The wage earner’s earnings record is “frozen” at the point the “disability freeze”
is established (that is, the date the medical evidence shows, or where reasonable
medical inferences can be made, that the wage earner’s visual impairment first meets
the definition of statutory blindness).
If the wage earner ceases SGA and is eligible for cash benefits, the “frozen” earnings
record is used to compute disability benefits, meaning that earnings after the date
the freeze is established are not used in the computation.
For a discussion of the establishment of onset for entitlement to a disability “freeze-only”,
see DI 26005.001A., Title II-Policy – Onset.
A Title II wage earner who engages in substantial gainful activity (SGA) despite statutory
blindness is entitled to a period of “disability freeze” even though he or she is
not entitled to cash disability benefits (i.e., disability insurance benefits (DIB)).
For an exception when the individual has attained age 55, see DI 26005.001E.
DI 26005.001C.3.a., first bullet, Title II – SGA Levels – How to Use the SGA Dollar Guidelines – DIB
Claimants and Beneficiaries (Age 55 or Older and Under Age 55)
DI 26005.001E., Title II – Policy - Work Comparability Provisions For Blind DIB, CDB, and DWB Individuals
- Age 55 and Older