Benefits available for Sight Impaired or Blind People

Severely Sight Impaired or Blind

Extra personal income tax allowance

You are entitled to this allowance. Details of the allowance - proof of registration will be required.

Additional income support benefit

You may be entitled to this benefit. Apply to the local Department for Work and Pensions ( DWP ).

Exemption from ‘non-dependents’ deductions from income support

You may be entitled to this benefit.

Other Department for Work and Pensions benefits

You may be entitled to other benefits such as:

  • Income Support (if you are under 60 and on low income)
  • Attendance Allowance (if you are 65 or over)
  • Disability Living Allowance (if you are under 65)
  • Carers Allowance
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Pension Credits (60 or over)
  • Tax Credits

For further information contact your local Department for Work and Pensions ( DWP ), Citizens Advice Bureau, welfare rights officer or rehabilitation officer.

Additional housing benefit

You may be entitled to this benefit. You should apply to your local council benefit section.

Exemption from ‘non-dependents’ deductions from housing benefit

You may be entitled to this benefit. You should apply to your local council benefit section.

Council Tax benefit

You may be entitled to a reduction in the amount you pay. Enquiries need to be directed to the council tax office independently.

TV license at reduced cost

You are entitled to a 50% reduction in the cost of your TV licence. However, TV licenses are now free for everyone over 74 years. This applies to any household where one member is 75 years old or older, regardless of their medical condition.

British Wireless for the Blind Fund.

You may be entitled to a radio, radio/cassette, or CD/radio/cassette player on a free permanent loan. Information is available from your rehabilitation officer. For more details please also see the British Wireless for the Blind Fund website.

Postage concessions

There is a free postage scheme for people registered as sight impaired/severely sight impaired called Articles for the Blind. For more information contact your local rehabilitation officer. Full details of the scheme and labels are available from the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

Telephones

You may be entitled to financial assistance from us towards the cost of installing a telephone. This is given in cases which meet the criteria for the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970. Applications are subject to an assessment of need.

Telephone for the Blind Fund

You may be entitled to assistance with line rental charges and /or installation. Further information is available from the charity Telephones for the Blind.

Free Directory Enquiry service

BT offer a free Directory Enquiry service to people who cannot use the telephone directory. You are entitled to this service. Details are available from British Telecom or your rehabilitation officer.

Bus passes

You are entitled to a bus pass that will allow free travel on buses within England at any time of the day. You should contact your local rehabilitation officer. If you hold a disabled/older persons bus pass this allows free travel after 9.30am Monday to Friday and all day Sat/Sun. See Transport - Concessions.

Disabled persons car badges

You are eligible for a disabled persons car badge, applications are available from your local community services office. See Car Badge Scheme.

Disabled persons rail card. You are entitled to this service. Enquire at any manned station or obtain an application form from:

Disabled Persons Railcard Office
PO Box 163
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
NE12 8WX

Tel: 0845 605 0525
Textphone: 0845 601 0132

Some Councils in England will pay the rail card fee. Ask your local Rehabilitation Officer.

Free eye tests

Advise your optician that you are registered sight impaired / partially sighted in order to be exempt from the NHS eye examination fee. See Transport - Concessions for more information

Welfare Rights

You can contact a rehabilitation officer via the Social Care Team if you need further advice on Welfare Benefits.

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