Benefits Advice Service NI

Our Benefits Advice Service can help you claim the benefits, tax credits or allowances to which you are entitled if you are blind or partially sighted

Claiming your full entitlement

The benefits system can seem very confusing. It's not always easy to know what you qualify for or what to write on the form. We offer a confidential benefits check and advisory service free of charge for blind and partially sighted people. Our qualified advisers can provide information on the full range of social security benefits, tax credits and other allowances or concessions available to people with sight loss. We can assist you in claiming your full entitlement and support you in any appeal you may have to make.

Making an appointment

The service is available by appointment over the telephone, or in any of our premises in Omagh, Coleraine, Derry/Londonderry or Belfast. In exceptional circumstances we may also be able to arrange home visits.

To make an appointment, email us at benefitsni@rnib.org.uk
or call us on:
from counties Armagh, Down or Antrim, 028 9032 9373
from Counties Fermanagh, Tyrone and Derry/Londonderry, 028 7136 6060

We will take down a few details and ask one of our advisers to contact you as soon as possible. The service is very popular, and we would ask for your patience, but we will try to arrange an appointment as quickly as we can.

What our customers say

Ben recently came to us for help with claiming Social Security benefits after experiencing sudden sight loss. Read an account of Ben's story:

Finding out more about benefits

You can get more information on benefits that you may be entitled to, by reading our benefits and concessions factsheets.

The Social Security Agency also provides lots of information on benefits for people with disabilities.

Personal Independence Payment

Since 2013, in parts of the UK, the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) has become the Personal Independence Payment (PIP). PIP has replaced DLA and will continue to be a non-means tested benefit. There are two components, mobility and daily living needs. If you are currently in receipt of DLA, you will be contacted in 2013/14 and asked to attend a medical assessment to determine whether you are eligible to migrate from DLA to PIP. Just to clarify, Personal Independence Payment (PIP) has not replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA) in Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man yet.

In NI the Stormont Assembly have yet to reach a decision on PIP regulations and exactly when it is to be brought in over here. It is inevitable that PIP will replace DLA, but the date has yet to be confirmed. We will up date the information on this page as we get it.

Blind and partially sighted people are likely to lose out under this new system. According to the UK Government's own figures, about half a million people will lose entitlement altogether as DLA is replaced by PIP. While others will qualify for a lower rate than they currently receive. There are a number of areas where we feel that the impact of sight loss has not been properly recognised.

For more details, and for further in-depth information on PIP and what it all means visit RNIB's webpage all about PIP

You can also find links to other resources including how to get involved in our campaign against negative changes to the welfare and benefits system.

Related links

RNIB online shop

Shop online for a wide range of products that you need to remain independent. From talking scales to tactile labels, mobile phones to magnifiers, we can help you keep doing the things you love.

Online shop