Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Most people do not want to think about the disability. However, the probability that you had become incapacitate is bigger than you think.
Statistics show that 1 of 4 of the workers in their 20s are at risk of becoming disabled before reaching age of retirement.

If you are blind, the Social Security Administration of the United States of America has special rules that allow you to receive benefits when you cannot work.

They pay benefits to blind people under two programs: the Social Security Disability Insurance Program and the Supplemental Security Income Program (SSI, for its acronym in English). The medical regulations that they use to decide if a person is blind are the same for each program.

Other rules are different. It´s explained below the different rules for each program:

What is the Requirement to Get Disability for Vision?

You may be entitled to Social Security or SSI benefits if you are considered blind. They may consider you blind if the sight in your best eye cannot be corrected to more than 20/200 or if your visual field in your best eye is less than 20 degrees during a period that has lasted or is expected to last at least 12 months.

You Can Receive Disability Benefits Even If You Are Not Blind:

Even if your vision does not meet the requirements of blindness, you may still be entitled to receive disability benefits, if your visual problem alone or combined with other health problems prevents you from working. To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must also have worked long enough in a job where you paid Social Security taxes. For Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments based on disability and blindness, it is not necessary to have worked, but your income and resources must be under certain monetary limits.

It is better to hire a disability lawyer to successfully claim disability for vision.

How do You Qualify For Social Security Disability Benefits?

When you work and pay Social Security taxes, you earn Social Security credits that count toward future benefits.

If you are blind, you can earn credits at any time during your years of job. You can use credits from your work after going blind, to qualify for benefits if you do not have enough credits when you go blind.

Also, if you do not have enough credits to receive Social Security benefits for disability based on your own earnings, you may be entitled to receive benefits through the earnings of one of your parents or your spouse.

Fixed Period Of Disability:

There is a special rule that in the future could help you receive a greater amount of retirement or disability benefits.

You can use this rule if you are blind and are not currently receiving disability benefits because you are working.

If your earnings are lower due to your blindness, they can exclude those years by calculating your Social Security benefits for retirement or disability in the future.

Because Social Security benefits are based on your average lifetime earnings, your benefit will be greater if you do not count those years. They call this rule "a fixed period of disability."

You Can Receive SSI Disability Payments:

SSI payments are based on financial need. Your income and resources must be less than the limits set in dollars. These limits vary from one state to another. You do not have to have worked under Social Security to qualify for SSI benefits.

You Can Work While Receiving The Benefits:

Several rules called work incentives facilitate people who receive disability benefits to work.

People who receive Social Security disability benefits can continue to receive their benefits while they work, as long as their earnings are not greater than the amounts established by law.

But, the social Security does not approve benefits for people with partial or short-term disabilities, contrary to other disability benefit programs.

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Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: May 31, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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