Not affiliated with the US Social Security Administration
Work Expenses of the Blind
2176.1 Do your work expenses count as income if you are blind?
Your work expenses do not count as income if you:
Are eligible to SSI based on blindness (not disability);
Received SSI benefits on the basis of blindness for the month before you turned 65; and
Receive earned income and the expenses relate to your earning the income.
A deductible expense does not need to be directly related to your blindness. It only needs to be an ordinary and necessary work expense.
2176.2 How much can you deduct?
There is no specific dollar limit on the amount you can deduct. However, the amount must be reasonable and not be more than your earned income in the month. Work expenses are deducted in the month you pay for them.
2176.3 What are some examples of work expenses?
Some frequently encountered work expenses include:
Transportation to and from work;
Meals consumed during work hours;
Income or Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes; and
Costs of job training.
Expenses for life maintenance (such as life insurance or self-care) are not work-related and are not deductible.
Last Revised: March, 2001
- What are the earned income exclusions?
- Impairment-Related Work Expenses
- Purpose and Basic Principles
- What is earned income?
- Does your employment condition affect a disability determination?
- What is unearned income?
- What types of income count under the earnings test?
- Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS)
- What events must you report to the Social Security Administration?
- Is your work relationship continuing?
- Do you have the opportunity for profit or loss?
- Non-Covered Work for Pay Defined
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