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STATE PLANS FOR AID TO THE BLIND

Sec1002[42 U.S.C. 1202] (a) A State plan for aid to the blind must (1) except to the extent permitted by the Secretary with respect to services, provide that it shall be in effect in all political subdivisions of the State, and, if administered by them, be mandatory upon them; (2) provide for financial participation by the State; (3) either provide for the establishment or designation of a single State agency to administer the plan, or provide for the establishment or designation of a single State agency to supervise the administration of the plan; (4) provide (A) for granting an opportunity for a fair hearing before the State agency to any individual whose claim for aid to the blind is denied or is not acted upon with reasonable promptness, and (B) that if the State plan is administered in each of the political subdivisions of the State by a local agency and such local agency provides a hearing at which evidence may be presented prior to a hearing before the State agency, such local agency may put into effect immediately upon issuance its decision upon the matter considered at such hearing; (5) provide (A) such methods of administration (including after January 1, 1940, methods relating to the establishment and maintenance of personnel standards on a merit basis, except that the Secretary shall exercise no authority with respect to the selection, tenure of office, and compensation of any individual employed in accordance with such methods) as are found by the Secretary to be necessary for the proper and efficient operation of the plan[3], and (B) for the training and effective use of paid subprofessional staff, with particular emphasis on the full-time or part-time employment of recipients and other persons of low-income, as community service aides, in the administration of the plan and for the use of nonpaid or partially paid volunteers in a social service volunteer program in providing services to applicants and recipients and in assisting any advisory committees established by the State agency; (6) provide that the State agency will make such reports, in such form and containing such information, as the Secretary may from time to time require, and comply with such provisions as the Secretary may from time to time find necessary to assure the correctness and verification of such reports; and (7) provide that no aid will be furnished any individual under the plan with respect to any period with respect to which he is receiving old-age assistance under the State plan approved under section 2 of this Act or assistance under a State program funded under Part A of title IV; (8) provide that the State agency shall, in determining need, take into consideration any other income and resources of the individual claiming aid to the blind, as well as any expenses reasonably attributable to the earning of any such income, except that, in making such determination, the State agency (A) shall disregard the first $85 per month of earned income, plus one-half of earned income in excess of $85 per month, (B) shall, for a period not in excess of twelve months, and may, for a period not in excess of thirty-six months, disregard such additional amounts of other income and resources, in the case of an individual who has a plan for achieving self-support approved by the State agency, as may be necessary for the fulfillment of such plan, and (C) may, before disregarding the amounts referred to in clauses (A) and (B), disregard not more than $7.50 of any income;[4] (9) provide safeguards which permit the use or disclosure of information concerning applicants or recipients only (A) to public officials who require such information in connection with their official duties, or (B) to other persons for purposes directly connected with the administration of the State plan;[5] (10) provide that, in determining whether an individual is blind, there shall be an examination by a physician skilled in diseases of the eye or by an optometrist, whichever the individual may select; (11) effective July 1, 1951, provide that all individuals wishing to make application for aid to the blind shall have opportunity to do so, and that aid to the blind shall be furnished with reasonable promptness to all eligible individuals; (12) effective July 1, 1953, provide, if the plan includes payments to individuals in private or public institutions, for the establishment or designation of a State authority or authorities which shall be responsible for establishing and maintaining standards for such institutions; (13) provide a description of the services (if any) which the State agency makes available (using whatever internal organizational arrangement it finds appropriate for this purpose) to applicants for and recipients of aid to the blind to help them attain self-support or self-care, including a description of the steps taken to assure, in the provision of such services, maximum utilization of other agencies providing similar or related services; and (14) provide that information is requested and exchanged for purposes of income and eligibility verification in accordance with a State system which meets the requirements of section 1137 of this Act.

(b) The Secretary shall approve any plan which fulfills the conditions specified in subsection (a), except that he shall not approve any plan which imposes, as a condition of eligibility for aid to the blind under the plan—

(1) Any residence requirement which excludes any resident of the State who has resided therein five years during the nine years immediately preceding the application for aid and has resided therein continuously for one year immediately preceding the application; or

(2) Any citizenship requirement which excludes any citizen of the United States.

At the option of the State, the plan may provide that manuals and other policy issuances will be furnished to persons without charge for the reasonable cost of such materials, but such provision shall not be required by the Secretary as a condition for the approval of such plan under this title. In the case of any State (other than Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands) which did not have on January 1, 1949, a State plan for aid to the blind approved under this title, the Secretary shall approve a plan of such State for aid to the blind for purposes of this title, even though it does not meet the requirements of clause (8) of subsection (a) of this section, if it meets all other requirements of this title for an approved plan for aid to the blind; but payments under section 1003 shall be made, in the case of any such plan, only with respect to expenditures thereunder which would be included as expenditures for the purposes of section 1003 under a plan approved under this section without regard to the provisions of this sentence.


[3]  P.L. 91-648, §208(a)(3)(D), transferred to the U.S. Civil Service Commission, effective March 6, 1971, all powers, functions, and duties of the Secretary under subparagraph (A).

[4]  See Vol. II, Appendix K, Income and Resource Exclusions, for a list of provisions from Federal laws regarding exclusions from income and resources.

[5]  See Vol. II, P.L. 82-183, §618, for the “Jenner Amendment” prohibiting denial of grants-in-aid under certain conditions.