Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are typically available to legally blind individuals when their earning potential becomes limited by their blindness or low vision condition. Even if they can work and are in fact employed, they may still be entitled to benefits under certain conditions. The Social Security Disability law firm of Silver & Silver in the Philadelphia area can help you and your family receiveSocial Security benefits if your blindness impacts your ability to work or properly provide for your family.
Specific Criteria to Determine Blindness and Eligibility for SSD and SSI Benefits
The Social Security Administration follows specific criteria to determine if you are “legally blind”, and to what extent your blindness impacts your ability to work. You are considered legally blind when your vision is 20/200 in the better eye or less, or if your visual field is less than 20 degrees. There are additional requirements as well which will be considered. Social Security Disability benefits are sometimes paid to individuals who are not legally blind, but have other health conditions that make working difficult or impossible when combined with their low vision problems.
Work incentives are offered to the legally blind that promote supplemental employment when possible. If you are legally blind and employed, you can earn up to a certain amount and still qualify to receive Disability payments. As of 2013, that amount was $1,740.00 each month. SSD benefits will be suspended when you earn more than the $1,740.00 cap in any month. When you reach the age of 55 and you have a job that requires less expertise than what was required of you prior to the age of 55, your benefits can be reinstated for any month where you earn less than the $1,740.00 cap.
Your Social Security Disability benefits are based on credits earned while you were employed and paid Social Security taxes. If you have not personally earned enough credits to qualify for benefits, the Social Security Administration may consider granting benefits based on the credits that your parents earned if disability is proven prior to age 22, or those of your spouse if you are married and your spouse is receiving benefits or is deceased. You also have a “disability freeze” option available if you work while you are blind, but are making less money than before you became blind. Your future benefits will be calculated using your reported earnings, so eliminating the years that your earnings dropped due to your blindness can increase the benefit amount you receive in the future.
Social Security Supplemental Income (SSI) benefits are determined differently thanDisability benefits. SSI benefits are determined by an individual’s circumstances. Even if you did not earn Social Security credits through employment, you can be granted SSI benefits if your income falls below your state-mandated baseline, which vary state-to-state.
The Philadelphia Social Security Disability Lawyers of Silver & Silver Help Legally Blind Clients Claim SSD and SSI Benefits
The Philadelphia disability lawyers of Silver & Silver have helped countless legally blind clients claim Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits. Our experienced and knowledgeable attorneys understand the importance that these benefits have on the quality of our clients’ lives, and we are dedicated to working with you throughout the entire claims process, as well as the appeal process, if necessary. If you are legally blind and unable to work, call us at 800-947-4583, or contact us online to learn more about our services. Our Ardmore office is conveniently located for easy accessibility from allPhiladelphia area communities, including Delaware County, Chester County, Montgomery County, Berks County, and Bucks County, as well as all of Southern New Jersey.