Benefits

If you or your children have a disability, you may be entitled to different benefits including support with transport and housing costs.

Although we cannot give advice on what you are entitled to or help you fill in forms, we can offer advice and support about where you can apply for any of these benefits.

On this page we’ll cover:

  • concessions and benefits specifically for visually impaired people
  • general disability concessions and benefits
  • our grants and how to apply document.

Summary of concessions and benefits for blind and visually impaired people

Below is a summary of the benefits and concessions you may be entitled to if you are registered as Severely Sight Impaired (blind) or Sight Impaired (partially sighted).

What registration entitles you to:

  • Blind person’s tax allowance – Severely Sight Impaired (SSI) only
  • Television licence fee reduction – SSI only
  • Blue Badge Scheme – car parking – SSI only
  • Free postage – “Articles for the blind” – SSI or Sight Impaired (SI)
  • Free NHS eye examination – SSI or SI
  • Disabled Persons Railcard – SSI or SI
  • Free bus travel – SSI or SI
  • Free directory enquiries – SSI or SI
  • Cinema pass for carer – SSI or SI
  • Protection under the Equality Act – SSI or SI
  • Assessment by social services – SSI or SI
Jo sat at her desk in the Liverpool resource centre, working at the computer

What registration might entitle you to (depending on circumstance):

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – SSI or SI
  • Attendance Allowance – SSI or SI
  • Carer’s Allowance – SSI or SI
  • Employment and Support Allowance – SSI or SI
  • Tax Credits – SSI or SI
  • Housing Benefit – SSI or SI
  • Council Tax disability reduction – SSI or SI
  • Universal Credit – SSI or SI
  • Pension Credit – SSI or SI
  • Free ticket for a guide at theatres, galleries or tourist attractions – SSI or SI

To register, you’ll need to complete the Certificate of Vision Impairment (CVI). For more information, visit the RNIB website or get in touch with our Patient Support Officers on 0300 222 5555.

Please note that this information is for guidance only and is not an authoritative statement of the law. Further information can be found at http://www.rnib.org.uk/benefits-and-support.

Summary of disability concessions and benefits

There is a wide range of disability-related financial support, with the main benefits being:

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance.

The type and amount of benefits vary for each person depending on your personal circumstance, and below we offer advice and support about where you can find out more about the different types of help available.

Student clearing tables as part of an employability work placement at a local cafe

General benefits and financial help

Welfare Rights

  • Advice UK – AdviceUK is a registered charity supporting the UK’s largest network of independent advice services

Help completing Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) forms

  • C-App (http://www.c-app.org.uk/) – offers guidance, advice and support on most aspects of the application process. You can even try the sort of questions you may be asked by an assessor.
  • RNIB’s  PIP toolkit  – the Toolkit identifies the questions on the PIP application form that are most relevant for many blind and partially sighted people and contains our top tips to help you complete the form effectively.

Employment

There are many schemes and benefits available to help you if you are disabled and looking for work, including grants for specialist equipment and Disability Employment Advisers through JobCentre Plus.

  • Government advice can be found at https://www.gov.uk/looking-for-work-if-disabled.
  • Access to Work can provide money to help you do your job if you have a disability or health condition including making reasonable adjustments to your office environment or buying specialist equipment. For more information and to claim, please visit www.gov.uk/access-to-work.

Grants and how to apply

If you have a visual impairment or other disability there are a number of organisations that may be able to offer financial assistance. Financial support may be available to fund the purchase of technology, equipment, education or in some cases day to day living expenses.

For more information, download our list of organisations that fund technology and our guide on how to apply.

Visit our grants page
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