Blind Veterans UK supports vision-impaired ex-Servicemen and women for life, regardless of how or when they lost their sight.
We encourage anyone with a service record and a vision impairment to apply for support, even if you're not sure you meet our criteria, as we assess every application on an individual basis.
Our eligibility criteria
You can apply for support if you have a vision impairment and a service record and meet the conditions outlined below.
Sight loss criteria
- You must have sight loss of equal to or worse than 6/60 in one eye and 6/24 in the other. This usually means that you are unable to read the top line of an eye chart with one eye and the third line of an eye chart with the other.
- If you have a certificate of vision impairment (CVI) stating that you are severely sight impaired (blind), and you meet our service criteria, you will automatically qualify for support.
- You may also qualify for support if you have peripheral vision loss caused by eye conditions such as glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa or optic neuritis.
- Applicants who have been assessed by Blind Veterans UK Ophthalmic Consultant to have a degenerative sight loss condition that is likely to result in the applicant meeting the admission criteria, listed above, within the next 12 months.
You must have been part of the military or emergency services to be eligible, and meet the conditions outlined below:
You can apply for support if you served in:
- the UK Armed Forces, including National Service or the Reserves
- Polish or Indian forces under British command
- the Merchant Navy, deployed within a combat zone in direct support of UK military forces
You can apply for training and technical support if you have a vision impairment and served in the emergency services – police, fire brigade or ambulance – but only if you lost your sight while on duty.
What do I need to apply?
To apply for support, you need to fill out our application form, and upload these documents:
- a copy of your service enrolment or discharge papers
- a report from an eye test carried out within the last 12 months
- a report from a visual field test carried out within the last 12 months, if you have peripheral vision loss
- a copy of a certificate of vision impairment issued within the last 12 months, if you are registered sight impaired (partially sighted) or severely sight impaired (blind)
If you don't have these documents when you are filling out your application form, don't worry. You can post them to us at this address after you submit your form online:
Freepost Plus RTKS–ZCXS–HSBT
Blind Veterans UK
126 Fairlie Road
What if I don't have the documents you need?
Don't worry if you don't have access to the documents we need — you can still apply. Send us your application form, and we will write to the Ministry of Defence to confirm your service record. We will contact your optician or eye hospital for details of your vision impairment.
I'm not sure if I'm eligible
If you're not sure if you meet our eligibility criteria, but you have a vision impairment and a service record, please still apply. Our ophthalmology consultant will assess your application and decide if you qualify for support.
You may not meet our eligibility criteria if:
- Your sight loss is less than 6/60 in one eye and 6/24 in the other. This usually means that you are unable to read the top line of an eye chart with one eye and the third line of an eye chart with the other.
- You have no peripheral vision loss.
- You do not have a certificate of vision impairment (CVI) stating that you are severely sight impaired (blind).
If this is the case, we will contact you to let you know that your application will be put on review. We will get in touch with you again in two years to get an up-to-date eye test and reassess your application.
If your sight loss deteriorates while your case is on review, please contact us on 0800 389 7979 and we will reassess your application.
Apply for support now
If you have a service record and a vision impairment, we could help you regain your independence.
Don't want to apply online? You can apply by post
Would you prefer to print an application form, fill it out and send it to us? You can download our form below. If you don’t have access to a printer, call our support team on 0800 389 7979 and they can send you a form in the post.
Find out what happens after you apply, or get information and help right away