If you are blind and unable to work you are subject to a unique set of rules established by the Social Security Administration (SSA). If you are considered ‘legally blind’ you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. ‘Legally Blind’ is defined by the inability to correct your vision to better than 20/20 in your better eye, or if your field of vision is 20 degrees or less in your better eye.
You may still qualify for SSDI benefits even if you are not considered ‘legally blind’. If you are prevented from working because of your vision problems, or because of your vision combined with another medical condition, then call Freedom Disability today at (800) 298-6885 for a free evaluation with one of our disability Advocates.
To be considered for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, blind claimants must have paid into the Social Security system for enough years, as well as have a monthly income of less that $1570 or not be currently working. Each year you pay Social Security taxes, you are earning credits towards future Social Security benefits. If you are legally blind, you can earn these credits at any time during your working career. If you do not have enough credits to qualify for benefits at the time you become blind, you can earn credits after that point, which may also count towards your eligibility. Also, if you do not have enough credits based solely on your earnings, you may use the earnings of a spouse or parent to help you qualify. If you have any questions about credits or eligibility, our Disability Advocates at Freedom will be more than happy to answer them. Contact us today at (800) 298-6885 for more information about qualifying for SSDI benefits.
If you are legally blind, but still able to work, there is a special rule, known as the Disability Freeze that may help you to receive higher disability and retirement benefits in the future. If your earnings are lower due to your blindness those working years can be excluded when calculating your Social Security disability or retirement benefits in the future. Your benefits will be higher because they are based on your average lifetime earnings. If those years of lower pay are excluded, your income during that period will not count towards your average lifetime earnings.
Receiving Benefits While Working
In order to make it easier for disabled people to receive benefits while they are still employed, Social Security uses work incentives. Blind beneficiaries are allowed to make up to $1800 per month in 2014 and still receive benefits, compared to disabled beneficiaries who are not blind and only allowed to make $1,070. However, these limits change each year so contact Freedom Disability at (800) 298-6885 for more information.
Beneficiaries Older Than 55
Blind Beneficiaries who are older than 55 and still able to work are evaluated differently than disabled beneficiaries who are not blind. If your work requires a lower level of skill and ability than your work before age 55, and at any point your monthly income exceeds $1800, cash payments are only suspended, not terminated. Subsequently, if your income drops below that point, payments will resume.
If you have any questions or feel that you are eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits call Freedom Disability today at (800) 298-6885 for more information. Our Advocates are experienced with ‘legally blind’ claimants and can help determine if your condition is likely to result in a successful SSDI application. If you do qualify, we can provide you with the assistance that you need to get the benefits that you deserve. If you have previously been denied benefits, but feel your condition makes you eligible, contact us today at (800) 298-6885.
The foregoing information is based on published materials from the Social Security Administration (“Disability Evaluation Under Social Security”). It is meant to serve as an introduction to some of the factors used by the SSA in evaluating cases. It is no way comprehensive. While Freedom Disability can help you prepare an effective application for benefits, only the SSA can determine whether or not you qualify. For more information call Freedom today at (800) 298-6885.