Social Security Disability for Vision Loss or Blindness–
Individuals with poor or impaired vision – or who are partially, legally, or totally blind – may be able to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits for their vision problems. In this article, our experienced Long Beach Workers Compensation attorneys explain who may qualify and how to collect SSDI for eyesight and vision issues.
How Much Vision Loss is Required for Social Security Disability?
Your vision loss must be quite significant to qualify for Social Security Disability. Additionally, if you have good vision in one eye, you will not qualify for Social Security disability benefits.
There are two ways to qualify for Social Security Disability for vision loss, blindness or eyesight impairment:
- Meet the SSA’s published “Blue Book” standard for loss of central visual acuity, or
- Proving that your vision loss reduces your ability to work in any job (considering your prior job experience, your age, and your education).
(1.) Meeting the Social Security Blue Book Criteria for Loss of Vision
If a person meets the SSA’s published “Blue Book” criteria for loss of central visual acuity they will “automatically” be approved for Social Security Disability.
The SSA will require a physical examination by an ophthalmologist or optometrist to measure “central visual acuity” (how clearly a person can see). If the person does not qualify for SSDI under poor visual acuity alone, they will also need to have their “visual field efficiency” (peripheral vision) tested. (Note: all testing is done without wearing glasses). The SSA may also require the person to undergo “visual evoked response testing” (measuring visual brainwave responses).
CLICK HERE to see criteria for “automatic” Social Security based on loss of vision or blindness.
(2.) Social Security Medical Vocational Allowance for Vision Loss
If vision loss does not meet the SSA’s published “Blue Book” standard for loss of central visual acuity or peripheral vision, a person may still get disability benefits based on a medical-vocational allowance. In this case the applicant must prove that their vision loss reduces their ability to work in any job (considering their prior job experience, age, and level of education).
Causes of Vision or Eyesight Loss for Social Security Disability
If you have lost some or all of your vision, it does not matter what the cause of the vision loss was, for purposes of collecting Social Security Disability. What does matter is the degree of vision loss – and how well your medical records document this.
Workplace eye or head injury, automobile accidents, exposure to chemicals, cataracts, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, hypertensive retinopathy, cancer-related retinopathy, retinal detachment, hereditary conditions, and other central retinal diseases can all be responsible for a loss in vision.
Long Beach 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.