Wade Coye, Disability Attorney
If you are born with vision impairment or have experienced a loss of vision, you may be entitled to disability benefits from the Supplemental Security Income or Social Security disability programs. People who are blind and those who have permanent vision impairment may fall under a different category of medical requirements and may be eligible for different calculations of benefits than people who are disabled but do not suffer from vision impairment. Being blind does not necessarily impair a person’s ability to work, and the Social Security Administration takes this into consideration when assessing the qualifications for approval for disability benefits.
As a special rule, blind workers are allowed to deduct certain expenses that they need in order to continue working. These expenses may include:
- A service animal, including the cost of food, veterinary visits, and other upkeep
- Costs associated with services provided by attendants
- Transportation costs of getting to and from work
- Medical and non-medical equipment and supplies
As well as other fees, licenses, work-related equipment, or even meals. In order to qualify for benefits, a visually impaired person must have their ability to work or perform daily function interfered with by their impairment; however, when calculating their income the expenses associated as necessary in order to keep working can be subtracted. This often can increase a person’s chance of qualifying for benefits and remain employed in a field that they enjoy.
One of the unique accommodations allowed to the visually impaired is also the ability to request communication in a medium which will not be affected by vision. Therefore, if you are blind you can request that the Social Security Administration provide you communication materials via phone calls, compact disks, or Braille booklets in order that you may at all times be in charge of the privacy of your claim information.
Navigating the Social Security disability claims process can be overwhelming, confusing, and distressing. Contact an experienced disability attorney at the Coye Law Firm for a free case evaluation to see if we may be able to help with your claim.