Losing your vision affects every part of your life. Even everyday activities such as choosing an outfit or flossing your teeth can become major challenges until one learns new ways of coping. The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes that blindness is different from other disabilities. Those who can’t see may be still be capable of doing most things, but it takes time to learn new ways of doing them. This can affect a person’s ability to continue to work.
For this reason, the SSA disability offers different rules for the blind or those who have very low vision that make it easier to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). These rules also help those who receive SSDI to transition back into the workplace.
- In order to receive SSDI, you must have sufficient work credits. The amount of required credits is based on the applicant’s age. Applicants who are blind may use credits from any time in their working years. You can also use credits earned after you became blind.
- If you are blind and do not qualify for SSDI based on your own earnings, you may qualify based on the earnings of a parent or spouse.
- If you are still working, and earning less money due to blindness, the SSA will calculate your benefits based on your earnings before you became blind.
- There is a higher monthly-earning limit. In order to qualify for SSDI, a typical applicant cannot earn more than $1,040 a month. If the applicant is blind, he may earn up to $1,740 per month.
- If you are blind and self-employed, you may receive benefits as long as your profit averages less than $1,740 per month. There is no limit on the amount of time you spend working.
- If you are age 55 or older and working at a lower skill level due to vision loss, your benefits will be suspended, rather than terminated, if you earn more than $1,740 during a month. When your monthly income falls below $1,740, your benefits will be automatically reinstated. You will not have to reapply.
If you have questions about Social Security disability benefits in Pennsylvania, our Philadelphia disability advocates can help. To discuss your own claim with a Pennsylvania SSDI Lawyer, please call Mednick, Mezyk, and Kredo at 888-807-WORK. Ask to schedule a free case evaluation.