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Sight loss registration and benefits

What is registration?

Registration means being on your local social service’s register of people who are:

  • Severely sight impaired (blind)
  • Sight impaired (partially sighted)

It's voluntary and is completely confidential and your details won’t be shared.


How do I register as severely sight impaired or sight impaired?

Get a referral

See your GP or optician to get a referral to an eye specialist for an initial assessment.

If necessary they will refer you to the eye clinic for an appointment with an eye specialist.

Meeting the criteria

If you meet the criteria the eye specialist or ophthalmologist completes a certificate of vision impairment (CVI).

If you agree to register, the eye specialist or ophthalmologist will send the CVI form to the local social services.

Registration card

We will send you a registration card and certificates and information on the benefits and concessions you may be entitled to. We will also contact you to offer further information and advice.


Sight loss advisor or eye clinic liaison officer

If there is a sight loss advisor or eye clinic liaison officer at the hospital, it is worth making contact. They can offer information and advice on a range of areas of managing with sight loss.


What are the advantages of registering?

There are some very significant advantages to getting registered. It can make life more affordable by enabling you to claim a wide range of concessions. These include:

  • half-price TV licence
  • help with NHS costs
  • help with your council tax bill and tax allowances
  • leisure discounts
  • free public transport

Which concessions you are entitled to can depend on whether you are registered as severely sight impaired or sight impaired. 

Although being registered does not automatically entitle you to any particular welfare benefits, it does often make it easier for you to claim some of them. Your registration confirms your sight loss and helps as evidence in your claim.

Your local council will often give you a registration card that proves your registration status. Having this card can help to prove your entitlement to concessions, including when you’re visiting places of interest.


Benefits and concessions

For further information on  how to go about becoming registered, criteria, benefits and concessions you may be entitled to once you are registered please visit the RNIB website.

You can also contact RNIB on:

Phone: 0303 123 9999
Email:  helpline@rnib.org.uk 

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