Published 8 November 2010
Severely visually impaired people – entitlement to DLA higher rate mobility component
Certain severely visually impaired people will become entitled to the higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) from 11 April 2011.
From 15 November 2010 until April 2011, the Disability and Carers Service will phone or write to existing DLA customers who may benefit.
This page gives more information about who will benefit from the new rules and what they will need to do to get the extra money.
Questions and answers
Q1. Who will qualify?
A1. To qualify a person must:
- be aged 3 or over and under 65;
- be certified as severely sight impaired by a consultant ophthalmologist and;
- have a best corrected (with glasses or lenses) visual acuity of
- less than 3/60, or
- 3/60 or more but less than 6/60, together with a complete loss of peripheral visual field and a central visual field of no more than 10 degrees in total.
Q2. If a customer is already receiving DLA lower rate mobility component, can they claim the higher rate now?
A2. They do not need to do anything now. If they are already receiving the DLA lower rate mobility component and they are severely sight impaired they may be entitled to the higher rate mobility component if they meet the criteria above. The Disability and Carers Service will contact them.
Q3. If someone qualifies when will their benefit change?
A3. If they are already receiving DLA, and meet the new criteria, their benefit will change from April 2011.
Q4. How will the Disability and Carers Service know which customers to contact?
A4. The Disability and Carers Service will use information they already hold to identify customers receiving lower rate mobility component due to a sight impairment.
Q5. How will the Disability and Carers Service contact existing customers and when will this be?
A5. The Disability and Carers Service will be contacting customers, initially, by telephone from 15 November 2010 until at least April 2011.
Q6. What information will the Disability and Carers Service require?
A6. The Disability and Carers Service will need evidence of a customer’s visual acuity and visual field. Customers will be asked if they have:
- a certificate from their consultant confirming they are severely sight impaired (referred to as a Certificate of Vision Impairment, CVI or BD8), or
- other information from their hospital ophthalmology department.
If a customer does not have this information they may be asked for their hospital details and for their consent to contact the hospital.
Q7. If a customer has a CVI should they send this to the Disability and Carers Service now?
A7. They do not need to send anything to the Disability and Carers Service now, but it would be useful for them to find their CVI, and any other information from the hospital, and keep it in a safe place until they are contacted.
Q8. What happens if a customer is not contacted and they believe they may be eligible?
A8. Further information will be available towards the end of 2010.
Q9. A customer is severely visually impaired and gets Disability Living Allowance but will be over 65 on 11 April 2011, can they claim the higher rate mobility component?
A9. In this situation they would not be eligible. The law will come into force on 11 April 2011 and only people aged 3 or over and under 65 will qualify.