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What are SSI-related benefits for California blind people?

When it comes to Social Security Disability, there are certain factors California claimants must understand depending on their illness, issue or condition. They might be able to receive special benefits in addition to Supplemental Security Income (SSI). With blindness, it is possible to receive special benefits based on SSI. There are certain rules for those who are blind and are receiving SSI-related benefits that will allow them to exclude certain expenses from their earned income that allows them to work. It is not necessary for the expenses to be connected to the blindness.

First, it is imperative to know how blindness is defined by the Social Security Administration. To receive Social Security Disability, the claimant must have a central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye, when it is corrected by a lens. Alternatively, the claimant must have a visual field limitation in the better eye with the visual field subtending no more than 20 degrees. 

Examples of expenses that might qualify under the special rule for blind people include receiving transportation to and from work; licenses, fees or taxes, assistance from attendants; meals that are eaten during the hours of work; equipment for medical and non-medical supplies; and other equipment or services for work. If a person earns $800 each month and does not earn anything else, has $250 taken out for taxes - including Social Security taxes - and must pay $100 each month for transportation, he will be allowed to have general exclusion, work exclusion and blind work expenses calculated to determine how much the countable earnings are.

This rule can be beneficial for someone who is blind as it allows them to work and have expenses excluded. Considering the difficulty that a blind person might experience, SSI-related benefits can be important in a multitude of ways. Contacting a legal professional for help is a key to understanding what the special SSI benefits are and how to get them. 

Source: SSA.gov, "Spotlight On Special SSI Rule For Blind People Who Work -- 2015 Edition," accessed on Aug. 26, 2015

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