How do I register myself as blind or partially sighted, and what are the benefits of doing so?
Registration is usually processed through your local council, and is a voluntary and completely confidential process. Depending on the level of your visual impairment, you will be registered as being either:
- Sight impaired/partially sighted
- Severely sight impaired/blind
There are some key advantages to the registration process, including:
- The ability to claim a variety of concessions such as: tax allowances, free public transport and entry to leisure facilities, TV Licence and NHS discounts and possibly help with your Council Tax bill
- Support with the benefits-claiming process
- The provision of a registration card
What steps do I take?
1. Receive referral from an optometrist
An optometrist (or high street optician) is the first person you will encounter if you have issues with vision, and everyone should have regular check-ups (every two years) regardless. They will refer you to a specialist eye clinic if they think necessary for an examination by an ophthalmologist.
2. Receive certification from an ophthalmologist
Following the examination, the ophthalmologist will gauge whether your vision is impaired to the level where it can be certified. If so, a certificate (CVI) will be filled out explaining your examination results, circumstances and preferred contact method.
Your local social services team will contact you after receiving your certificate, and will ask if you want to be included on the register of blind and partially sighted people – it is entirely up to you.
Following this, if you do indeed decide to register you will be asked to carry out a Community Care Assessment, which will aid social services in highlighting how they can help you retain maximum independence and comfort.