The Blind Annuity Program benefit is for legally blind wartime Veterans, or surviving un-remarried spouses of legally blind wartime Veterans, who live and are domiciled in New York State. Blindness need not be a service-connected disability.
- Must be declared legally blind. The definition of legally blind is 20/200 vision in the better eye with best correction, or has 20- degree limitation of field of vision.
- Must be a wartime Veteran who served on active duty during specific wartime periods or received an expeditionary medal for certain conflicts; or the unremarried surviving spouse of a qualified, legally blind Veteran who was receiving the benefit at the time of his or her death, or was eligible to be receiving it at the time of death.
- The Veteran must have served at least 90 days active duty for other than training purposes. Fewer than 90 days active duty is acceptable if the Veteran was discharged for a service-connected disability.
- Must be a resident of and domiciled in New York State
Annuity is paid out in monthly increments, the 2020 monthly rate is $121.93 per month.
Refer to this step by step process on how to apply for New York State Blind Annuity:
- Download and Complete forms [Blind Annuity form] [Report of Legal Blindness form]
- Provide Documentation
- Mail in your application and documentation. If you wish to have the monthly payments deposited directly in your bank account rather than having the checks mailed to you, complete and return a Direct Deposit form.
- The Division of Veterans' Services will review your application and documentation to determine if you qualify.
- Applications are typically processed within 1-2 months of receipt.
- If Application is approved, the Applicant will receive a letter stating the Approval, and payments will commence.
- Payments are effective retroactive to date the application is received by the New York State Division of Veterans’ Services.
- If Application is declined, Applicant will receive a letter stating the reason(s) of rejection, and instructions regarding appealing the decision.
- Nothing further is required for the Applicant to begin receiving payments, if approved.
Ready? Have with you:
- Proof that you are a resident of New York State. Acceptable documents include: Valid NYS Driver License or non-driver ID, voter registration notification card, utility bill, property tax bill, nursing home statement, income tax forms, or any official document showing your current status as a New York State resident.
- A discharge or statement of service showing both enlistment and discharge dates.
- Marriage & Death Certificates (if you are a spouse that is applying).
- Documentation of legal blindness, which includes:
- CBVH form
- A doctor’s prescription with the doctor’s signature, address, and date of exam.
- A doctor’s diagnosis on doctor’s letterhead with the doctor’s signature, address, and date of exam.
Download the Blind Annuity application:
Fill out and return to the same address the "Report of Legal Blindness" form. To access this form, please click this link, then scroll towards bottom of page to select and download "Report of Legal Blindness-Request for Information" (Form OCFS-4599) as a Word Document.