NHSBSA - Freedom of Information

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Previous Request List - Detail

Request Reference: 8609 Request Date: 21 Jun 2019
Request: This request concerns the method by which the BSA can check with DWP that a patient in receipt of Universal Credit (UC) is exempt from NHS prescription and dental charges. In a letter dated 21/8/18 the NHS BSA stated: "At present there are no checks in place for Universal Credit (UC) which is why we place onus on the patient to contact us and confirm receipt". ".... when a patient selects this [box K on FP10], the DWP will confirm the patient is not in receipt of Income-based JSA which in turn indicates the patient is a UC claimant." However in response to FOI 8361 the response stated: "As part of our checking regime, we verify if any Universal Credit (UC) in payment is within the eligibility threshold to determine whether the patient has entitlement (or not) to free prescriptions. We also verify with DWP if a claimant is in receipt of income based Job Seekers Allowance." Please confirm: 1. The date a process was introduced by which the NHS BSA can confirm directly with DWP that a patient in receipt of UC meets the exemption criteria. 2. Please explain how that procedure works in practice. 3. In the alternative, in the absence of such a procedure with DWP please explain how in practice the NHSBSA verifies if the patients UC payment is within the eligibility threshold. 4. Is it the case that the only method by which the NHSBSA can currently confirm a patient in receipt of UC meets the exemption criteria is to request that the patient provides the evidence that their UC payment meets that criteria?

Status: Complete
Response Date: 17 Jul 2019
Response: Please see attached response.