SB 910 Modifies Blind Pension Fund eligibility and payment calculations
Sponsor: Sater
LR Number: 5692S.02I Fiscal Notes
Committee: Health and Pensions
Last Action: 2/14/2018 - SCS Voted Do Pass S Health and Pensions Committee (5692S.03C) Journal Page:
Title: Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2018

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Current Bill Summary

SCS/SB 910 - Under this act, a person who obtains, maintains, or renews a valid driver's license, who operates a motor vehicle, who is not blind, or who has violated a particular state law regarding the blind pension fund shall not be entitled to a blind pension. Additionally, a person whose sighted spouse's annual income equals or exceeds 500% of the federal poverty level shall not be eligible. The Department of Social Services may require any applicant for or recipient of the blind pension to submit to a vision test or reexamination if there is reason to believe the person is not eligible for the pension.

This act requires vision tests to determine eligibility for a blind pension to measure vision in both eyes. A person is "blind" for the purposes of qualifying for a pension if his or her vision cannot be corrected to better than five two-hundredths, in the better eye, or if his or her visual field is less than or equal to five degrees as tested with five millimeter target on perimeter in the better eye, for a period that lasted or is expected to last at least twelve months. The Department shall determine the appropriate vision test and may require a recipient to be retested in less than five years if the Department reasonable believes that the person's vision is not eligible for a pension. Additionally, the ophthalmologist, physician, or optometrist who conducted the vision test may indicate if retesting in less than five years is recommended.

Finally, this act requires the Department to submit to the General Assembly a projected estimate of the monthly pension payment for each upcoming fiscal year based on the Department's estimate of projected revenue from the blind pension tax levied, the projected balance in the Blind Pension Fund, the projected cash flow estimates to the Fund, and estimates of the number of eligible persons. The estimated change in the monthly payment for the upcoming fiscal year shall be calculated as one-twelfth of the quotient obtained by dividing seventy-five percent of the annual change in the amount of funds in the Fund for the preceding fiscal year by the projected number of eligible persons.

This act is substantially similar to the truly agreed to and finally passed HCS/HB 2171 (2018).