Registration and welfare

While it is not compulsory to register sight loss, it is advisable as it can greatly assist with proving your entitlement to concessions and benefits.

You will need to be referred by your GP to a doctor specialising in eye conditions (known as an ophthalmologist) for an assessment. If the ophthalmologist judges that you can be certified, they will issue you with a Certificate of Vision Impairment, registering you as sight impaired or severely sight impaired (formerly referred to as “partially sighted” or “blind”).

A copy of the certificate will be sent to your local social services, who will then contact you to ask whether you would like to be included on their register, and assess what help and advice you need to remain independent.

To find out more about registering sight loss, please visit the government website.

Concessions and benefits

Once you register, a range of concessions and benefits will be available to you, which may include help with council tax bills, leisure discounts and free public transport.

The RNIB website has lots of information on concessions and benefits available to support you and your family should you decide to register.