Optical Benevolent Fund

Find out more about the Benevolent Fund of the AOP and the College

What would happen if you were ill or had an accident that meant you couldn’t work?

Life doesn't always go to plan. Situations can arise that prevent you from pursuing your career, supporting yourself and your family, or planning for the future. The AOP and College’s Optical Benevolent Fund is here to help optometrists and their dependants during those difficult circumstances.

What support can the Optical Benevolent Fund offer?

The support the Fund offers is usually financial, to help with an immediate crisis such as an unexpected bill or other expense, or it may help by supplementing income on an ongoing basis to meet regular outgoings. Over half of the optometrists who have approached the Optical Benevolent Fund in the last three years were of working age with a family to support and/or a mortgage to pay.

The Optical Benevolent Fund can assist by putting you in touch with agencies that can advise on other issues. In addition to financial management and/or debt counselling, these could include drug, alcohol or other addictions, or the purchase of equipment to meet specific needs, such as a motorised wheel chair, low vision aids etc.

The AOP donates £20,000 per annum to the Optical Benevolent Fund.

How do I know if I am at risk of needing financial support?

Could you pay your bills for at least three months without any income? If not, you are at risk.

While the AOP provides members with a range of insurance cover, including professional indemnity and vicarious liability insurance, all optometrists, whether employed, self-employed or working as a locum, should strongly consider further financial protection, such as:

  • Critical illness cover, for support should you fall ill and be unable to work
  • Income protection, in case of long term illness
  • Life insurance, to assist your family financially if you die

Contact the Optical Benevolent Fund

The Optical Benevolent Fund considers all applications for help, and all applications are treated with discretion and in confidence.

You can contact the Optical Benevolent Fund by: