Blind Welfare Allowance


If you are blind or visually impaired you can apply for the Blind Welfare Allowance.

This a means-tested payment from the Health Service Executive (HSE) for people aged 18 or over who are blind or visually impaired.

Qualifying for Blind Welfare Allowance

You may qualify for Blind Welfare Allowance if are getting the Blind Pension from the Department of Social Protection (DSP).

You may also qualify for the Blind Welfare Allowance if you can provide certification of your level of vision (see below) and if you:

  • Earn low pay or
  • Get an income maintenance payment from the DSP, or an equivalent social security payment from another country

Certification of your level of vision

If you do not get the Blind Pension you will need one of the following items to show the HSE your level of vision to qualify for Blind Welfare Allowance:

  • An ophthalmic assessment report from an eye specialist, for example, a consultant ophthalmologist or an orthoptist.
  • A letter from Vision Ireland. If you have been using their services and they have your medical reports.

To qualify for Blind Welfare Allowance, your vision must have "best vision equal to or less than 6/60 in the better eye or if the field of vision is limited, the widest diameter of vision subtending an angle of not greater than 20 degrees".

Means testing your income

When you apply for the Blind Welfare Allowance, the HSE will financially assess your income and your partner's income. You must provide information on and proof of:

  • Payments you get
  • Property you own
  • Investments
  • Government welfare or education schemes

The HSE will also ask you to list children aged under 24 who are dependent on you.

How to apply for Blind Welfare Allowance

Complete the Blind Welfare Allowance claim form (pdf) and send it to your Local Health Office with proof of your income (see above) and any of the following:

  • Details of your Blind Pension from the Department of Social Protection
  • A letter from Vision Ireland
  • Ophthalmic assessment report from an eye specialist confirming your level of vision

You must send a birth cert if you do not have a PPS number.

Residential care

You cannot get Blind Welfare Allowance if you are in a long-term residential care facility. However, if you are admitted into a residential care facility you can keep your Blind Welfare Allowance for a maximum of 8 continuous weeks in any 12-month period.

Rate of Blind Welfare Allowance

The weekly rate for Blind Welfare Allowance is:

  • €70.30 for an adult
  • An extra €4.40 for each child dependant

Blind Welfare Allowance appeals

If you think you have been wrongly refused Blind Welfare Allowance you can appeal the decision using the HSE appeals process.

You can also apply again if your situation changes.

Further information

Read about the Blind Welfare Allowance on the HSE website.

Vision Ireland (formally National Council for the Blind) can confirm whether you meet the criteria to register as blind. However you do not have to meet this registration criteria to use the services of Vision Ireland.

Vision Ireland

Whitworth Road
Dublin 9

Tel: (01) 830 7033
Locall: 1800 911 250
Page edited: 8 March 2024