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Can You File For Social Security Disability If You Are Blind?

In order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits due to a visual impairment, you will need to provide evidence that shows you meet the criteria of the visual listings. The visual listings for blindness include people who have been blind since birth in addition to those that have experienced severe vision loss due to conditions like glaucoma, retinopathy, and traumatic injury, among others. In fact, the blind can qualify for disability and still continue to work while receiving monthly benefits, provided they meet all requirements. The SSA considers the following factors in reviewing a disability claim for blindness.

  • Loss of central visual acuity (2.02) – this listing covers loss in your central field of vision and requires you see no better than 20/200 in your better eye.
  • Contraction of the visual field in the better eye (2.03) – you can qualify under this listing if you have a shrinking field of vision. Your doctor must measure your vision with specific tests and must record what you’re able to see when you’re focusing on a fixed point. This listing requires reports of your visual field, which is the distance in all directions from the fixed point on which you’re focused. That diameter must be no greater than 20 to 30 degrees. In other words, your visual field must be very narrow.
  • Loss of visual efficiency, or visual impairment (2.04) – this listing covers issues that cause blurry or unfocused vision or absence of vision (total blindness). To qualify, you must have a vision in your better eye that is no greater than 20/200 when wearing corrective lenses.

The visual listings can be very difficult to understand.  In fact, you may call the SSA and tell them you are disabled because you are blind and they may say you are not qualified to apply because you do not have sufficient work credits to be covered for disability payments.  This response from the SSA may not be true, because the SSA calculates coverage differently for those who have certain visual impairments. If you are blind or have a severe visual impairment, do not be deterred in filing a claim for benefits simply because you are told over the phone that you do not qualify.  Many SSA workers do not understand that the rules are different for those with a visual impairment.  If you cannot work due to a visual impairment, apply for benefits and get an eye examination in order to prove that you qualify for disability benefits.  If you have a visual impairment that prevents you from working, contact Cannon Disability Law, we can help you apply for and win disability benefits. You can trust our experience. Call us at 801-322-2121 or contact us through our website at

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