Benefits of registering your sight loss

In the UK, there are almost 2 million people living with sight loss. Of these, only 360,000 are registered as blind or visually impaired.

How do I get registered?

In order to become registered as severely sight impaired (SSI) or sight impaired (SI) you need to make an eye appointment with an eye specialist, called a consultant ophthalmologist. They will conduct an eye check and complete a Certificate of Visual Impairment (CVI) if you meet the criteria. In some cases, the consultant ophthalmologist will receive help completing the CVI from an Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (also known as an ECLO).

In your appointment, the consultant ophthalmologist will use a combination of your visual acuity and your field of vision to judge whether you’re eligible to be registered, and at which level.

Your CVI includes the results of your eye test, as well as information about your circumstances and your preferred format for correspondence.

Once a copy of your CVI has been sent to your local social services department, they should contact you within 2 weeks to ask if you wish to be included on their register of blind and partially sighted people. If you say “yes” then you become registered. If you say no, and choose not to be registered, you can still receive support from social services to help you to remain your independence.

What happens after you’re registered?

 After you have become registered, social services should contact you to discuss carrying out a needs assessment. This assessment aims to find out what help and advice you require to remain independent. If social services do not contact you to discuss your needs assessment, please contact your local Eye Clinic Liaison Officer, Tara Butler.

Your local council will often provide you with a registration card proving your registration status. This card is often required to prove your entitlement to concessions, including when you are visiting places of interest such as theatres, galleries and tourist attractions.

 For more information on the registration process, please contact your local Eye Clinic Liaison Officer, Tara Butler on 07494 310756

What are the benefits of registering?

Registering your sight loss with your local authority isn’t compulsory, but it can entitle you to a range of benefits.

You are entitled to Sight impaired Severely sight impaired
Blind person’s tax allowance No Yes
Television licence fee reduction No Yes
Blue Badge Scheme No Yes
Cinema pass for carer No Yes
Free postage – “Articles for the blind” Yes Yes
Free NHS eye examination Yes Yes
Disabled Persons Railcard Yes Yes
Free bus travel Yes Yes
Free directory enquiries Yes Yes
Protection under the Equality Act Yes Yes
Assessment by social services Yes Yes


You may be entitled to Sight impaired Severely sight impaired
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Yes Yes
Attendance Allowance Yes Yes
Carer’s Allowance Yes Yes
Employment and Support Allowance Yes Yes
Tax Credits Yes Yes
Housing Benefit Yes Yes
Council Tax disability reduction Yes Yes
Universal Credit Yes Yes
Pension Credit Yes Yes
Free ticket for a guide at theatres, galleries or tourist attractions Yes Yes

Download the above form as a Word Document – Factsheet benefits of being registered blind

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