Wales Council of the Blind

Glossary Browser

Access to Work benefits/concessions

An Access to Work grant is money for practical support to help you do your job. It's for people with a disability, health or mental health condition. The money you get can pay for things like specialist equipment; travel when you can't use public transport; a communicator at a job interview. How much you get depends on your circumstances. Any money you get doesn't have to be paid back and won't affect your other benefits.

Attendance Allowance benefits/concessions

Attendance Allowance is a weekly payment to help with personal care because you're physically or mentally disabled and you're aged 65 or over. It's paid at 2 different rates and how much you get depends on the level of care that you need because of your disability. The other benefits you get can increase if you get Attendance Allowance.

Blind Person's Tax Allowance benefits/concessions

If you're registered blind with the local council you can claim Blind Person's Allowance, which means you can get an extra amount of income tax-free each year. For the tax year 2012 to 2013, the allowance is £2,100. You can transfer your Blind Person's Allowance to your spouse or civil partner if you don't pay tax or use all of the allowance.

Blue Badge scheme benefits/concessions

The Blue Badge (Disabled Parking) Scheme operates throughout the UK. It is designed to help blind or disabled people to travel independently as either a driver or a passenger to allow them to park close to where they need to go.

BT Basic telephone service benefits/concessions

BT Basic is a simple, low-cost telephone service that's easy to understand and helps you keep in touch, even if money is a bit tight. If you're on a low income, BT Basic lets you make and receive calls - and helps you manage how much you spend. You can usually get BT Basic if you're claiming one of these benefits: Income Support; Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance; Employment Support Allowance (Income related) or Pensions Credit (Guaranteed Credit). Note that there are restrictions on the calls you can make using this service.

Carer's Allowance benefits/concessions

Carer's Allowance is a weekly payment to help you look after someone with substantial caring needs. You don't have to be related to, or live with, the person you care for. You need to be aged 16 or over and spend at least 35 hours a week caring for them. Carer's Allowance can affect your other benefits.

Cinema Exhibitor's Association Card benefits/concessions

This is a national card that can be used to verify that the holder is entitled to one free ticket for a person accompanying them to the cinema. To apply for the card you will need submit proof to show that you are in receipt of Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance and/or are a registered blind person. There is an annual charge for the card.

Concessionary bus fares benefits/concessions

The Welsh Government provides financial support to enable local authorities in Wales to provide free travel on registered local bus services for residents of Wales aged over 60 years and disabled of any age. The support also provides free travel on local buses by companions to disabled persons. Provision also exists to allow those persons eligible for a bus pass but unable to use a bus because of a disability, to be able to receive passes for other more accessible forms of transport. Local Authorities have discretion to issue travel tokens to enable disabled concessionary bus pass holders to use other forms of transport.

Council Tax benefit benefits/concessions

Council Tax Benefit is money off your Council Tax bill. You may get it if you are on a low income or claiming benefits and your savings are below a certain level - usually £16,000. You can apply if you own your home, rent, live rent-free, are unemployed or working.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) benefits/concessions

DLA is a weekly payment to help with the extra costs caused by a disability. It is paid at different rates depending on how much help you need because of your disability or terminal illness. You may need a medical assessment to work out what you need. You can apply for DLA whether or not you work and it's for children or adults.

Disabled Person's Railcard benefits/concessions

f you have a disability that makes travelling by train difficult you might qualify for the Disabled Persons Railcard. It allows you to get 1/3 off most rail fares throughout Great Britain, and if you're travelling with an adult companion they also can get 1/3 off their rail fare.

Disabled Student's Allowance benefits/concessions

If you have a disability you might need additional equipment or support to help you access your course. The Disabled Student Allowance (DSA) will help you to cover these additional costs. Depending on your needs, extra support could include specialist equipment, a non-medical helper's allowance or help towards your additional travel costs. These allowances are available if you're studying full-time or part-time in higher education. If you're studying part-time, you must be doing at least the equivalent of half a full-time course. This allowance doesn't depend on your income and you don't have to pay it back.

Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) benefits/concessions

If you're ill or disabled, Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) offers you financial support if you're unable to work, or personalised help so that you can work if you are able to. You can apply for ESA if you're employed, self-employed or unemployed. You might be transferred to ESA if you've been claiming other benefits like Income Support or Incapacity Benefit.

Free Directory Enquiries benefits/concessions

If you're not able to read or hold a telephone directory due to illness or disability, you can apply for free 195 Directory Enquiries from BT. Call 0800 587 0195 to request an application form. Your form will need to be countersigned by a professional who knows you i.e. your doctor, nurse or other medical practitioner.

Free loan of radios benefits/concessions

The British Wireless for the Blind Fund provides high quality, easy to use audio equipment which has been specially designed and adapted for listeners living with sight loss. All of the radios are made available on Free Loan to blind and partially sighted people who meet their criteria.

Free NHS sight test benefits/concessions

If you are registered blind or partially sighted, diagnosed with glaucoma or diabetes, under 16/over 60 or meet certain other criteria you are entitled to a free eye test. (For a full list see the NHS Direct website).

Free postage (Article for the Blind) benefits/concessions

The Royal Mail Articles for the Blind scheme is a free, first class or Airmail service for people sending items specifically designed for blind and visually impaired people. This enables them to send certain items within the UK and overseas free of charge.

Pension Credit benefits/concessions

Pension Credit is an income related benefit made up of 2 parts - Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit. Guarantee Credit tops up your weekly income if it's below £142.70 (single people) or £217.90 (couples)(figures correct at Nov 2012). Savings Credit is an extra payment for people who have saved some money towards their retirement, eg a pension. You don't pay tax on Pension Credit.

Personal Independence Payment benefits/concessions

From 8 April 2013, a new benefit called Personal Independence Payment will replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for disabled people aged 16 to 64. Personal Independence Payment is to help towards some of the extra costs caused by ill-health or disability. It's based on how a person's condition affects them, not the condition they have.

TV Licence concession benefits/concessions

If you're registered blind or live with someone who is, you can get a 50% discount. The licence has to be in the blind person's name - if it isn't you can transfer it by calling TV Licensing.

VAT exemption benefits/concessions

If you have a long-term illness or you're disabled, you might not have to pay VAT on certain goods and services that you buy or bring into the UK. Certain building work that you have done may also be free of VAT.

Welfare benefits advice benefits/concessions

Advice on the range of benefits available that the individual may be able to access through agencies such as the Department for Work and Pensions.