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Benefits for Children with a Visual Impairment

Fares to Hospital

If you are on Income Support, Family Credit or disability working allowance and if you have limited savings, you are entitled to travel costs to and from the hospital for NHS treatment. If you are on a low income, but dont receive any of the above benefits you may still be able to get help although it may only cover part of the cost. Form HC1* can be obtained from the hospital Social Work department or you local DSS (Social Security) office.

If you are having difficulty with travel costs, ring the Benefit Enquiry line on 0800 882200.

There are many benefits and services available for visually impaired children.

They fall into two main categories

  • Benefits that are only available to children who are registered. These can include services and benefits provided by the local social work department or by a visual impairment society. These services are available to any visually impaired child but are most easily accessed by being registered.
  • Other financial benefits available to any child with visual impairment.

Generally there are more benefits available to children registered blind than partially sighted. Many of the benefits and services available to visually impaired children are provided through a variety of different local organisations. Depending on local agreements and level of funding, services may vary between areas. Some financial benefits are awarded based solely on a child’s level of visual impairment and any associated disabilities. Other financial benefits depend on how much you earn. Applying for financial benefits is very complex. You should always seek advice from an experienced welfare officer when applying for benefits.

Benefits & services available only to children on the blind or partially sighted register

  • Free travel on buses, trains, underground and ferries within Scotland for children over 5 years of age who are registered blind or partially sighted. A companion travel pass is also available.
  • Half price TV licence for children registered blind.
  • Free BT directory enquiries service and help with line rental if on the blind register.
  • Free postage of bulky items such as Braille or audiotapes to and from a child on the blind or partially sighted register.
  • Disabled Parking Badge for all children registered blind (or partially sighted if they also have difficulty walking).
  • Motability Scheme

Financial Benefits that may be easier to access if on the register.

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) application maybe more successful if a child in on the register. There are two categories of DLA, one awarded for Care and the other for Mobility. There are different levels of financial award within these categories.
  • If the middle or higher component of DLA has been awarded the parents may also be able to claim Invalid Care Allowance and Income Support.
  • If the higher mobility component of DLA has been awarded this enablesparents to access the Mobility Scheme if they so wish.
  • If parents are entitled to both Income Support and Invalid Care Allowance then they may also be entitled to ?top-up? premiums.
  • Parents claiming Income Support are eligible for many other benefits such as hospital and housing grants.
  • Parents may be entitled to a reduction in Council Tax if their child is ‘substantially and permanently’ disabled or in receipt of the higher rate care component of DLA.
  • If a parent is already claiming Disabled Persons Tax Credit or Working Family Tax Credit and they have a child with a disability or a child in receipt of the higher rate care component of DLA they are also entitled to further ?disabled tax credits?.

Health Benefits

All children are eligible for free prescriptions, eye tests and also help towards the cost of glasses.

Family Fund

This fund is to help families caring for a severely disabled child and is financed by the government. It is sometimes able to give lump sums for certain necessary items where the cost cannot be covered by existing services.

If you think the fund could help you write to:

The Family Fund, PO Box 50,YORK YO1 22X

Further information about benefits is available from: The Benefits Enquiry Line Tel 0800 882200