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Blindness or visual loss can impact your daily life and ability to work. If you cannot work due to blindness and visual loss, then you should file for SSDI benefits. Visual loss refers to a significant reduction in the visual acuity or field of vision. Total blindness means a complete loss of vision or not being able to perceive light.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers SSD benefits to those with visual loss. To win SSD benefits due to visual loss or blindness, you will need to provide medical evidence that proves your condition. This may include reports from doctors who have tested your visual acuity and visual field.

The SSA’s laws state that if you are partially, legally, or totally blind, you could be paid Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Our legal team has over 30 years of legal experience handling vision cases. Our lawyers have won many claims of blindness and visual loss within the SSA legal system. We have also won vision cases in Federal Court. Therefore, we have the experience to help win your visual loss case. Contact us for help today.

blindness and disability benefits


According to a National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), almost 3.4 million adults in the US report being blind or having significant visual loss.

Being blind presents unique challenges at work. However, many blind people are capable of working. Especially with technology and assistive devices, more jobs for the blind are available.

Blindness and visual conditions are complex. Especially, under the SSA’s rules for the blind. Visual conditions are abnormalities of the eye, the optic nerve, the optic tracts, or of the brain. These conditions may cause you to be blind. They can also cause a loss of visual acuity or a loss of the visual fields. A loss of visual acuity happens when you are not able to see detail, read, or do fine visual work. A loss of visual fields occurs when you are not able to use your side vision. If you cannot work due to your visual condition, then you should be able to win SSDI and SSI benefits.



SSA’s rule for visual loss is found under listing 2.02. To “meet” the SSA’s rules for loss of visual acuity, the vision in your better eye, with correction, must be 20/200 or worse. This is statutory blindness, even though it’s only partial blindness.

In order words, you may still be able to see, but you meet listing 2.02. Total blindness, however, automatically wins SSD benefits. Additionally, you will be paid SSD benefits if your central visual efficiency is 20 percent or less. This is determined by kinetic perimetry.

If you have one eye with vision worse than 20/200 and one eye with better vision than 20/200, you do not qualify for benefits under listing 2.02.


You can win benefits under the Social Security Act if your vision meets the rules for “statutory blindness.” “Statutory blindness” is defined by the SSA as central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the use of corrective lenses or glasses. An eye which has a limitation in the visual fields, such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees is considered to have a central visual acuity of 20/200 or less.

If you meet this listing, then you have statutory blindness. However, if you do not have “statutory blindness,” then the SSA will consider whether your vision problems keeps you from working. For example, does your vision prevent you from engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA).

Under Title 16 or SSI only, there is no duration requirement for “blindness.” If you meet SSI’s income and asset rules and you are blind, then you can be paid benefits regardless of how long you have been blind. Therefore, the 12 month duration rule does not apply once “statutory blindness” is met.


Listing 2.03 is best understood if you are a doctor. However, you can understand this listing if you imagine your eye as a round ball through which you can see everything. Your ability to see everything around you through your eye is your full visual field. If your vision contracts within that ball of sight, then your vision slowly gets smaller. What you are able to see can become as small as a pinhole. Therefore, your visual field contracts if you are looking out of a small round hole, instead of a big one.

Under listing 2.03, the SSA will award benefits if the contraction of the visual field in your better eye is at “the widest diameter subtending an angle around the point of fixation no greater than 20 degrees.” Or, you can win benefits if “an MD of 22 decibels or greater, determined by automated static threshold perimetry that measures the central 30 degrees of the visual field. Try to say that fast, three times.


If you have poor peripheral vision in addition to poor visual acuity, you might be able to qualify under the SSA’s listing for loss of visual efficiency (listing 2.04). The percentage of visual efficiency combines your central visual acuity and measured peripheral vision.  You will win benefits if you have a visual field efficiency of 20 percent or less. This is determined by kinetic perimetry.  Another option to determine your vision symptoms is having a value of 1.00 or greater after best correction.


If you don’t qualify for benefits under Social Security’s rules for poor visual acuity, visual field problems, or a combination of the two, then the SSA will consider the effect of your vision loss on your ability to perform activities of daily activities. This includes your ability to work. So, for example, if your visual loss impacts your ability to perform your job, then the SSA will determine if there is any other kind of work you can do.

The SSA looks at the impact of visual loss on your ability to work to determine your residual functional capacity (RFC).

In order to figure out your RFC, the SSA will examine your medical records. They will take into account what your doctor states in your medical records. Also, the SSA will review any statements from your doctors about whether or not your can work.

Additionally, they have their own doctors that review your medical records, but never meet or examine you. These doctors are paid by the SSA and work for DDS, the state agency who reviews all cases. The SSA will take the medical opinion of these doctors into account too. Likewise, if they need more information, they may send you to visit one of their doctors. Learn more here about what to expect at SSA’s doctor exam.

The SSA will also consider statements about your vision from your family and friends. Find out more information about what types of evidence the SSA must consider. For example, your family or friends could write a statement about the effects of your symptoms. Find out more here about RFC and how it along with age can prove you cannot work. Also, find out more about SSA’s Medical Vocational Guidelines.


The American Council for the Blind has a list of resources for those that are blind are dealing with visual loss.  For example, this list includes information such as banks that have talking ATM machines to where to obtain a guide dog. Cannon Disability recommends you explore their website for more information. There is also other information on sites below:

Additionally, on our website we have a list of resources for the blind that is specific to Utah.


If you are blind and getting SSDI benefits, you may want to try to return to work. Every 60 months, those who are on benefits have a 9 month trial work period. Those 9 months, which do not need to happen in a row, allow a blind person on benefits to try to return to work. The idea behind the trial work period is to allow you to attempt work. If you can work, then you still receive benefits for 9 months.

However, after those 9 months are up, the SSA will find you are better, as you have returned to work. Therefore, they will cease your benefits.


During the 9 month trial period, you must report your wages, work activity, and any costs for work to the SSA. You must keep track of the months that you work and earn over the substantial gainful activity (SGA) amount. If you are working over SGA for 9 months, even if it not 9 months in a row, you can use up your trial work period.

Imagine you work for 3 months and then lose your job. But during that time you earn over SGA. Two years later, you work for 6 months in a row at the SGA. You have now completed your 9 month trial work period. If you continue to work and receive benefits, then the SSA will make you pay the money back to them. You will get a letter telling you that you have an overpayment. You don’t want that. Learn more about overpayments.

Even though you may return to work, your vision could worsen, and you may have to stop working. If that happens within 5 years of returning to work, then you can get expedited reinstatement. This means you do not have to file a new application for benefits. Instead, you simply request to be put back on your prior benefits. Remember, the SSA has different wage rules for the blind. Learn more about work credits if you are blind.


Remember, you do not need to try to win SSD benefits on your own. We can help file your SSDI application. Also, we can help you file an appeal after every SSA denial. That way, you can focus on your health and spending time with your family. Our attorneys and staff can:

If you file your application for benefits online at Social Security’s website, then you have 6 months to complete the application. Once you submit your application online, the SSA sends you an application summary in the mail. You must sign the summary and mail it back.

Winning benefits in Utah for those who are blind or have visual loss is difficult. However, at Cannon Disability, we have won over $100 million dollars for our clients. Therefore, we have the experience you need in court to win your vision case. No matter where you live, we can help you, because we have clients in Utah, Nevada, Idaho, and California. We want to be your legal team. Contact us today.


We will use our legal skills to help you through the SSA appeal process. It is our goal to win your vision benefits. But, it also our goal to make filing for SSD benefits easier for you. We offer a free review of your case. If you call, then there is no pressure to become a client. You can simply ask questions. We will answer. Even if we don’t accept your case, we will still try to help you.

It also doesn’t cost you any upfront money to hire us. Why? Because you only pay us an attorney fee if we win your case. If we win your SSD benefits, then you pay us out of your past due payment. If you do not win, you do not pay an attorney fee.

How much is the fee? It is 25% of your back benefit. Also, there is a fee cap set at $7200 by the SSA.  Therefore, you never pay more than the fee cap at the hearing stage of your case. And, 25% of your back benefit is usually less than the $7200 cap. You will pay the lesser amount between 25% and the cap and only if we win your benefits. Therefore, you have nothing to lose by hiring our legal team.


What will it cost you if you don’t hire a lawyer with the legal experience to win your benefits? For example, if you win benefits at 50 years old, then you will be paid for the next 17 years. You may also win two of years of past due benefits. On the line, if you are 50 years old, is 19 years of SSD payments.

Nineteen years is is 228 months. At $1200 a month (which is a lower than average monthly benefit amount), that is $273,600. Additionally, you will win a higher retirement benefit after the age of 67. Let’s say the average higher retirement benefit is $300 a month and you live to be 90 years old. That is another $82,800.

It costs 25% of your back benefit OR $7200 from your back benefit to pay your attorney. You pay us whatever is less and only if you win. If we win your case, then we won you $356,400, plus early Medicare benefits. Your attorney will be paid $7200 and you will be paid $349,200.

All attorneys charge the same fee. So, you can go it alone and not hire an attorney, but chances are you will lose $356,400. Or, you can hire an attorney with over 30 years of experience with no money upfront. If you win benefits, then you will pay $7200. However, you will also win $349,200. The choice is yours. We hope you understand that the cost of a lawyer with over 30 years of legal experience is well worth it.


Winning benefits for visual loss is difficult. However, at our law firm, we have won over 20,000 SSDI and SSI cases. We have the experience you need in court to win your vision case. No matter where you live, we can help you, because we have clients in Utah, Nevada, Idaho and California. Learn more about Utah SSDI information. Likewise, if you need help filing for SSD benefits in Nevada. blindness and utah resources for the blind disability visual

The visual listing is one of the most complex rules. The SSA also has different rules for the blind with regard to being insured for benefits. Even if you are working on a part time basis, you can still get SSDI benefits if you meet SSA’s visual listing. If you need Idaho benefits information, then read here. Likewise, we have California SSD benefit information too. Colorado SSDI benefits information is here.

Additionally, if you need free or low cost medical services in Utah, we have a list for you. Also, we have a list of free health services in Nevada.

Find out more about our lawyers and staff. You can go to our About Us pageDianna Cannon has been winning benefits for her clients for over 30 years. Brett Bunkall has won hundreds of cases in Utah, Nevada, Idaho, and California. Andria Summers has over 20 years of experience helping thousands of people win their SSDI and SSI benefits. Contact us today to hire the best Social Security attorney. We have the experience to win your case for blindness or visual loss.

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