January 2016

Katherine Hill, Lydia Marshall, Donald Hirsch and Matt Padley, Centre for Research in Social Policy – Loughborough University

This publication summarises findings from research commissioned by Thomas Pocklington Trust and conducted by Katherine Hill, Lydia Marshall, Donald Hirsh and Matt Padley, at the Centre for Research in Social Policy, Loughborough University.

The research used an established methodology that defines Minimum Income Standards (MIS) for different households to consider how much more it costs, as a minimum, to live with different degrees of sight loss at different times of life. It established minimum weekly budgets for: a working age person who is eligible for certification as severely sight impaired; a pension age person who is eligible for certification as sight impaired and has acquired their sight loss as an adult.

Key Facts: Additional Costs

  • Living costs vary a great deal depending on age and severity of impairment.
  • The budget for a working age person living alone who is eligible for certification as severely sight impaired with little or no sight is 60% more than for someone without that impairment – totaling an extra £116 on top of the minimum income standard of £195 a week.
  • The budget for someone of pension age who is living alone and is eligible for certification as sight impaired and has some usable sight is 41% more than for someone without that impairment.
  • The five main lifestyle areas that cost more for those with a severe sight impairment are; food, socialising, technology, travel & additional domestic help.
  • People of working age who are sight impaired may be eligible for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) or Attendance Allowance.

How can this research help?

This research highlights key area of cost difference not only between sighted and vision impaired people, but also the change to the cost depending on stage of life and severity of sight loss. It also pinpoints both the logistical and psychological elements which must be addressed to allow vision impaired people to fully participate within society.

Links: 

Research Findings: Additional Costs of Living for People who are Sight Impaired of Severely Sight Impaired – PDF version and Word version