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.
WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF EXPENSES THAT CAN QUALIFY UNDER THE RULE?
Expenses that can qualify include:
a service animal, including the cost of food and upkeep;
transportation to and from work;
licenses, fees, or taxes;
attendant care services;
meals eaten during work hours;
medical and non-medical equipment or supplies; and
other work–related equipment or services.
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:
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
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.