Who can register?

If you have a visual impairment, you may be able to register as sight impaired. Once assessed, this means that you will be on your local social service’s register of people who are either severely sight impaired (blind) or sight impaired (partially sighted). You will also be entitled to certain benefits.

Registering is voluntary and completely confidential (which means your details won’t be shared).

How do I get registered?

Step 1 – Make an appointment with an optician / ophthalmologist for an eye assessment

Step 2 – Your eye assessment will include measuring your vision in the following ways:

  • Your visual acuity – how good you are at seeing at a distance and your field of vision
  • Visual field – how much you can see from the side of your eye when looking straight ahead

Step 3 – If you can be certified for registering, you’ll get a Certificate of Vision Impairment (CVI). In Northern Ireland it’s called A655, in Scotland it’s called the Certificate of Vision Impairment (CVI) Scotland form*

Step 4 – Your eye specialist sends copies of the certificate to you, your GP and your local social services department

Step 5 – You can then choose to be registered with your local social services, who will add you to the register of blind and partially sighted people with your permission

Step 6 – If you do not wish to be registered, there are still support options available from social services, who will discuss these in detail with you

Registration, the next steps?

Once registered, your local social services can carry out a needs assessment, also known as a Social Care and Rehabilitation Assessment.

The assessment includes:

  • Finding out what support you need to maintain an independent lifestyle
  • Options for help, such as using transport, cooking and cleaning and remaining independent both in and out of the home

Registration benefits

If you certify, there are many benefits, such as:

Concessions: half-price TV Licence, help with NHS costs, help with your Council Tax bill, tax allowances, leisure discounts and free public transport

Concessions are dependent on whether you are registered as severely sight impaired or sight impaired. You may also be able to claim certain welfare benefits.

For more information on registering as sight impaired, please visit the Government website.

Life With Sight Loss

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