People with sight loss more likely to receive benefits and have lower income levels, finds research from the RNIB

28th October 2014

New research from the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) has considered the link between sight loss and income. The research compares the position of blind and partially sighted people with the general population, and with other disabled people, through a number of indicators including personal and household income, payments from benefits and allowances, and gross monthly pay.

The findings highlight large differences between income levels of people with sight loss compared to people with no imparement, as well as highlighting a higher likelihood that blind and partially sighted people were more likely to get Hosuing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit.

Key findings include:

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 half (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.
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.
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”.

The full briefing will be of interest to anyone seeking to better understand the financial circumstances of blind and partially sighted people.