Many people have different ways of dealing with their disability. Some people have certain modifications completed in their home, like handrails or wheelchair ramps. Others have personal caregivers who can assist with some of the household chores. But what about a task as simple as reading your mail?

Thousands of Americans receive Supplemental Security Income due to blindness of varying degrees. These people, like other SSI recipients, must keep updated records with the Social Security Administration and respond to requests. So, what can blind people do to make sure they don’t miss a communication?

As it turns out, the Social Security Administration is dedicated to making sure that blind people can keep up with their obligations and receive all of the same communications that other people who are receiving benefits get through the mail. If the blind person contacts the SSA and makes a request, the SSA will provide all of the requisite communications in an alternate format.

For instance, depending on the blind person’s preference, communications can be sent out in extra-large print, in Braille or even on a CD that has the communication in Microsoft Word format. The computer file could then presumably be read out loud by a software program so that the person can listen instead of read. Anyone who is receiving SSI benefits due to blindness will probably want to take advantage of some form of alternate communication with the SSA. The request can be made in a phone call or online through the Social Security Administration website.

Source: The State, “Social Security Q&A: Does SSI have format for the blind?” Dec. 29, 2014