How do I register as disabled?

It depends on why you want to register or what you want to apply for.

Blue Badge parking permits

To apply for a Blue Badge parking permit, you need to contact your local council.

The Blue Badge Scheme is for people with severe mobility problems. Blue Badge holders are able to park close to where they need to go. The scheme is managed by local authorities who deal with applications and issue Blue Badges.

See the GOV.UK website to find out more about the Blue Badge scheme, including information about applying for a Blue Badge.

Registering as blind or partially sighted

Visit your GP or optician if you’re having problems with your sight. They can refer you to a consultant ophthalmologist (eye specialist) who will be able to assess whether you qualify to register as sight impaired (partially sighted) or severely sight impaired (blind).

If you qualify, the ophthalmologist will complete a certificate of vision impairment. They will send it to your local social services department who will contact you to find out what help and advice you need.

If you're registered with your local authority as blind or partially sighted, you may be entitled to travel concessions, such as a Disabled Person’s Railcard. If you're registered as blind, you may also be entitled to other concessions, such as a Blue Badge parking permit and a discount on your TV licence. However, not all local authorities run a registration system.

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) provides further information about registering your sight loss and the benefits of registration.

Registering as deaf

You should also visit your GP if you’re having hearing problems. They can refer you to a hearing specialist.

You can also contact social services at your local authority for help and advice about the range of services available. You don’t have to register to do this. However, registering with your local authority as deaf may entitle you to travel concessions, such as a Disabled Person’s Railcard.

The Action on Hearing Loss website has information about benefits and services for people with hearing loss.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Attendance Allowance (AA)

The Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for working age adults with a disability has now been replaced by a new benefit, the Personal Independence Payment (PIP). As with DLA, PIP is designed to help you meet some of the extra costs you may have due to a long-term health condition or disability.

You can only make a new claim for DLA if you’re claiming for a child under 16 - this is known as DLA for children.

Attendance Allowance is a tax-free benefit for people aged 65 or over who need help with personal care because they’re physically or mentally disabled.

See the GOV.UK for more information about Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance and what to do if you become disabled.

The Care and Support section of NHS Choices provides further information about benefits for carers and benefits for the person you care for.  

you can also read more answers to questions about caring, carers and long-term conditions.

Further information:

How to keep fit with a disability

Keeping fit with a disability is easier than you may think. Fitness instructor Mike Lee explains why exercise is important to help prevent obesity and cardiovascular disease. He also gives tips on how to find the right gym or what to do from home if you don't want to pay for a gym. Also watch other disabled people describe why they want to keep active.

Media last reviewed: 06/09/2013

Next review due: 06/09/2015

Page last reviewed: 30/05/2013

Next review due: 29/05/2015

More about: caring, carers and long-term conditions