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Blind Pension

What is Blind Pension?

Blind Pension is a means-tested benefit provided to blind or visually impaired individuals residing habitually in Ireland. This payment allows recipients to engage in employment or self-employment, with certain income disregards applied in the means test. Blind Pension can be considered taxable income.

How to qualify for Blind Pension:

To qualify for Blind Pension, individuals must provide an eye test from an eye surgeon to confirm their visual impairment.

Recipients of Blind Pension automatically qualify for the Free Travel Scheme, receiving a Free Travel Pass and a Companion Free Travel Pass, permitting free public transportation for both the recipient and a companion over the age of 16.

Other benefits that may be available include:

  • Blind Welfare Allowance (paid by the HSE)
  • Living Alone Increase (LA1)
  • Household Benefits Package (HB1)
  • Individuals who become blind or significantly visually impaired before turning 18 should apply for this benefit four months prior to their 18th birthday.

    If blindness or severe visual impairment occurs after turning 18, applications should be submitted as soon as possible. The Blind Pension stops after the recipient turns 66.

    If you are aged 16 to 18, you may also qualify for Disablement Benefit (OB21).

    Individuals requiring full-time care may enable their caretaker to qualify for a Carer's Allowance (CR1) or Carer's Benefit (CARB1).

    Additional benefits may be available for those under 66 who meet the relevant conditions, including:


    Recipients may also receive a Blind Pension while getting Partial Capacity Benefit (PCB1). In this case, income from the Partial Capacity Benefit is not considered in the Blind Pension means test, but earnings from other sources are.

    Rates of Payment:

    The maximum personal rate for Blind Pension is €220 per week.

    Weekly Rate
    Personal Rate €220.00
    Increase Rate for a Qualified Adult €246.00
    Increase Rate for a Qualified Child Under 12 Over 12
    Full Rate €42.00 €50.00
    Half Rate €21.00 €25.00

    The payment includes a personal rate for the recipient and extra amounts for a qualified adult and any qualified dependent children.

  • Qualified Adult: a spouse or partner whose income is below a certain level.
  • Qualified Child: a child who must live with the recipient in the State, be the correct age for the payment being claimed, and not be in legal custody.

  • How to Apply:

    To apply for Blind Pension, download and fill in the Blind Pension Application Form (BP1): You can also get this form at your local Intreo Centre.

    Braille and audio cassette tape versions of this application form are available from the National Council for the Blind of Ireland (NCBI).

    Staff in your local Intreo Centre will be happy to help you complete the form and can answer any questions you may have.

    Please return your completed application form and relevant supporting documents to:

    Blind Pension Section
    Address: Social Welfare Services Office,
    College Road,
    Sligo,
    Co. Sligo,
    F91 T384

    Website: www.gov.ie/blindpension
    Email: Blind_Pension@welfare.ie
    Phone number: 0818 200400 or (071) 915 7100