Social Security Disability “Automatic” Criteria for Blindness

Social Security “Blue Book” Listing:
Low Vision or Partial Blindness

As previously explained by our attorneys in this article on Social Security for Vision Loss, eyesight impairment must be quite significant to qualify for Social Security Disability. And, as long as a person has good vision in one eye, they will not qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.

There are basically two ways to qualify for Social Security Disability for vision loss, blindness or eyesight impairment:

  1. Meet Social Security’s “Blue Book” criteria for loss of central visual acuity, or
  2. Prove that your vision loss reduces your ability to work in any job.

This Article sets forth the criteria needed to meet Social Security’s “Blue Book” “automatic” criteria for loss of vision or blindness.

Loss of Central Visual Acuity for Social Security Disability

To meet Social Security’s listing for loss of central visual acuity, the vision in the better eye, with correction, must be 20/200 or worse.

Even if it is only partial blindness, this degree of loss of vision is considered legal blindness, or statutory blindness – and qualifies “automatically” for Social Security disability benefits.

However, if one eye has vision worse than 20/200 – and the other eye has better vision than 20/200 – an individual will not qualify under this listing.

Loss of Visual Efficiency for Social Security Disability

Poor peripheral vision – when combined with poor central visual acuity – might qualify for loss of visual efficiency. The percentage of visual efficiency combines central visual acuity and peripheral vision.

Even if it this combined effect only results in partial blindness, if the degree of loss of visual efficiency is great enough it qualifies “automatically” for Social Security disability benefits.

To meet the requirement, you must have test results that equal visual field efficiency of 20% or less. Or, the widest diameter of the visual field must be no more than 20 degrees from the point of fixation. Or, the mean deviation must be -22 or worse. (Our attorneys can help you understand these difficult terms and complicated criteria).

But if  you have good peripheral vision in one eye, you won’t qualify for disability benefits.

Vision Loss Affecting Your Functional Capacity

Remember, even if you don’t qualify for disability benefits under the above requirements, you may still qualify for Social Security Disability under reduced “functional capacity”. Social Security is required to consider the effect of your vision loss on your ability to perform daily activities and employment. If you can’t do your regular job – or any other kind of work – you may qualify to collect Social Security Disability benefits.

Los Angeles Social Security Attorneys: Vision Loss & Blindness

If you are experiencing vision loss, eyesight problems or partial or total blindness which may qualify you for Social Security Disability – or if you have applied and been denied SSD for vision loss – call our experienced attorney today. We will answer your questions, and help you obtain the benefits for which you qualify.

Experienced Los Angeles Area Social Security Disability Attorneys at: 562-622-4800