If you or a family member is blind, Social Security disability lawyers in Fayetteville can walk you through the process of applying for special benefits, which may include Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Social Security for the blind differs from benefits for the non-blind, so it is important to understand these distinctions when filing your application.
Social Security Disability Benefits
Social Security for the blind allows you to receive benefits if you are legally blind, but some may still qualify even if not legally blind. According to the Social Security Administration, SSDI is available if you are:
- unable to work because of your condition; and
- you have earned enough work credits.
Credits are based on your age as well as when you became blind and how long you have worked. For example, if you become disabled before you turned 28, you must have worked one and a half years. Disabled individuals also may have to meet the recent work test, which requires individuals to have worked a certain amount of time within a certain time period before becoming disabled. However, some blind individuals may not have to meet this requirement.
If you do not have enough credits, you can work to earn them. What’s more, you still may qualify for SSDI benefits based on your spouse’s or parents' work credits. Social Security disability lawyers in Fayetteville can work with you to file a claim based on another's work credits.
You may continue to work and receive disability benefits if you are blind. In 2012, blind individuals who earn less than $1,690 a month are still eligible for SSDI. Other disabled workers who are not blind have an earnings limit of $1,010 per month.
Applying for SSDI
To accommodate the special needs of blind individuals, the Social Security Administration offers special navigation on its website for those who wish to apply for benefits online. In addition, there are a number of services that allow you to select how you would like to receive information from the agency, such as on an audio CD or in Braille.
The SSDI application process is known to take a long time, so make sure you have all of the correct documentation and information ready to go when applying for benefits. Social Security disability lawyers in Fayetteville at Brent Adams & Associates can help you gather this paperwork and fill out the application properly to avoid any mistakes and/or holdups.
When applying for Social Security for the blind, you will need to provide the following:
- birth certificate;
- Social Security number;
- names and contact information for your doctors and caseworkers;
- medical records regarding your disability;
- medication names and dosages;
- test results;
- summary of your last job; and
- your most recent W-2 or federal tax return (if you're self-employed).
Gathering all of this documentation can take some time; however, an attorney can be of assistance to ensure that it is all collected promptly.
Social Security Disability Freeze
If you are legally blind but currently are able to work, you may be able to "freeze" these years when applying for SSDI or Social Security retirement if your earnings are lower due to your disability. This allows you to receive higher payments in the future because payments are based on your average lifetime earnings.
Speak to Social Security Disability Lawyers in Fayetteville Today
When you or a loved one is unable to work due to vision impairment, an attorney can help you apply for Social Security for the blind. This is a complicated process, so it is important to submit documentation correctly the first time in order to begin receiving benefits as soon as possible. The lawyers at Brent Adams & Associates have years of experience helping clients with this process. For more information, please call 1-910-892-8177 or 1-800-849-5931 today for a consultation with a Social Security disability lawyer in Fayetteville.