Department of Social Services
Family Support Division
PO Box 2320
Jefferson City, Missouri
TO: ALL FAMILY SUPPORT OFFICES
FROM: PATRICK LUEBBERING, DIRECTOR
SUBJECT: BLIND PENSION MANUAL UPDATE DUE TO HOUSE BILL 2171
House Bill 2171 (2018) revised Sections 209.030 and 209.040 RSMo and updated several eligibility factors for the Blind Pension (BP) program, see IM Memorandum #58 for further details. These changes are effective August 28, 2018. The BP manual has been updated to reflect these changes.
- The resource limit has increased from $20,000 to $30,000,
- $100,000 contributed to an ABLE account belonging to the blind individual is excluded from the resource calculation,
- All contributions made to an ABLE account belonging to the sighted spouse is excluded from resource calculations,
- A person who obtains, maintains, or renews a driver license in any state or territory is not eligible for BP,
- Applicants for BP must surrender their driver license within 60 days of approval for BP in order to continue to be eligible,
- A BP recipient who operates a motor vehicle, with or without a valid driver license is not eligible for BP,
- Sighted spouse income of 500% of the federal poverty level or greater will cause ineligibility,
- Participants must report changes in circumstances within 10 days of the change,
- Visual eligibility must be established in both eyes, the better eye must meet current eligibility requirements of 5/200 or visual field of 5 degrees tested on 5 millimeter target on perimeter, and must have lasted 12 months or be expected to last at least 12 months,
- The examining ophthalmologist, physician, or optometrist may indicate that a reexamination should be performed in less than 5 years, if the individual’s vision may reasonably be expected to improve within 5 years,
- FSD may require a visual reexamination before the date indicated by the examining ophthalmologist, physician, or optometrist, if there is reason to believe the BP participant is not eligible.
- Review this memorandum with appropriate staff.