WHAT IS THE SPECIAL SSI RULE?

There is a special rule to help people who work and receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) based on blindness. This rule allows a blind person to exclude from earned income all expenses that enable the person to work. The expense does not need to be related to the blindness.

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WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF EXPENSES THAT CAN QUALIFY UNDER THE RULE?

Expenses that can qualify include:

    small blue and black arrowa service animal, including the cost of food and upkeep;

    small blue and black arrowtransportation to and from work;

    small blue and black arrowlicenses, fees, or taxes;

    small blue and black arrowattendant care services;

    small blue and black arrowmeals eaten during work hours;

    small blue and black arrowmedical and non-medical equipment or supplies; and

    small blue and black arrowother work–related equipment or services.

Example:

Ray Barnett receives SSI benefits because of blindness. He works and earns $805 per month, which is the only earned income he receives. He has the following work expenses:

    small blue and black arrowhis employer withholds $250 per month for Federal and State income taxes and Social Security (FICA) taxes; and
    small blue and black arrowhe has to pay $100 per month for transportation to and from work.

Mr. Barnett uses $350 of his earnings to pay for these work expenses. Therefore, $350 of his earnings is not counted in determining the amount of his SSI benefit as follows:

    $805 - $20 (general exclusion) = $785
    $785 - $65 (work exclusion) = $720
    $720/2 = $360
    $360 - $350 (blind work expenses) = $10
    $10 = countable earnings

ARE THERE ANY OTHER RULES THAT MAY HELP?

A person who is blind may also use other SSI work rules such as Plans to Achieve Self–Support and continued Medicaid coverage while working.


THIS INFORMATION IS GENERAL.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CALL 1–800–772–1213 (TTY 1–800–325–0778),
VISIT OUR WEBSITE (www.ssa.gov) ON THE INTERNET,
OR CONTACT YOUR LOCAL SOCIAL SECURITY OFFICE.