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Is blindness covered under Supplemental Security Income?


What do Andrea Bocelli, Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles all have in common? You guessed it, all are internationally acclaimed and award winning musicians. And yes, all are blind. According to results from an American Community Survey, an estimated 7.3 million adults reported as suffering from significant vision loss. In New Jersey, there were an estimated 179,100 residents who reported from suffering a visual disability in 2013.

Government agencies such as the Bureau of the Census, the National Center for Health Statistics and the Bureau of Labor Statistics all have different methods of reporting estimates of blindness in the United States. Technically, the statutory definition of "legal blind" requires that "central visual acuity must be 20/200 or less in the better eye with the best possible correction or that the visual field must be less than 20 degrees or less."

The American Printing House for the Blind estimates there are over 60,000 children under the age of 21 who are legally blind, based on statistics compiled by the Federal Quota Census of January 7, 2013.

Due to the obvious debilitating conditions facing its sufferers, blindness is among the disabling conditions that may qualify children for Supplemental Security Income benefits.

The application process is not necessarily an easy task. There are many details that must be worked through before an application is approved. Applicants with a qualifying disabling condition, including blindness in children, may want to consider working with a law firm familiar with Social Security disability benefits to make certain that the forms are properly filled and that the procedures are met to maximize the chance of approval.


Source: National Federation of the Blind, "Blindness Statistics," Accessed on Nov. 10, 2015

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