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Sight loss resources Managing money

Welfare benefits for people with sight loss

Published on 23 Jan 2024

If you're registered as sight impaired, you may be entitled to financial and other support to help you address issues caused by your disability.

Some of these benefits are dependent on how much money you already have (means tested), while some are dependent on an assessment to see what support you need (non-means tested).

For more personalised advice on what welfare benefits you are eligible for and how to claim, please contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB).

Proof of sight loss

Being registered as sight impaired won’t automatically entitle you to any welfare benefits, but it could make it easier for you to claim some of them. It will also help when it comes to applying for discounts and concessions from other organisations.

Read our guide, Getting registered as sight impaired to find out how to go about getting certified.

“Living with sight loss can be costly – for instance, you might be dependent on trains and taxis to get around - so it's really important you claim the benefits you need.”
Bryan, Rehabilitation Officer at Blind Veterans UK

Disability benefits

There are a few benefits and discounts related to disability and sight loss which you may be eligible for, including:

  • TV License concession
  • Blind Person’s Tax Allowance
  • Disabled Person’s Railcard
  • Parking concessions and Blue Badge Scheme (as a passenger)
  • Free NHS sight tests
  • Grants from RNIB
  • See our guide, Need support during the cost of living crisis? Put together with our fellow sight loss charities, it details all the support available at this time, including grants from charities and other organisations.

Working age benefits

Personal Independent Payment (PIP)

This is a non-means tested benefit for people aged 16 to pension age to help you with the extra costs caused by illness or disability. In Scotland, PIP has been replaced by Adult Disability Payment (ADP).

Universal Credit

This is a means-tested benefit for working aged people. How much you get depends on how much income, saving and investments you have.

Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)

This offers financial and personalised support for people with a disability or health condition. ESA has been largely replaced by Universal Credit, although you may be eligible for new-style ESA, based on your national insurance contributions.

Pension age benefits

If you are of state pension age or older, you may be able to claim the following non-means tested benefit from the government:

  • Attendance Allowance (AA), which is for people of state pension age and over who need help with personal care because of a disability or health problem, such as sight loss. Many thousands of older people with severe sight loss receive AA. 

Benefits for veterans

For information about benefits and support for veterans, please visit the government website, Support services for military and defence personnel and their families.

If you are vision impaired and served in the Armed Forces at any time, including National Service, then we may be able to help you. You can call us on 0800 389 7979 or visit  

Tips for applying for non-means tested benefits

Although you don’t need to declare your finances for non-means tested benefits, you do need to be assessed based on how you cope day-to-day with your sight loss (and any other disabilities and illnesses you may have).

Be prepared

Before your assessment, make a list of the difficulties you face over the course of your day, from getting up and getting washed and dressed, to buying food and making meals; to getting out and about and connecting with others; to getting a good night’s sleep.

Be realistic

Most people with sight loss have good days and bad days. When you’re being assessed, be realistic and focus on your bad days as this will provide a more accurate snapshot of the support you need.

Bring someone along

It can be helpful to bring someone you know well into the assessment with you as they may be able to help provide insight into the issues you face in your daily life which you take for granted.

Other concessions and support

  • There are many services and organisations offering concessions to people with disabilities. For example, cinemas, theatres, zoos and many other attractions provide cheaper tickets as well as free entry for carers. 
  • Asking in advance can sometimes mean you get early entry, giving you time to get to your seat, and even maybe a tour of the place. You can also find out if they have an audio guide or audio description headset that can make the whole experience a lot more inclusive and enjoyable.

Other organisations that can help

As well as your local CAB, there are many great organisations that can tell you which benefits you’re entitled to and help you claim, including sight loss charity, RNIB, and older people’s charities, Independent Age and Age UK

Read more

Apply for support now

If you have a service record and a visual impairment, we could help you regain your independence.