Social Security Disability and Vision Impairment
Are you or is someone you love unable to work because of blindness or vision impairment? If so, you may be able to obtain disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA pays disability benefits to the vision impaired under two programs: the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program and the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. You may qualify for either SSI or SSDI benefits if you're legally blind. The SSA considers you legally blind if your vision cannot be corrected to better than 20/200 in your better eye and if your visual field is 20 degrees or less in your better eye. Many people who are legally blind still have some sight and can read large print and get around without a cane or guide dog. Even if you're not considered legally blind, you may qualify for disability benefits if your vision problems alone or your vision problems combined with other health issues prevent you from working. In order to qualify for benefits under the SSDI program, you must have worked long enough in a job and paid Social Security taxes. You need not have worked to qualify for benefits under the SSI program, but your income and resources must fall under a certain limit. Special Social Security Rules for the Blind If you're legally blind, there are special rules that the SSA applies in your situation. For example, the monthly earnings limit for blind people is higher than the limit that applies to non-blind disabled people. In 2012, the monthly earnings limit for blind people is $1690, whereas the monthly earnings limit for non-blind disabled workers is $1010. Furthermore, if you're blind and self-employed, the SSA does not evaluate the amount of time you spend working in your business like they do for non-blind people. This means you can still work long hours and receive disability benefits, as long as your income doesn't exceed the monthly earnings limit. If you're over the age of 55 and legally blind, your ability to work is determined differently than it is for people who are not blind. For example, if a non-blind person over the age of 55 performs work that requires a lower level of skill and ability than what he was doing before he reached the age of 55, his benefits are only suspended, not terminated, when his earnings exceed the monthly earnings limit. In any month that his earnings fall under the monthly earnings limit, the SSA pays him disability benefits. How an Atlanta Social Security Disability Lawyer Can Help You with Your Claim Are you legally blind? Do you have a vision impairment of some kind? The rules regarding SSI and SSDI benefits are intricate and confusing, especially if you're blind, because so many special rules apply. An Atlanta Social Security disability lawyer can review your case and help you obtain the benefits that you and your family deserve. To set up a free consultation with Atlanta Social Security disability attorney Louis B. Lusk, please call (800) 883-7043 or fill out our online contact form.