment charges, and an additional penalty charge. The penalty charge is five times the original amount owed, up to a maximum of £100.

    Once a Penalty Charge Notice has been issued, if no payment has been made within 28 days a surcharge of £50 will be added to the fine.

    These charges are outlined in the National Health Service (Penalty Charge) Regulations 1999."

    If you are struggling to pay for your prescriptions, you could apply for a Prescription Prepayment Certificate where you pay on a monthly basis and save money if you are getting more than one prescription a month.

    Senior online community officer
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,847 Connected
    You would probably still qualify on grounds of low income but, yes, you probably do need to alert them to the issue and also make a fresh claim for help with health care costs on grounds of a low income from a date which would cover that last script.
  • Neil2017
    Neil2017 Member Posts: 155 Courageous
    Hi @Haydn39

    i think it probably also depends on where you live in U.K.  as I saw an item on this on the television. I believe it was Rip off Britain.  Believe it is Wales and Scotland where prescriptions are free to all. Not sure about Northern Ireland, but it is England where there are charges and exemptions for people of working age or non retired.

    The programme item also identified that there are prepayment methods to pay in advance (not sure if this had some discount). But this is not necessarily of any use if you don’t have any cash to start with.
  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,216 Disability Gamechanger
    You can apply for an HC2 certificate if on a low income


    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • Haydn39
    Haydn39 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    So my anxieties are justified i am commiting an offence. Thank you for your replies. I dont have the capacity to fill out more forms and do stuff. Ive had enough. 
  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,628 Pioneering
    Hi Haydn39,

    If you are appealing against a ESA WCA decision, are you not claiming anything or have you applied for JSA until your appeal can be lodged? If you have lodged your appeal you can ask for your ESA to be reinstated. As Mike says, you should either be entitled by receiving a qualifying benefit or by receiving nil income, so I shouldn't worry too much. You need to phone them and explain to them what you have done and what your current income is and I'm sure you'll be fine. Please try not to worry about it but make sure you take the above action or you'll possibly get deeper into difficulty. Good luck!

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland


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