Optical Care

Sight Tests

If you’re not eligible for NHS-funded sight tests, all costs are a personal expense.

The following individuals are exempt charges for a routine sight test: 
  • Are under 16
  • Are age 16, 17 or 18 and in full time education
  • Are age 60 or over
  • Are registered partially sighted or blind
  • Have been diagnosed with glaucoma or diabetes
  • Are age 40 or over and your mother, father, sibling or child has been diagnosed with glaucoma
  • Have been advised by an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) that you’re at risk of glaucoma
  • Are eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher
  • Have a valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs (HC2)
  • People named on an NHS certificate for partial help with health costs (HC3) may also get help with the cost of a private sight test.
  • For more info visit: Free NHS Sight Tests

Eyeglasses and contact lenses 

You are not entitled to claim for the cost of eyeglasses or contact lenses. 

Please note that the optician that conducts your eye exam may not have the most affordable glasses or contact lenses. You may wish to take your prescription and shop around to reduce your out of pocket expenses. Chain retailers such as Costco and Wal-Mart often have the most competitive prices. 

MOD employees using Display Screen Equipment 

If you are an MOD employee using Display Screen Equipment (DSE), you may be entitled to claim for the full cost of an eye exam once every two years. Before you go for an exam, your line manager or health and safety officer must have carried out a DSE assessment to ensure that your screen image is clear and stable. 
Once a DSE assessment has been carried out, you and your line manager must complete MOD Form 1003 (available on the Defence Intranet (DBS forms index)) before you go for your eye exam. If, as a result of the test, the optometrist considers that corrective lenses are required solely for DSE use, they should complete part 3 of the form. 
If corrective lenses are required solely for DSE use, you are entitled to the receipted cost or a contribution of £60 ($82.80) (whichever is the lower) for frames and single vision lenses, or the receipted cost or a contribution of £80 ($110.40) (whichever is the lower) where a business need for multifocal lens glasses has been approved. 
You must send to the Healthcare and Education Department an F200 together with a copy of the MOD Form 1003, signed by both your line manager and the optometrist, with a copy of the receipt for the cost of the eye test and spectacles (if provided). 
You must also retain a copy of the MOD Form 1003, together with a copy of the receipt and prescription, for audit purposes. 
Further guidance on MOD assistance and reimbursement is contained in JSP 375: MOD Health & Safety Handbook, Volume 2, Leaflet 24. 
Last Updated: Sep 7, 2022 @ 3:43 pm

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