Obtaining SSDI Benefits If You Are Blind

Blind woman on disability walking with a walking stickIf you are legally or totally blind, you may be considered disabled and qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). When you are eligible for these benefits, you may also be able to continue to work and receive more income than if you were disabled due to another medical condition.

What Is Required to Establish Statutory Blindness

In order to qualify for SSDI due to blindness, you will need to be examined by an ophthalmologist or optometrist. There are two ways that your poor vision may meet the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definition of statutory blindness:

  • Central vision acuity. Your central vision acuity is your ability to see straight ahead clearly. You must have a central vision acuity of 20/200 or less in your better eye with the use of a corrective lens to be considered legally blind.
  • Vision field efficiency. If you are not considered legally blind based on your central acuity testing, you may still meet the SSA’s definition based on testing of your peripheral vision. Your visual field must be 20 degrees or less in your good eye to qualify.

If you are not considered legally blind, you may still qualify for SSDI benefits if your vision problems alone, or in combination with other medical conditions, prevent you from working.

How Much Can You Work If You Are Legally Blind?

Special rules apply if you qualify for SSDI because you are blind that are not applicable to applicants who suffer from other disabilities. You are permitted to work more and still not be considered engaged in substantial gainful activity, which would disqualify you from receiving benefits.

The amount that you are permitted to work can change annually. In 2019, you can earn up to $2,040 per month and still qualify for benefits. This is substantially more than the $1,020 that other applicants who are not blind are allowed to earn.

Let Us Help You Establish Your Eligibility for SSDI Benefits

It can be complicated to prove that you are legally blind or have suffered another type of vision loss that makes you eligible for SSDI benefits. Let our experienced disability attorneys collect the evidence you need, help you avoid mistakes that could hurt your case, and assist you in filing your application so that you receive all the disability benefits you deserve. Fill out our convenient online form to schedule a free consultation today.


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