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  • Christopher Le

Understanding the Difference Between Blind DLI and Regular DLI

Whats the difference between Blind DLI and regular DLI?


When it comes to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), there are different eligibility criteria depending on the nature of the disability. One such distinction is between Blind DLI (Date Last Insured) and Regular DLI. In this blog, we will explore the key differences between these two categories and shed light on how they impact individuals seeking SSDI benefits.

  1. Regular DLI: Regular DLI refers to the standard Date Last Insured for SSDI benefits. To qualify, individuals must have earned a specific number of work credits through their employment history. Work credits are earned based on income earned and taxed under Social Security. The number of required credits depends on the individual's age at the time they became disabled. Generally, the younger the person, the fewer credits are needed.

  2. Blind DLI: Blind DLI, on the other hand, is a separate eligibility category for individuals who are visually impaired or legally blind. It provides an alternative pathway to qualify for SSDI benefits based on blindness, regardless of the number of work credits earned. The definition of blindness follows the criteria set by the Social Security Administration (SSA), which includes severe visual impairment even with corrective measures.

  3. Eligibility Requirements: To qualify for Regular DLI, individuals must meet the required work credit threshold and have a severe medical condition that meets the SSA's definition of disability, which includes an inability to engage in substantial gainful activity due to the medical condition.

For Blind DLI, individuals must meet the criteria for blindness set by the SSA. This entails having central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with corrective lenses or a visual field limitation of 20 degrees or less in the better eye.


4. Impact on Benefits: The key distinction between Blind DLI and Regular DLI lies in the eligibility criteria, as they determine how an individual's disability is evaluated for benefits. While Regular DLI requires a sufficient work history, Blind DLI places primary emphasis on the individual's visual impairment and its impact on their ability to work.


5. Transition from Blind DLI to Regular DLI: If an individual qualifies for Blind DLI but does not meet the requirements for regular SSDI benefits, their eligibility for benefits may cease once they are no longer considered blind according to the SSA's criteria. However, they may still be eligible for other forms of assistance, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is a needs-based program.


Understanding the difference between Blind DLI and Regular DLI is crucial for individuals seeking Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. While Regular DLI relies on work credits and a severe medical condition, Blind DLI provides an alternative pathway for individuals who are visually impaired or legally blind. Consulting with a Social Security Disability lawyer or contacting the SSA directly can provide further clarification and guidance based on individual circumstances.


It's important to remember that the information provided in this blog is general and may not cover all the intricacies of Blind DLI and Regular DLI. Seeking professional advice and assistance is recommended to navigate the specific requirements and processes involved in applying for SSDI benefits.

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