Blindness and Disability Benefits

In some instances, visual loss or complete blindness will prevent a person from being able to work in any capacity. According to laws put out by the Social Security Administration (SSA), a person might be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits if he or she suffers from partial or total blindness. The same is true if the person is designated as legally blind.

If you or someone you love is interested in pursuing Social Security Disability benefits due to some form of blindness, an experienced California disability benefits attorney may be able to help. A knowledgeable lawyer can review your health condition with you and determine your eligibility for benefits. If you are eligible, your attorney could help you file your claim and pursue the benefits that you deserve.

Types of Visual Disorders

It can be difficult to determine exactly what constitutes a visual disorder or blindness for purposes of Social Security Disability benefits. In order for a medical condition to constitute a visual disorder, the condition must normally affect the brain, the optic tracts, and/or the optic nerve. Moreover, these types of disorders often lead to some loss of a person’s field of vision, visual acuity, or blindness.

A person suffers from loss of visual acuity when he or she is unable to make out small details or read. A person suffers a loss to his or her field of vision when the person is no longer able to utilize peripheral vision (being able to see out of the corner of one’s eye).

Inability to Work

In order for a person to be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits, he or she must ordinarily be unable to perform a substantial gainful activity. In other words, the visual impairment must prevent the person from being able to work in any capacity.

When it comes to disability benefits for visual disorders, the SSA will typically determine whether you meet the standards for a decrease in visual fields (such as your peripheral vision), poor visual acuity, or some combination of those two. If you do not qualify for Social Security Disability benefits under one or both of those standards, the SSA may look to whether your vision loss has an impact on your performance of daily duties and activities – including your job duties.

In the event the SSA determines that a visual disorder limits your ability to work, it will first determine if you may be able to do some other type of work before awarding you disability benefits.  

Getting the Benefits that You Need

Pursuing and obtaining Social Security Disability benefits for visual impairment is often a difficult task. In fact, it is not unusual for a disability benefits application to be denied on one or more occasions. An experienced California disability benefits attorney could help you pursue the benefits that you deserve. If your application for benefits is denied, we could then help you file an appeal of that claim denial.