Further help and support with starting work

Find further help and support about all aspects of moving into employment.

Benefits and financial help

As you move through your journey from school and beyond you’ll be entitled to different benefits and financial assistance because of your sight condition.

The financial help you’ll be able to get will depend on what you are doing and your circumstances at the time: for example, at university you’ll have access to the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) and at work you’ll be entitled to funding through the Access to Work Scheme.

You may also be entitled to benefits such as Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Personal Independence  Payments (PIP) or Employment Support Allowance (ESA).

The Access to Work scheme

When you are looking for work it’s really important that you know about the Access to Work scheme. It’s a Jobcentre Plus programme and can pay for things like:
  • taxis to and from work – really useful where transport links are poor
  • a large monitor and screen magnification software for your work computer
  • a support worker driver to get you to meetings that are otherwise hard to reach
  • hi-tech low vision aids to help carry out your work.
The support that you’ll get will depend on the job you are doing and your needs.
 
You’ll be assessed by an Access to Work Assessor who will discuss the support you are likely to need and look at the requirements of your job. But be prepared for the Access to Work process to only begin near or maybe even after your start date.

Work experience and the Access to Work scheme

Read more about Access to work for work experience placements on our work experience and volunteering pages.

Putting the employer’s mind at ease

It’s really useful to find out as much as you can about the Access to Work scheme before your interview. Employers often worry about the potential costs of employing a person with a sight condition because they think the equipment and support needed may be expensive. Many employers don’t know about the Access to Work scheme, so it’s a good idea to find out as much as you can about it. You’ll then be able to talk about the scheme at your interview and reassure the employer that support is available and that it won’t cost them lots of money.

Personal Independence Payments (PIP)

The Government replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people aged between 16 and 64 with a benefit called Personal Independence Payment (PIP). You can find out more about the introduction of PIP and how this is likely to affect you on our Managing your money pages. If you are under 16, there are currently no plans to replace DLA for you. 

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a benefit for people on low incomes. It will gradually replace many other welfare benefits - including housing benefit, income support and jobseeker's allowance. 

To find out about the benefits and financial help you may be entitled to, visit our Benefits for people of working age pages or contact RNIB's Helpline on 0303 123 9999  or email helpline@rnib.org.uk and our Welfare Rights Advisors can help to resolve any problems you have in getting the right support.

Employment and Careers advice

For more online information about careers, seeking work, writing a CV or application form, interviews, job-seeking resources, or the Access to Work scheme visit our main Employment section

RNIB supports blind and partially sighted people in finding work across the UK. Our specialist advisers offer advice and guidance on all aspects of employment including skills training, assessments and information on the latest assistive technology to support you at work.

Get in touch with your Careers Adviser by visiting our 'Finding a Careers Adviser' pages.

Sightline directory

Find local services and organisations that help blind and partially sighted people in the UK. 

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