Because of possible payment advantages to Title XVI claimants or recipients found
“blind” rather than “disabled,” undertake development for blindness whenever there
is a reasonable basis to believe the visual disorder may meet the statutory definition
of blindness, even when the medical evidence of record already establishes disability.
EXCEPTION: In initial claims, a disabled claimant who is in a Federal living arrangement D (FLA/D)
(i.e., lives in a medical treatment facility where Medicaid pays over 50 percent of
the cost of care) is not eligible for any additional benefit amount based on blindness.
Do not develop for statutory blindness in this situation.
IMPORTANT: If the claimant is statutorily blind, and the field office (FO) checked DI, DS, or
DC in Item 8 of Form SSA-831, change the claim type to BI, BS, or BC, as appropriate.
See DI 26010.010.
NOTE: If the issue of blindness arises, the FO may send the folder to the DDS for the blindness
determination. See DI 13010.135G and I.