Being “blind” can mean a lot of different things….color blindness, cerebral (or brain-related) blindness, loss of night or peripheral vision, loss of central vision, retinopathy/hemorrhage/retinal detachment related issues….the list is long.
However, SSA defines it this way: STATUTORY BLINDNESS. This is a very specific definition and your vision problems MUST fit into one of the following situations:
- The Act defines blindness as central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the use of a correcting lens. We use your best-corrected central visual acuity for distance in the better eye when we determine if this definition is met.
- The Act also provides that an eye that has a visual field limitation such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees is considered as having a central visual acuity of 20/200 or less.
If your vision does not exactly match or exceed these specific numbers, SSA will NOT award you disability based on your vision problems alone. It is very important if you have severely limited vision to go to your eye doctors regularly and get regular testing done to prove you meet these criteria.
The amount of monthly benefits you could be eligible for is greater for statutorily blind people than for those disabled for other reasons.
Contact an attorney to assist you in determining if you could be awarded disability based on statutory blindness.