Social Security Vision Disability Requirements
Losing your vision is a traumatic experience. Aside from the challenges of adjusting to a new lifestyle, many worry about how they will continue to support themselves and their family when they are unable to work. For the nearly 3 million legally blind Americans of working age, this stress must be confronted on a daily basis.
Fortunately, it’s possible to qualify for vision disability benefits under SSI or SSD. If you have lost your vision due to illness or accident, or you’re worried that your worsening eyesight will make it difficult to work in the future, Ritacco Disability Law may be able to help you get the benefits you need to take care of yourself and your family.
Social Security Disability for Vision Impairments
The first step in applying for vision disability benefits is determining which program you qualify for. If you have worked for 5 out of the last 10 years and paid a sufficient amount in payroll taxes, you will likely qualify for SSD (Social Security Disability).
If you have no work history or have held a job that didn’t collect Social Security taxes, you may still file a vision disability claim with SSI (Supplemental Security Income), a needs-based program administered by the Social Security Administration.
Vision Disability Requirements
Regardless of which program you apply under, to qualify for vision disability benefits you’ll need to demonstrate that your condition has made it impossible for you to continue working or transition to other employment. One way this can be done is by proving that either:
- the corrected vision in your better eye is 20/200 or worse, or
- the field of vision in your better eye is 20 degrees or less
Under the above criteria, someone who is legally blind in one eye but with functional vision in the other (the “better eye”) would not normally have a vision disability claim approved. However, it is still possible to have your Social Security disability claim approved if your condition prevents you from finding meaningful work.
For example, if you can’t drive due to a lack of depth perception, and your age, work history and education makes it impossible to transition to a job that doesn’t require driving, you may meet the requirements to receive vision disability.
How a Disability Attorney Can Help
Due to the complexities of disability law, even straightforward vision disability claims are frequently denied — in fact, an estimated 65% of applications are rejected the first time they are submitted. If you’re considering applying for SSI or SSD in Philadelphia, the vision disability attorneys at Ritacco Disability Law may be able to help.
Lisa M. Ritacco and her team provide assistance at all stages of the application process, including filing a claim, applying for a medical-vocational allowance, or appealing a previous decision.
To find out more about how we can help you, call or contact us online today to schedule your free consultation.