Under the rules of the Social Security Administration, blindness is more than just a person's complete lack of vision. It is also a significant limitation on a person's vision that cannot be corrected with surgery or glasses, contacts or other corrective lenses. Many people who meet the Social Security Administration's definition of blindness have significant trouble working and holding down a job.
However, Oklahoma residents who qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) based on their blindness should be aware of the special rule that may apply if they do work. Under this special rule, a blind recipient of SII may deduct from their work-related income the expenses they incur so that they can hold down their job, regardless of whether those expenses are blindness-related.
For example, imagine a person who meets the Social Security Administration's definition of blindness and who wishes to receive SSI. This person makes $1,000 per month in their job, but has many costs associated with maintaining their employment. They have a service animal whose monthly costs are $200, they take public transportation to work each day at a cost of $100 per month, and they buy their meals during work hours each day at a cost of $100.
While the service animal is a cost directly related to the person's blindness, lunches out and riding the bus are undertakings that many sighted people do as well. But, this SSI applicant may reduce their income to $600 per month due to these costs to improve their chances of getting benefits.
Different benefits' programs work off of different definitions and rules. For this reason, it is important that readers of this blog seek legal counsel when it comes to figuring out how best to begin the process of applying for Social Security Disability benefits.