If sight and hearing loss affects your mobility, communication or ability to access information, and you live in England or Wales, then you are entitled to a specialist deafblind assessment. This is an assessment by your Local Authority to determine whether you would benefit from any additional support. We recommend that everyone who is eligible, has a deafblind assessment. Perhaps you don’t realise what support you are entitled to or what support is available, but it could make a huge difference.
The assessment will be carried out by someone who is experienced and qualified in working with people who are deafblind. They will look at how your condition affects certain aspects of your life such as how you are able to shop for food, or how you can access important local services like your pharmacy and how you can keep your home clean and safe to live in.
The assessor will decide whether you would benefit from any additional practical or emotional support, advice or assistive aids – such as a flashing doorbell or a flashing fire alarm.
Then, they will do another assessment to decide what help is available and whether you are eligible for financial support to pay for it.
To start the process, contact your Local Authority’s Adult Social Care team and ask for a deafblind assessment, under the Care Act 2014.
Benefits and entitlements
If you are deafblind then you might be entitled to certain benefits such as:
- Employment support allowance
- Universal credit
- Personal Independence Payments
- Pension credit
- Attendance allowance
- Housing benefit
- Carers allowance
- Council tax reduction
Whether or not you are eligible will depend on your condition, age and other health issues.
Our helpline team can help you work out what you are entitled to and can put you in contact with other organisations that will help you with your application.
If you are registered as severely sight impaired, you can apply for an automatic entitlement disabled blue badge. This gives you access to parking spaces that are larger and nearer to shops and other facilities.
Other levels of sight and hearing loss may also be eligible for a blue badge on application. To apply for your blue badge, contact your local council.
Disabled travel passes
You may be entitled to a disabled travel pass to give you free bus and train travel. Contact your local council for more information.
Disabled persons railcard
If you have been certified as sight impaired or severely sight impaired, are a hearing aid user, or receive either Personal Independence Payments, Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance, then you can apply to purchase a disabled persons railcard. This gives you and a carer a third off rail fares. Contact your local railway station to apply.
Free directory enquires
If you are registered as sight impaired or severely sight impaired, you can register for free directory enquiries from BT. This service is free regardless of which phone provider you use.
Priority Service Register
If you are deafblind, you can get extra help from your energy and water suppliers, such as large print bills or extra support during a power cut. Contact your energy supplier and ask to be put on the priority services register.
If you are non-verbal, you can send a text message to 999 to access the emergency services. This service is free but you need to register your details to use it. Visit: www.emergencysms.org.uk for more information.