3.6.2.40 Assessment of Blindness for DSP

Summary

A person who is assessed as being permanently blind (1.1.P.210) is automatically qualified for DSP under SSAct section 95. People who qualify under SSAct section 95 do not have to demonstrate a CITW (1.1.C.330).

Act reference: SSAct section 95(1) Qualification for DSP-permanent blindness

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.6.1.10 Qualification for DSP - 30 Hour Rule, 3.6.1.12 Qualification for DSP - 15 Hour Rule, 3.6.2.20 Manifest Grants & Rejections for DSP

Meeting the qualification criteria of section 95

To be permanently blind for the purposes of SSAct section 95, a person must have:

  • visual acuity (1.1.V.50) on the Snellen Scale after correction by suitable lenses of less than 6/60 in both eyes, OR
  • constriction to within 10 degrees of fixation in the better eye irrespective of corrected visual acuity, OR
  • a combination of visual defects resulting in the same degree of visual impairment as that occurring in the above points.

Assessment procedures

A person whose medical evidence clearly indicates that they have NO vision is accepted as being manifestly qualified for DSP.

Example: A person who has been totally blind since birth or has lost eyes due to cancer or an accident.

A claimant whose supporting report (SA013) completed by their treating ophthalmologist confirms that they meet the criteria for permanent blindness is accepted as being manifestly qualified for DSP.

A claimant whose supporting report (SA013) completed by an optometrist confirms that they meet the criteria for permanent blindness is accepted as being manifestly qualified for DSP also, PROVIDED the optometrist's report:

  • provides details of the treating or formerly treating ophthalmologist, and
  • clearly states that it is supported by a report from the latter.

If a claimant qualifies because they are permanently blind, they do NOT need to be considered against the CITW qualification criteria.

Note: DSP (permanently blind) recipients are paid DSP free of the income and assets test but are affected by the compensation provisions of the SSAct.

Act reference: SSAct section 17 Compensation recovery definitions, section 1065 Rate of age and DSP (blind people), Part 3.14 Compensation recovery

Policy reference: SS Guide 4.13 Compensation

Last reviewed: 1 July 2016