Registered Severely Sight Impaired
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If you are reading this leaflet, you or a family member will have been seen by a Senior Ophthalmologist who has told you that your sight has deteriorated to a level that cannot be corrected with
glasses or medical treatment. As a result, you are eligible to be registered as a Severely Sight Impaired (Blind) person. The doctor will have completed and signed a Certificate of Visual Impairment (CVI). You will have also been asked to sign the certificate to give your consent for it to be passed to the local authority or agency holding the visual impairment register.
Copies of the certificate will then be sent to:
♦ your local council or their agent
♦ you, as the patient
♦ your GP
♦ your hospital notes
♦ Royal College of Ophthalmologists, which enables statistics to be collected about the incidence of different eye conditions within the population.
Remember you should contact the DVLA on 0300 790 6806 if you know or have been told that your sight is affecting your ability to drive safely.
Your local authority or their agent will then contact you to discuss being placed on the register. They will also want to talk to you about how you are managing and whether you have any particular concerns. Please note that there can be delays in this happening. If you are worried you should contact your local council and ask about their services. You should remember that registration is a voluntary process so; you can decline being placed on the register. However, this may affect the concessions you are entitled to. Visual impairment registers are held locally so, if you move areas you should contact your new local authority to advise them of your registration and request that it be transferred.
Concessions and Entitlements as a Severely Sight Impaired (Blind) person
• Blind person’s tax allowance – this is an additional allowance which is added to your or a spouse’s tax code and allows you to keep a little more before being taxed. To qualify for this allowance you or a spouse needs to be paying income tax
• 50% reduction in TV licence – if you are under the age of 75 years
• Blue ‘Disabled Parking’ Badge
• Concessionary Cinema Card – there is a small charge for the card. This entitles your ‘guide or carer’ to go in for free
• A free NHS sight test
• Concessionary rail travel
• Concessionary public transport
• 195 ‘Free Directory Enquiries’ Service
• Protection with the Equality Act, 2010
• Leisure Concessions – this can vary.
Benefits may include:
• Personal Independence Payment or Attendance Allowance
• Universal Credit
• Employment Support Allowance
• Pension Credit
• Reductions in Council Tax if a room is set aside to meet the needs of your disability. Unfortunately, there is no automatic entitlement to benefits as a result of sight loss. Other benefits are also
available so; it’s advisable to talk to a Welfare Rights agency.