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ISSUE DATE: 09/2016

No provisions.


People have a basis of eligibility for MSA if they are blind, and are either SSI recipients or would be eligible for SSI benefits EXCEPT for excess income.

Blind means the condition of a person without vision or a person with vision of 20/200 or less in the better eye using a standard Snellen chart. If the vision in 1 eye is better than 20/200 but the person's visual field is 20 degrees or less, consider the person blind. Blind also includes people with aphakic eye with vision of 20/70 or worse in the better eye.

There is no age requirement for this eligibility basis. Non-SSI participants (due to excess income) who are age 65 or older, and blind or disabled may choose their MSA basis of eligibility. The basis may affect the disregards allowed from actual earned income. Help the client decide which eligibility basis is most advantageous. See 0013.09.03 (MSA Basis - Age 65 or Older), 0013.09.09 (MSA Basis - Disabled Age 18 and Older). See 0018 (Determining Net Income).

Consider people blind who:

Receive RSDI or SSI based on their blindness.

Are certified as blind by the State Medical Review Team (SMRT). See 0012.15 (Incapacity and Disability Determinations), 0012.15.06 (State Medical Review Team (SMRT)). Accept SMRT certification of blindness only for:


People who are ineligible for SSI because of excess income.


People who are under age 18 and receive SSI because of a disability.

Some people may be eligible for GA while they are awaiting a Social Security Administration (SSA) or SMRT decision regarding their blindness status. See 0012.12 (Applying for Other Benefits), 0012.12.03 (Interim Assistance Agreements), 0012.12.06 (Special Services – Applying for Social Security), 0013.15 (GA Bases of Eligibility), 0013.15.27 (GA Basis, SSD/SSI Application/Appeal Pending).

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