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 sight loss?
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|
|Employment and Support Allowance||Yes||Yes|
|Council Tax disability reduction||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