Registering vision impairment as a disability

How to manage and complete the CVI form and Referral of Vision Impairment (RVI) letter.


Referral of Vision Impairment (RVI) letter template: Hospital eye service referral of vision impaired patient for social needs assessment

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The explanatory notes for ophthalmologists and hospital eye clinic staff explain the process for managing and completing the CVI form and referral letter.

The CVI form is issued to a patient assessed by a consultant ophthalmologist as being visually impaired. The form is then sent to social services who work with the person to assess what help and advice they need. The form also records data for research into the causes and the effects of visual impairment. The current version of the CVI should always be used. Any stocks of earlier versions of the CVI should be destroyed.

The RVI letter is used where registration is not appropriate or where the patient has declined registration but wants advice and information about the difficulties caused by loss of vision.

Being registered as partially sighted or blind enables a person to access a range of benefits to help them manage their condition and the impact it may have on their lives. Registration is voluntary, and access to benefits and social services is not dependent on registration.