Can I Collect Disability If I Have Poor Vision?

Did you know that February is National Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and Low Vision Awareness Month? Photo of Social Security cards

Sadly, AMD is the leading cause of vision loss in individuals over the age of 50, although, sometimes it strikes younger victims. The symptoms, which include blurred vision, are usually progressive and worsen over time if not treated. However, according to Prevent Blindness America, sometimes deterioration can occur rapidly.

AMD actually occurs when a disease affects the macula, the spot on the retina at the back of the eye responsible for central vision, causing a person’s central vision to blur. Risk factors for AMD include age, gender and race. Unfortunately, the condition is more common among older, white women.

Other risk factors include smoking, as doctors say that tobacco can interfere with antioxidant absorption, which protects the retina from UV exposure. Additionally, high blood pressure and the overexposure to sunlight can increase your chances of suffering a vision problem.

Collecting Disability with Vision Problem

Unfortunately, unless you can prove that you are legally blind, it may be hard for you to collect Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Remember, the Social Security Administration only considers people fully disabled (and not partially disabled), meaning your vision loss must be severe to collect benefits.

In most cases, the SSA only considers someone blind if his or her vision is 20/200 or worse. It should also be noted that there are eligibility considerations made based on whether or not a person’s vision problems affect both eyes, and whether his or her impairment can be corrected or improved.

We suggest working with a disability attorney if you have questions about collecting SSDI and you are experiencing vision loss, as there are very specific qualifications when it comes to eligibility.

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers

Troutman Touts: In 2013, the National Industries for the Blind (NIB) reported that 70 percent of legally blind Americans are unemployed.


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