Employment and welfare

It is vital blind and partially sighted people have equal opportunities when it comes to employment, and this includes taking account of the extra costs of disability.

Personal Independence Payments (PIP)

It has been strongly rumoured that one of the measures to be announced in the Chancellor’s upcoming Budget statement on July 8 will be the taxation of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), and possibly Disability Living Allowance, for people of working age not on PIP.

We do not believe PIP should become taxable. If you agree, and care about this issue, please tell your MP. We have two possible actions that people can send, depending on whether they currently benefit from PIP or not. Please choose whichever action is applicable to you.

We are very concerned at this proposal. Blind and partially sighted people have extra expenses as a result of their disability. People with sight loss use PIP, which is specifically designed to meet the extra costs of disability, to pay for help to do a number of different things that many sighted people are able to do themselves. These can include help around their home with cleaning or maintenance, specialist computer equipment to help them access information, and taxis to get out and about because visually impaired people can find it very difficult to use public transport.

Access to Work

The Access to Work scheme (ATW) helps large numbers of blind and partially sighted people who are in employment. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) reports that ATW helps 5,130 people who have difficulty seeing, which is the second largest user group who use the fund.

ATW can pay for a range of support, from specialist equipment to a support worker or taxi fares. However, the DWP is now saying that ATW will be rationed. These new proposals, for a cap on the amount payable, are causing concern. The key for blind and partially sighted people is a much larger budget, so that the scheme can be expanded without weakening the necessary support to individuals. We are working hard to achieve this.

If you have any stories of how Access to Work has helped you, please get in touch and share your story by emailing campaigns@rnib.org.uk or calling 020 7391 2123.

You can read our updated policy statement to find out more.

 

Employment campaigning news

It's vital that blind and partially sighted have access to employment. Find out what we're doing to ensure that blind and partially sighted people have equal access to employment and services such as Access to Work are protected.

Check out the latest Employment news

Protecting welfare support news

There's clear evidence that living with sight loss brings a range of additional costs. We campaign for a fairer benfits system and to ensure people with sight loss have access to disability benefits. 

Find out what we're doing to protect welfare support