Programmatic Differences for Individuals Who are Blind
(Parts 1 & 2)
This 2-part series is designed for Benefits Planners, to enhance awareness of the regulatory differences in both the Title II disability program and the SSI program for beneficiaries who are blind.
Participants will benefit most from this material if they already have a good basic understanding of the Social Security and SSI work incentives as they apply to beneficiaries who are not blind. Part 1 will discuss how work incentives differ for blind beneficiaries, and part 2 will discuss blindness and SSI.
Highlights for Part 1:
- What is blindness under the Social Security disability program?
- How does a blind worker become insured for benefits?
- How do Substantial Gainful Activity determinations differ for blind beneficiaries?
- How do the self-employment work incentives apply to businesses started with the help of VR and the Randolph-Shepherd vending program?
- What happens to benefits if a blind beneficiary who is over age 55performs SGA?
- How does the disability freeze affect reentitlement for blind beneficiaries?
Highlights for Part 2:
- What makes someone eligible for SSI as a blind individual?
- How do Blind Work Expenses differ from IRWE?
- How does an easier standard for insured status for blind individuals affect SSI eligibility?
- How can a blind beneficiary make effective use of a PASS?
Terri Uttermohlen is a Technical Assistance Liaison with VCU's Benefits Assistance Resource Center. She provides training and technical assistance as part of a nationwide Benefits Planning and Outreach program. As a person with a disability, Terri's knowledge of the work incentives is both personal and professional.
Jim McCarthy is a blind lawyer who presently serves as the director of Governmental affairs for the National Federation of the Blind, this nation's largest organization of blind people. In this position he advocates for changes in federal law to promote expanded opportunities and greater equality for all blind people. He also represents blind individuals who require assistance resolving disputes with state and federal government agencies including the Social Security Administration.