Healthy Start Voucher Scheme – information for professionals
We want to take this opportunity to make you aware of some of the recent changes made to the Healthy Start Voucher scheme (HSV) as this scheme will be particularly beneficial to families you are working with as it lessens the strain on household budgets. Please can you speak to families about the scheme to see if they qualify and support them to complete an application if they do as the vouchers act as a basic nutritional safety net and encourage families to make healthy food choices.
There’s recently been some changes to the application process. As of the 6th April 2020, a health professional signature is no longer required, and the service is moving towards a fully online application. Families can now complete the application online following the link below:
What is Healthy Start?
- HSV is a government scheme to improve the health of low-income pregnant women and families with young children on benefits and tax credits.
- The scheme will support families during the current situation as it helps low income pregnant women and young children to buy fruit, vegetables, milk and infant formula.
What can families access?
- Pregnant women and children over one and under four years old can get one £3.10 voucher per week. Children under one year old can get two £3.10 vouchers (£6.20) per week.
- Women and children getting Healthy Start food vouchers can also get vitamin coupons to swap for free Healthy Start vitamins
Where can the vouchers be spent?
You can use your Healthy Start vouchers in any shop that is registered to take part in the scheme. Lots of shops accept Healthy Start vouchers, including corner shops, food co-ops, greengrocers, market stalls, milk floats or vans, pharmacies, supermarkets. Look out for the Healthy Start sticker in shop windows, or ask inside. If you’re struggling to find infant formula milk during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, you can now use your vouchers to buy infant formula milk online.
Who qualifies for Healthy Start Vouchers?
Families can qualify for Healthy Start if they are at least 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under four years old and if the family receive the following benefits:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Child Tax Credit with a family income of £16,190 or less per year
- Pension Credit; or Universal Credit with no earned income or total earned income of £408 or less per month for the family.
- People also qualify if they are under 18 and pregnant, even if you don’t get any of the above benefits.