TN 3 (04-12)
DI 28080.065 Continuing Disability Review Cases with a Basis Change from Blind to Disabled
A. Effect on Title II benefits
The Disability Determination Services (DDS) completes an SSA-833, Cessation or Continuance of Disability or Blindness Determination and Transmittal, to indicate: the disability is continuing (Box 9A) because of the new impairment (Box 21).
There is no change in status if it is determined a beneficiary is no longer blind, but has an impairment which prevents substantial gainful activity (SGA).
There is no change in the benefit payment amount.
The change from “blind” to “disabled” could affect the beneficiary's entitlement to disability benefits because of the lower SGA limit for non-blind beneficiaries.
B. Providing a notice explaining the change
Notify the beneficiary of this change by doing the following:
Modify the standard continuance notice to inform the beneficiary that disability is continuing, but there is a change in the evaluation of his or her impairment. To advise the beneficiary of our determination, use the standard notice SSA-L1013, in DI 13095.155.
Explain to the individual that he or she no longer meets the blindness provisions of the law, but he or she does meet the disability provisions and payments will continue.
Explain to the beneficiary that because he or she is no longer “blind,” we must now consider the SGA limit applicable to disability claims when evaluating any earnings.
EXAMPLE: “Based on the evidence in your case, you no longer meet the blindness rules. However, you do meet the disability rules and will continue to receive benefits. Since you no longer meet the blindness rules, we will apply the lower monthly earnings amounts in this notice to determine if you are engaging in substantial gainful activity.”