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
MANUAL REVISION #4
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.