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Can Tennessee residents receive blind work expenses?

Being blind comes with numerous challenges. The world is designed for the seeing, and those with blindness must learn to adapt to a seeing-person's world. Fortunately, there are financial benefits that blind Tennessee residents may seek, including not only Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, but also what are known as blind work expenses, that may help ease some of their financial burdens.

Those persons who receive SSI benefits for blindness may be eligible to receive blind work expenses, or BWE. Interestingly, blind work expenses do not specifically have to be related to a person's blindness. They are designed to encourage and foster the blind to work, whether for the first time, or whether a person is returning to work after a period of absence.

Blind work expenses may include service animal expenses and attendant care services, as well as expenses related to transportation to and from work. A person may be able to have his or her visual or sensory aids covered by BWE, as well as the translation of reading materials into Braille.

It is important to note that for a person who is seeking SSI benefits for blindness, there is no duration requirement necessary with regards to one's blindness. In contrast, to obtain Social Security disability insurance benefits for blindness, the condition must have lasted, or be expected to last, for at least 12 months.

A Tennessean who has questions about Supplemental Security Income and its availability for those who are blind, as well as other benefits that might be available, such as BWE, may wish to consult with an attorney.

Source: ssa.gov, "Special Rules For Persons Who Are Blind," accessed Nov. 13, 2015

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