Qualifying for SSD with Blindness and Vision Impairment

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, leaving many blind and visually impaired people unable to maintain gainful employment. If you or a loved one are visually impaired or blind and cannot work as a result, you should apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) awards SSD benefits to individuals who are no longer able to make a living due to a disability. Ask our attorneys about qualifying for SSD with blindness and vision impairment.

Vision Impairments that Qualify for SSD Benefits

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. These conditions are evaluated by the SSA under two conditions:

Visual Disorders

  • 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.

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 Qualify for 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 impaired vision a disabling condition, people who actually do qualify for SSD based on blindness or vision impairment 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, and don’t worry about attorneys’ fees—you don’t owe us anything unless we get you SSD benefits.


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