Eye Injury & Tax Relief: Can My Brother Get Help?

Q: My brother has recently suffered a severe accident during which he has suffered damage to his eye. His vision has been badly affected. It’s not yet clear how much of his sight he will recover and how long term the problem is. Looking at the worst-case scenario, I’m investigating what help he may get from a tax perspective. Is there anything?

A: Firstly, we’re very sorry to hear about this terrible news. There are many difficult things of course to cope with in this situation but purely from the perspective of financials that you’re enquiring about, there may be a little help available. If you haven’t come across it before, look up ‘Blind Persons Allowance’. This is an extra amount of tax-free allowance that goes on top of the standard personal allowance that everyone has. The figure has risen in 2023/24 to £2,870 (previous year being £2,600). It’s worth noting that if he does not earn enough to use all of his allowance or doesn’t pay tax (now or in future) he can transfer the Blind Person’s Allowance to his spouse or civil partner, if he has one. To take a step back, anyone can claim this allowance if both of the following are correct:

  1. You’re registered with the local council as either blind or severely sight impaired
  2. You’ve got a certificate that says you’re blind or severely sight impaired. It could be a similar document from a doctor

The rules in Scotland and Northern Ireland for eligibility are slightly different. You can claim the allowance if both of these points apply:

  • You cannot do work for which eyesight is essential
  • You have a certificate that says you’re blind or severely sight impaired (or a similar document from your doctor)

The best way to make a claim is to call HMRC on 0300 200 3301.


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