Can I receive SSD benefits for blindness and what are the rules?

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2015 | Social Security Disability

There are many reasons why a person in Kissimmee might be unable to work and will seek Social Security disability benefits. One issue that arises for a variety of reasons from illness to injury is blindness. Before applying for SSD benefits, it is important to understand the rules that are in place for those who are blind to receive benefits Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance.

Benefits may be available for someone whose vision cannot be corrected to be better than 20/200 in the stronger eye. Benefits may also be available if the visual field in the eye that is deemed to be better is a maximum of 20 degrees. Although the Social Security Administration has a defined level of blindness for a claimant to receive benefits, it still may be possible in some circumstances to qualify to receive benefits if the vision issues or other health conditions stop a person from being able to work.

With Social Security taxes come credits toward SSD benefits. Those who are blind are able to receive credits at any point if they are working. If there were not enough credits when blindness sets in, credits from prior work can be used to qualify. When it comes to earnings, it is possible to receive benefits based on earnings of a spouse or parents. In addition, a special rule allows higher disability or retirement benefits at some point in the future. It is possible for this rule — called a “disability freeze” — to be put into effect if you become blind, but still work.

It also may be possible under the right conditions to be granted benefits while still working. These are called work incentives. In order for one to receive Social Security disability and keep working, one cannot earn more than $1,820 each month. This is different than the limits for workers who have an issue other than blindness as they cannot earn more than $1,090 each month. For those age 55 or older, the rules are different for those who are blind and not blind. If the earnings surpass $1,820 each month, the benefits will not be terminated, but suspended.

Blindness can be a major issue for any person. If there is an inability to work, they need to understand that they might be able to receive benefits from the SSA if they meet the medical requirements and other criteria. Since this post cannot provide legal advice, discussing the matter with a legal professional is the first step.


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