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Do blind individuals qualify for Social Security Disability?

Individuals who have low vision or are blind may still be able to work despite their disability. Some people with visual impairments may not be able to work though. Even if they can, these people may be restricted as to what they can do and how long they can work. It’s in these instances that a blind individual may be able to receive Social Security Disability (SSD).

The Social Security Administration (SSA) defines legal blindness as a case in which a person’s better eye has a 20/200 or lower visual acuity, even when corrected. The SSA’s Listing of Impairments details how anyone who has such poor vision may qualify for disability benefits. That same document spells out how individuals who experience tunnel vision may be able to receive Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) as well.

Individuals who experience one of these two degrees of visual impairment may automatically qualify to receive SSD. So too may those people with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes or hypertension. These often cause visual acuity problems. If the combination of these adversely affects an individual’s ability to work, then they too may qualify for SSDI or SSI.

A special rule referred to as Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) applies to low vision and blind individuals. People with blindness may continue to received disability benefits even if they continue to work in some capacity.

The SSA will generally allow recipients to make $1,820 or more after taking a deduction for Blind Work Expenses (BWE) and still receive disability benefits. If you make more than this amount each month, then they may deny you benefits.

Even if you are extended benefits, you may have them removed. The SSA may have you work a nine-month-long trial work period to see if you can adequately hold down a job. They may remove your SSDI benefits if you can. If you receive SSI, then the SSA may gradually decrease your benefits as your income increases.

Compiling the necessary information to successfully apply for disability benefits isn’t easy. This is why many applicants have their applications denied. An attorney can help you determine if you’ve taken the necessary steps to qualify for disability benefits here in Oklahoma City. If you haven’t, then your lawyer can help set you in the right direction.

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