People who are blind, or suffer from low vision, can have a tough time finding or keeping work. That is why the Social Security Administration is generally quite accommodating for individuals who are unable to work due to their vision problems. If someone meets certain qualifications, they may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
If you file for SSDI or SSI benefits and cite blindness or low vision as your disability, they are first going to see if your condition falls within their guidelines of someone who is "legally blind." They label someone as legally blind if their vision cannot be corrected to better than 20/200 in their better eye, or if their visual field is 20 degrees less in their better eye.
If you do not fit the criteria for being legally blind, this does not mean that you aren't going to get Social Security disability benefits. Social Security will investigate whether or not your vision problems alone or combined with other health problems prevent you from working.
Social Security disability benefits are available for blind individuals even if they go back to work. These work incentives allow people with poor vision to continue to receive benefits when they work as long as their earnings are not more than an amount set by law. This is available for all disabled individuals, but it is even more helpful for the blind because they are allowed to earn more money. For 2014, if you are receiving Social Security disability benefits and you are legally blind, you can earn as much as $1,800 a month. Disabled workers who are not blind are only permitted to earn up to $1,070 a month.
Social Security Disability Insurance can be extremely important for a blind Pennsylvania resident who needs to have enough money to live comfortably. The application process can be lengthy and overwhelming, with one small mistake resulting in a denial of benefits. Don't let this happen to you—contact a Social Security disability lawyer at Harrisburg's Schmidt Kramer today.
Was your application already denied and now you're working on an appeal? Watch our helpful video about how to get help with your Social Security disability appeal.