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What Blind Pension is

Blind Pension is a means-tested payment paid to blind and visually impaired people who are habitually resident in Ireland.

Blind Pension can be taxed as a source of income.

How to qualify

To qualify for the pension, you must supply an eye test from an eye surgeon to verify your visual impairment.

Additional information

If you are awarded a Blind Pension, you may also qualify for the Blind Welfare Allowance paid by the HSE.

You will automatically get a:

  • Free Travel Pass – travel on public transport in Ireland for free
  • Companion Free Travel Pass – companion aged 16 or over to also travel for free when accompanying you.

You may also qualify for other benefits like the Living Alone Increase and Household Benefits Package.

If you are blind or have a serious visual impairment before the age of 18, you should make your claim four months before your 18th birthday.

If you are aged 16-18, you may also qualify for Disablement Benefit

Blind Pension is not paid after you turn 66.

If you become blind or seriously visually impaired after you turn 18, you should apply as soon as possible. This is important, as payment can only be made from the date we receive your application.

If you need full-time care, the person looking after you may qualify for a Carer's Allowance or Carer's Benefit.

If you are under age 66 and you satisfy the relevant conditions, you may also qualify for:

You may receive a Blind Pension while you are getting Partial Capacity Benefit. We do not include your income from Partial Capacity Benefit when we do the means test for Blind Pension, but we do include your earnings from any other source.

Rates of payment

    Weekly rate
    Personal rate €203.00
    Increase for a qualified adult €134.70
    Increase for a qualified child Under 12 Over 12
    Full rate €36.00 €40.00
    Half rate €18.00 €20.00

Your payment is made up of a personal rate for you and extra amounts for a qualified adult and any dependant children.

A qualified adult is a spouse or partner whose income is below a certain level. You receive an increase in your payment for them. You may also get an extra amount for your child, called an increase for a qualified child.

To get this increase your child must:

  • live with you, in the State
  • be the correct age for the payment you are claiming
  • not be in legal custody


To apply for Blind Pension, fill in the application form below:

Application Form: Blind Pension (BP1)

The Blind Pension is a means-tested payment paid to blind and visually impaired people who are habitually resident in Ireland.


You can also get this form at your local:

Braille and audio cassette tape versions of this application form are available from the National Council for the Blind of Ireland. Staff in your local Intreo Centre or social welfare branch office 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

Social Welfare Services Office, College Road, Sligo, F91 T384
(Note: the rates charged for using 1890 (Lo-call) numbers may vary)

Operational Guidelines

Operational guidelines describe the processes and procedures that staff in the department follow when carrying out their work.