Disability Benefits for Vision Loss: What Should I Expect in California?

If you or a loved one has suffered vision loss, it is possible that you are eligible for financial assistance in the form of Social Security Disability. Keep reading to get the facts or contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker straightway if you want to talk to a personal injury attorney. You can request a free legal consultation by calling us at 800-333-0000.

Understanding SSA Benefits

First, understand the basics. The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers monthly benefits (payments) for people who cannot work due to serious, long-term disabilities. In certain situations, that can include vision loss. However, that only applies if a person’s loss of vision prevents them from working and earning a consistent living.

How to Medically Qualify with Vision Loss

There is a medical guide used by the SSA called the Blue Book. It is used to determine if a person is eligible for SS disability benefits. There are several listings that can apply to vision loss. The simplest way to qualify is to demonstrate that you are legally blind. This involves 20/200 or worse vision and automatically qualifies you for disability benefits.

You might still be able to qualify even if you are not legally blind, but you will first need to take a few standard tests. The SSA approves people with contraction of the visual fields or who have suffered loss of visual efficiency. The Blue Book is available in its entirety online, and you can use that to review the listings to see what tests you might be required to take in order to qualify for benefits.

While the Blue Book will outline the exact details on what medical criteria are required for approval, you should leave the interpretation of this data up to an optometrist because it can be quite complicated.

What You Need to Know About Better Eye and Best Correction

Each of the vision loss listings approved in the Blue Book will look at the test results for what is considered your “better eye” or the one with the best correction. As a result, if you are blind only in one eye or are missing one eye, you will not qualify for disability benefits unless your job was in a field that requires both eyes, such as in the medical field or as a pilot.

Likewise, a person will generally not qualify if their vision improves greatly with the use of contact lenses or glasses. Only those who have severe, permanent vision impairment will be approved for these benefits. If you need help filling out your application or responding to a denial, contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 right away.