FAQs for patients
What is a CVI form?
If your sight loss reaches certain levels, you can be certified as severely sight impaired or sight impaired by your eye specialist (ophthalmologist). A Certification of Vision Impairment (CVI) form is completed by your eye specialist and, if you agree to it, a copy sent to your local council, your GP, Moorfields Eye Hospital and to you.
Your local council or social services then have a duty to contact you to ask if you want to be registered and added to their confidential register of blind and partially sighted people. Where there is an appearance of need for care and support, local authorities must arrange an assessment of needs in a timely manner.
GPs have a role in referring to rehabilitation services. Rehabilitation services in social services or voluntary organisations provide equipment and adaptations to the home, training and support for daily living, mobility and orientation skills training.
Information about eye conditions is collected at the Royal College of Ophthalmologists c/o Certifications Office based at Moorfields Eye Hospital and used to help improve eye care and services.
Do I need to get one?
Having a CVI is an important step in providing information to your local council so they can contact you to find out what support you might need. Councils have a duty to keep a register of people who are blind and partially sighted.
You don’t need to be registered to receive support such as Vision Rehabilitation or benefits such as Personal Independence Payments (PIP), Attendance Allowance (AA) or Disability Living allowance (DLA).
However, if you are registered you may find it easier to prove the degree of your sight loss and your eligibility for benefits and concessions.
What are the benefits of having one?
Having a CVI triggers the process of registration and is often a positive step towards getting help to stay as independent as possible.
The CVI form will provide your local council with better information about your circumstances. They can provide a face to face assessment of your needs and refer you to a specialist or services such as Vision Rehabilitation.
You may be entitled to a range of concessions and benefits including:
- Discounted travel and TV licences
- Leisure concessions
- Tax allowances
- Welfare benefits such as PIP, AA and DLA
The information from the form will be used to examine the causes of sight loss helping to prevent others losing their sight. It can also be used to identify any patterns in certain eye conditions and help with planning services.
I have an old CVI form, do I need to replace it?
No. If you already have a CVI form then there is no need to replace it.
Why is there a new form?
Some of the information on the old form was out of date and it was more complicated than it needed to be.
The new form has been simplified so that it is easier to complete, and updated to provide better information about what support you can receive after you’re certified.
How do I get one?
If you have lost a significant level of vision in both of your eyes, then your eye specialist and eye clinic staff can begin the process with you. If you think that you should have a CVI then you can speak with your Eye specialist or contact your Eye clinic to ask for an assessment.