Financial Assistance for the Visually Impaired

 

 

 

Disabled Veterans

Veterans, disabled or not, are eligible for various benefits and support.

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Division of Services for the Blind

This Division of state government offers a variety of services for low income blind and visually impaired individuals. They can help with such things as:

    • glasses
    • eye exams
    • eye surgery and treatment
    • eye related medications
    • glaucoma screenings
    • hearing exams
    • job training
    • housing
    • technology/adaptive aids

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Free North Carolina Fishing License

In North Carolina people with blindness are eligible for a free fishing license. You will be required to have documentation of legal blindness. For more information, contact the Social Worker for the Blind in your county or contact the Registrar of the licenses in Raleigh at 919-733-9822.

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Handicapped Parking Decals

If you can document legal blindness, the NC Division of Services for the Blind can verify your eligibility for a Handicapped Parking Placard. You can then get the placard locally. For more information, contact the Social Worker for the Blind in your county or contact the Registrar of the placards in Raleigh at 919-733-9822.

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Medicaid

Each state administers their own Medicaid program. The North Carolina Medicaid Program is handled by the North Carolina Division of Medical Assistance. Medicaid information for North Carolina is available on their website.

 

If you need individualized assistance, call the NC SHIIP (Seniors Health Insurance Information Program). They offer the help of trained volunteers to answer your questions and to offer counseling. Contact them at 1-800-443-9354 or 919-807-6900 or link to their website.

 

If you would like to apply for Medicaid, the NC Division of Medical Assistance website can provide general information and your local Department of Social Services will take your application and discuss your eligibility.

If you are a caregiver looking for information in another state, please note that Medicaid is different from state to state.

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Medicare

Please note that the Social Security Administration handles Medicare eligibility and enrollment. You can contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 to enroll in Medicare or to ask questions about whether you are eligible. You can also visit their website.

 

For questions and assistance understanding the many complexities of Medicare, there is another North Carolina option. The NC SHIIP (Seniors Health Insurance Information Program) program offers the help of trained volunteers to answer your questions and to offer counseling. Contact them at 1-800-443-9354 or 919-807-6900 or link to their website.

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Supplemental Social Security and/or Disability Insurance

The Social Security Administration provides financial assistance to eligible people who are blind and/or disabled.

SSI - Supplemental Security Income

SSI is a Federal income supplement program. It is designed to help aged, blind, and disabled people, who have little or no income. It provides cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter. Blind means you are either totally blind or have very poor eyesight. Disabled means you have a physical or mental problem that keeps you from working and is expected to last at least a year or to result in death. Sometimes, a person whose sight is not poor enough to qualify for benefits as a blind person may be able to get benefits as a disabled person if his or her condition prevents him or her from working.

You are considered blind under Social Security rules if your vision cannot be corrected to better than 20/200 in your better eye, or if your visual field is 20 degrees or less, even with corrective lenses. If you do not meet the legal definition of blindness, you still may qualify for benefits if your vision, coupled with other health problems, prevents you from doing substantial work.

 

SSDI - Disability Insurance

SSDI provides for payment of disability benefits to individuals who are "insured" under the Act by virtue of their contributions to the Social Security trust fund through the Social Security tax on their earnings, as well as to certain disabled dependents of insured individuals.

 

If you prefer to talk to a Social Security representative, their toll-free number is 1-800-772-1213.

 

 

To follow are direct links to helpful resources on the Social Security website.

  • Social Security Homepage - providing access to a wealth of information about Social Security and the various programs offered.
  • Social Security Disability Programs -
    a comprehensive page of the Social Security website that offers descriptions of the disability programs, who is eligible, how to apply, etc.
  • Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool - a screening tool designed to help you identify all the benefits you may be eligible for from the different benefit programs offered.
  • Disability Planner - explains the benefits available, how you can qualify, and who can receive benefits on your earnings record. It will also explain how to apply for the benefits and what happens when your application is approved.
  • Representative Payee - "More than six million people who get monthly Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, or both, need someone to help them manage their money. When a person needs this kind of help, the Social Security Administration--after a careful investigation--appoints a relative, friend or another interested party to serve as the beneficiary's "representative payee." The person's Social Security or SSI benefits are then paid in the representative payee's name on the beneficiary's behalf." *Social Security

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Tax Exemptions & Deductions

The NC Division of Services for the Blind can verify that you are eligible for a tax deduction based on blindness. For more information, contact the Social Worker for the Blind in your county.

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Telephone Directory Assistance

Many phone companies offer free directory assistance to those who are blind or visually impaired. Call your local company to inquire.

 

 

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