Qualifying for Social Security benefits gets harder every year. Denials have reportedly hit a record high. This may stem from a growing concern that pressure on the system could cause it to run out, thereby preventing the people who really need it from getting access. In the past, meeting requirements for blindness was more difficult as well, but this has changed somewhat.
According to the Social Security Administration, there are some special considerations in place for blindness and low vision. People who are legally blind may not be able to correct the vision in their better eye to more than 20/200. Having a legal field of vision spanning just 20 degrees or less can also lead to a legally blind status. This may seem like the obvious limit, but the SSA states that people may become eligible for benefits even if they are not legally blind.
The agency recognizes that people with low vision may struggle to earn a proper income. To account for this, the SSA even puts a higher earning income limit in place than for other disabilities. People may earn as much as $2,110 per month in 2020 and still qualify for assistance.
SSA adds that to become eligible for SSI, there may be no need for the person to have worked for any set period of time. This is because SSI does not typically require earning any number of credits toward benefits. Instead, SSI is in place to serve people who may struggle to support themselves financially due to a disability, in spite of their best efforts. As illustrated above, they may also continue to work while receiving benefits.