Blindness and Social Security Disability
Frequently Asked Questions
Individuals who meet the medical and non-medical qualifications for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and who suffer from “statutory blindness” are eligible to file for SSDI benefits relating to their blindness.
What is “statutory blindness”?
“Statutory blindness” means:
- The central visual acuity in your better eye is 20/200 or less even with the aid of glasses or a contact lens, or
- You have a limitation in the field of vision of your better eye causing a contraction of peripheral visual fields to 10 degrees from the point of fixation, or
- You have a limitation in the field of vision of your better eye causing the widest diameter of your visual field subtends an angle no greater than
- 20 degrees, or
- You have a limitation in the field of vision of your better eye causing a contraction of peripheral visual fields to 20 percent or less visual field efficiency.
If you do not meet any of these criteria but your peripheral vision is so restricted that it causes you to be a danger to yourself and others, you may be able to make a case for disability. Additionally, if you do not meet any of the criteria for “statutory blindness” but your reduced vision, alone or in combination with other disabilities, makes it impossible for you to work, you may still be eligible for SSDI benefits.
Can I get disability for blindness in one eye?
Because “statutory blindness” is based primarily on the condition of your better eye, blindness in one eye is unlikely to qualify you for SSDI. However, if your condition prevents you from working, you may be able to make a case for disability.
What is the “Blind Work Expenses” (BWE) program?
“Blind Work Expenses” is a work incentive program for people who are blind and receiving disability payments. Under BWE, any earned income you use to meet expenses necessary to earn that income is deducted when your disability case is up for review. Blind persons with disability who are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are eligible for BWE.
If you are considering applying for Social Security Disability Insurance, click here for a free SSDI evaluation. If you’d like more information about Social Security Disability, a qualified MedicareMall agent will be happy to answer your questions. We’ll also be glad to answer any questions you may have about Medicare or Medigap.
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