Freeze on benefits could impact on the blind, warn charity

The freeze on welfare benefits announced at the Conservative Party conference could impact heavily on blind and partially sighted people, despite assurances that disability benefits will be exempt.

The Advice Plus service, run by sight loss charity RNIB Scotland with funding from the National Lottery, is helping people aged 16 to 64 with a visual impairment in Ayrshire claim all the benefits they are entitled to.

It is highlighting that benefits such as Housing Benefit and the work-related element of Employment Support Allowance will be frozen for two years.

Jayne Armour, senior welfare rights adviser, said: “While we welcome the news that disability benefits won’t be frozen, other parts of the welfare system that many people with sight loss depend on will be. Advice Plus can help explain to them what these changes will mean.”