Ohio Social Security Disability And SSI Legal Blog

Low vision may qualify for government benefits

Ohio residents over the age of 65 may qualify for Supplemental Security Income. However, if you are younger than 65, have limited resources and visual disability, you might also be eligible for SSI through the Social Security Administration. We often help clients file for SSI when they have a medical condition or disability that makes them eligible for benefits. 

According to the SSA, special rules allow you to receive benefits if you are blind. Although the same medical rules apply for both SSI and SSD, other program rules differ. 

Eligibility requirements 

If your visual field is 20 degrees or less in the eye that is least blind or if vision cannot improve with aid to better than 20/200, you may qualify for SSI. This condition must be long-term, existing or expected to last more than a year. Additional guidelines determine your eligibility even if your low vision condition falls short of the SSA’s requirements. 

Individuals who pay Social Security taxes as a result of their work typically earn credits. These credits can help you qualify for government benefits, even if you earn some of them after you become blind. 

Disability freeze 

This special rule can help you get higher disability benefits or retirement in the future. If you still work, but earnings are lower because of your blindness, the SSA may exclude those years when calculating your benefits upon retirement. 

Work incentives allow you to continue receiving benefits as long as you do not exceed the maximum earnings. If you have a vision issue and are self-employed, as long as your net profit remains below the earning limit, you can also maintain eligibility. 

Filing for disability is often complicated and time-consuming. A variety of factors determine whether you qualify for benefits and if your case goes to court. More information is available on our webpage.