How Employment Affects Social Security Disability Benefits for Workers with Vision Loss
Social Security Information and Benefits
Social Security benefits for people who are blind or have low vision are as follows:
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments are based on income and resource criteria and payments will vary from state to state. An individual may qualify for SSI assistance due to vision loss. If an individual works while receiving SSI, he or she will be subject to income limits. Several online publications, including Understanding Supplemental Security Income If You Are Disabled or Blind: 2011 Edition, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) (Publication No. 05-1100), and If You are Blind or Have Low Vision — How We Can Help (Publication No. 05-10052) explain the application process, eligibility requirements, and Social Security definitions of blindness and disability.
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is available to individuals who have worked and earned work credits. The amount is greater than SSI and income limits are generally higher, meaning that an individual can earn more money before SSDI funding is reduced. Disability Benefits (Publication No. 05-10029) is an online publication that explains the application process, eligibility requirements, and Social Security definitions of blindness and disability.
- Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS) is designed to help recipients acquire items, services, or skills that are needed to attain work goals, and to reduce or eliminate the need for benefits provided under the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) assistance programs. Working While Disabled — A Guide to Plans for Achieving Self-Support Plan (Publication No. 05-11017) is an online publication that explains the application process, eligibility requirements, and Social Security definitions of blindness and disability.
- The Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program is an employment program for people with disabilities who are interested in employment. The goal of the Ticket to Work Program is to increase opportunities and choices for Social Security disability beneficiaries to obtain employment, vocational rehabilitation, and other support services from public and private providers and employers.
- Medicare recipients can continue to be covered if their employer does not offer medical insurance. The continued coverage begins as short term, but can be extended as needed.
- The Social Security Disability and Resource Center provides information about the federal government's two disability benefit programs: Title II Social Security Disability Benefits and Title 16 SSI Disability Benefits. Covered topics include disability applications, denials of claims, filing appeals, and how the disability claim evaluation process works.
For more information about SSI, SSDI, and Medicare, contact your local Social Security office or call 1-800-772-1213. A full listing of all online Social Security Benefit publications is available on the Social Security website.