Blindness and Vision Impairment
The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers a number of conditions to be severe enough to prevent you from working. Regardless of the condition, all are subject to evaluation and must meet certain criteria to qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.
Though most of the conditions listed by the SSA as disabling are permanent or expected to result in death, those that are not require evidence showing that the condition has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year. Our dedicated Social Security Disability lawyers are here to help and support you during this time.
Blindness and vision impairment can be caused by a number of diseases and conditions, including cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and retinitis pigmentosa. Most conditions are not painful, but can cause serious visual problems, vision loss, and total blindness.
Vision Impairments That Qualify for SSD Benefits
Blindness and vision impairment are considered disabling conditions by the SSA and may qualify you for either SSD or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits dependent on the condition and your age. Blindness and vision impairment are classified as visual disorders, or abnormalities of the eye, optic nerve, optic tracts, or the brain that may cause a loss of visual acuity or visual fields.
Blindness and vision impairment are evaluated by the SSA under two conditions:
- What it is: These are abnormalities of the eye, the optic nerve, the optic tracts, or the brain that may cause a loss of visual acuity or visual fields. A loss of visual acuity limits your ability to distinguish detail, read, or do fine work. A loss of visual fields limits your ability to perceive visual stimuli in the peripheral extent of vision.
- How it is evaluated: Visual disorders are evaluated by an eye examination that includes measurements of the best-corrected visual acuity or the extent of the visual fields, as appropriate.
What Is Statutory Blindness?
- What it is: Blindness is defined by the Social Security Act as a visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the use of a correcting lens.
- How it is evaluated: The SSA uses your best-corrected visual acuity for distance in the better eye when determining if this definition is met.
Let Us Help You Get SSD Benefits for Your Vision Impairment
Sight is a precious sense, and when it’s reduced or removed because of an accident or disease, it significantly impacts your ability to work. That means you may not be able to earn a living for your family or even pay your medical expenses. And while the SSA considers vision impairment a disabling condition, people like you often have their claims denied.
The Social Security Disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin are dedicated to helping people with vision impairments and blindness get benefits for their conditions. Contact our firm by dialing (800) 477-7315. And don’t worry about attorneys’ fees—we use the No Fee Guarantee®, which means you don’t owe us anything unless we get you SSD benefits.