Sight loss and Minimum Income Standards: the additional costs of severity and age

This research uses the Minimum Income Standards (MIS) method to calculate the additional costs of living for different groups of people with visual impairment. It shows how additional costs increase with severity of impairment and age, and that costs increase further when these two factors combine. The research, funded by Thomas Pocklington Trust, is based on deliberation among groups of people with sight loss about additions that need to be made to the standard MIS household budget because of their visual impairment. The report outlines how much extra they need to reach a minimum acceptable standard of living. Working age people who are visually impaired face 25% higher costs if they are sight impaired, and 60% higher costs if they are severely sight impaired compared to people of the same age who are not visually impaired. For someone of pension age who is sight impaired costs can be 42% more than people of pension age who are not visually impaired, this increases to 73% more for a pension age person who is severely sight impaired. The research highlights the broad range of additional costs that people who are visually impaired face – from direct aids to help with sight loss, help in the home, to travel and social activities - and variations in needs and costs when severity of impairment and age are taken into account.