I have vision problems. Do I have to be legally blind to apply for Social Security disability?

You may be eligible for Social Security disability if you have vision problems but you are not legally blind. The Social Security Administration (SSA) should approve your application for benefits if:

  • Your vision problems keep you from working and are expected to last for more than one year.
  • You have worked long enough to qualify for benefits.

The SSA considers an applicant to be legally blind if his vision cannot be corrected to better than 20/200 in the stronger eye or if his visual field is 20 degrees or less in the stronger eye. Benefits are important for people who meet this definition of blindness. However, benefits are also important for those who have significant vision problems that interfere with their ability to earn an income even if they do not meet the technical definition of blindness.

What You Should Know If You Have Low Vision But Are Not Blind

The burden is on you to convince the SSA that you qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Since there is no specific listing for your impairment, you will need to establish that your condition keeps you from working. To that end, it is important to consider why you are having vision problems. For example, if your vision is blurry or you have double vision it could be associated with another medical condition that is listed in the SSA’s List of Impairments.

It is up to you to protect your rights and advocate for the benefits you deserve, but you don’t have to do it alone. Instead, we encourage you to gather more information by reading our related links and starting a live chat with us today to discuss your rights.

Carl M. Weisbrod
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Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law