Helping People With Disabilities Nationwide

“Legally Blind”: What Does that Mean to Social Security?

by | Jun 26, 2024 | SSD - Uncategorized |

Many claimants have vision issues that significantly impact their ability to perform a wide range of jobs! They are labeled “blind” by their doctor or perhaps a local public assistance organization and provided some resources or assistance. However, Social Security says they are NOT blind and therefore not disabled due to blindness. What gives?

SSA’s requires a person to be “statutorily blind”. For SSA, this is defined in two ways:

  1. 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.


  1. 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.

These measurements should be on any full ophthalmology examination. If you have not seen an ophthalmologist recently to obtain values for your eyes, and do not have medical insurance coverage to do so, a special exam, at SSA’s request, can sometimes be arranged.

An experienced disability attorney will be able to advise you on how your vision can impact the success of a disability case or if more information is needed.


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