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UK benefit uptake among blind and partially sighted people

This new research shows a substantial deficit in the take-up of disability benefits among people who are registered blind or partially sighted due to multiple barriers, including poor communication and the challenge of getting to face-to-face appointments. Around one in four blind and partially sighted people (83,000) in the UK are not getting disability benefits they are entitled to.

Key findings

  • People in a low-income household face barriers to claiming disability benefits, while in other households, non-receipt of disability benefits will be the cause of their low income.
  • People with sight loss in employment might be particularly susceptible to the barriers caused by welfare stigma and internalised guilt in claiming benefits. Those from ethnic minorities are more likely to face multiple barriers to receiving benefits, including difficulties with language and lack of knowledge and experience regarding the social security system.
  • The findings highlight the ongoing need to identify and provide targeted support to specific groups within the blind and partially sighted population who are particularly vulnerable to disengagement with the benefits system, while addressing clear structural barriers to claiming disability benefits in the wider population.