Being partially sighted can not only affect the quality of life of the individual but also increases their cost of living. Through this blog post, we aim to learn whether or not you can claim benefits if you are partially sighted and if you can, what is the eligibility criteria and how can one apply for benefits. In addition to this, we will also explore other forms of financial support that one may be able to find for a disability or health condition through concessions and grants.

Can You Claim Benefits If You Are Partially Sighted?

Yes, you can claim certain benefits if you are partially sighted. Whether the claimant is a child, of working age or retired, if they qualify to meet the eligibility criteria as per their circumstances, they can claim the below-listed benefits for their condition:

  • Personal Independence Payment: Payments through Personal Independence Payment (PIP) are intended to help claimants with the extra costs they incur as a result of their condition (partial sightedness in this case). 
  • Attendance Allowance: If the claimant is a pensioner, they can qualify for Attendance Allowance to meet the additional expenses related to their partial sightedness.
  • Disability Living Allowance: If a child younger than 16 years of age is partially sighted, their parents can claim DLA to meet the additional cost of raising and supervising them. For adults, DLA is being replaced with PIP and will its payments be covered within PIP.
  • Employment and Support Allowance: ESA is a benefit aimed at those people who are of working age but are restricted from work either due to a disability or an illness.
  • Pension Credit: Individuals who are on a low income can seek support through Pension Credit to top up their state retirement pension.
  • Universal Credit: While six legacy benefits have been replaced with Universal Credit, individuals with partial sightedness can claim Universal Credit due to the effect of their condition on their ability to work. They will be able to claim an additional amount added to their basic UC claim.

However, the government has limited the amount of benefits individuals of working age (aged between 16 and 64) can receive by placing a benefit cap. It is only claimants of PIP, DLA or the support component of ESA who are exempt from the benefit cap.

Since it is common for individuals with partial sightedness to be claiming PIP or DLA, they are usually exempt from the benefit cap as well.

If you are taking care of someone who is partially sighted, you can claim Carer’s Allowance. To claim this benefit, the claimant must fulfil the below criteria:

  • Older than 16 years of age
  • Earning equal to or less than £132 a week
  • Not enrolled in a full-time educational degree or course
  • Spend a minimum of 35 hours per week looking after an individual who claims Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment

How Can You Claim Benefits If You Are Partially Sighted?

  • PIP can be claimed by anyone who qualifies for financial support and is between 16 years of age to under the state pension age.
  • If someone needs help or support for at least six months due to a health condition or disability such as partial sightedness you can claim Attendance Allowance. However, recipients of PIP or DLA cannot claim Attendance Allowance.
  • Even though Universal Credit has replaced ESA (income based), one can still claim New Style ESA based on their National Insurance contributions.
  • Some of the working age benefits are being replaced with Universal Credit. Claimants can either shift from their previous claim to UC or if someone has to file a fresh claim due to partial sightedness, they can directly apply for Universal Credit.
  • You can apply for Universal Credit for your partial sightedness. There is an additional amount that comes under limited capability for work-related activities that can be claimed for individuals who are unable to seek work due to a disability or health condition.
  • To claim Carer’s Allowance, the claimant will need to apply by filling in a form. They will be able to get details from the Carer’s Allowance Unit by calling them on 0800 731 0297.  

If you are unable to file a claim on your own due to your condition, you (or someone else on your behalf) can request the DWP to send a team to visit you who will discuss the claims process with you and also file a claim on your behalf.

On the other hand, if you need to file a claim for a child who is younger than 16 years of age, the applicable benefit, in this case, would be Disability Living Allowance. In some cases, you may be able to get an additional amount on your Child Tax Credit. You can also contact your local council office for additional support to take care of your child.

Can You Get Grants And Concessions If You Are Partially Sighted?

Yes, you can claim grants and concessions if you are partially sighted. Some of these include the following:

  • Free NHS sight tests if someone is older than 60 years
  • Free TV license if the claimant is 75 years of age or older and receiving Pension Credit and a 50% reduction if the claimant is registered blind
  • Free postage 
  • Disabled Persons Railcard
  • Free or discounted bus travel fare
  • Free directory enquiries
  • Cinema pass for carer
  • Protection under the Equality Act
  • Assessment by social services

You can search for independent charities and Disability Grants online or use the Turn2us Grants Search to find additional support for your condition.

Conclusion:

According to research from the Department of Work and Pensions, nearly 63% of eligible people who are above state pension age and 52% of working-age people do not claim all their means-tested benefit entitlement. Therefore, it is important to know about the benefits one can claim to meet the increased cost of living. Benefits that individuals who are partially sighted can claim are highlighted in this article and should ideally be claimed if one meets the eligibility criteria.

FAQs: Can You Claim Benefits If You Are Partially Sighted?

What qualifies you as partially sighted?

You can be qualified as partially sighted if your vision is 3/60 and 6/60 with a full field of vision.

What prescription is classed as partially sighted?

If someone has a visual acuity of 3/60 to 6/60 with a full field of vision, they will be classed as partially sighted.

Can partially sighted individuals get a blue badge?

No, partially sighted individuals cannot get a Blue Badge automatically. However, if they claim PIP for mobility issues, they can apply for a Blue Badge.

What level of vision loss is considered a disability?

A vision of 20/200 is considered a disability as it indicates complete loss of vision.

What is the Blind Person’s Allowance?

The Blind Person’s Allowance is an additional payment received by those individuals who are registered blind in the UK. This is a tax-free allowance aimed at helping them with added costs of living due to their condition.

References:

Money, benefits and finance – RNIB – See Differently

What benefits am I entitled to as a severe sight impaired (blind) or sight impaired (partially sighted) person?

What is the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and who can claim it?

Starting_Out_Benefits_Concessions_and_Registration

Grants – RNIB – See Differently

Grants from other organisations

Help if you have a disabled child: Overview – GOV.UK

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