Title: The link between sight loss and income

Author: Alex Saunders, Publisher: RNIB, Year of publication: 2014


This research briefing highlights key elements relating to household income and gross monthly pay, drawn from three larger reports, which use independent survey data to describe the circumstances of adults with sight loss. This briefing, the source literature, and original survey data will be of interest to those working in the sight loss sector, or anyone seeking to better understand the financial circumstances of blind and partially sighted people.

Key findings

Personal and household income

  • More than three-quarters of people with sight loss (78 per cent) had a total personal income of less than £300 per week, compared with 50 per cent of people with no impairment.
  • Almost half of people (48 per cent) with sight loss live in a household with a total income of less than £300 a week, compared with only 19 per cent of people with no impairment.
  • People with sight loss were more likely than those with no impairment to live in a household with an income of less than £300 a week across all age groups, although the scale of the difference varied between groups.

Benefits and allowances

  • Registered blind and partially sighted people were more likely to get Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit compared with the general population. This difference is particularly high amongst people of working age.

Gross monthly pay

  • At all pay levels, the gross monthly pay (including bonuses and tax credits) of “long term disabled people with a seeing difficulty” was similar to that of “non disabled people without a seeing difficulty”.