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Receiving Disability Support for Vision Loss

By Kenton Koszdin Law Office on July 21, 2015 | In Social Security Disability

Receiving Disability Support for Vision Loss

There are many physical and mental impairments that can affect your ability to work. Vision loss, for example, can negatively impact every aspect of your life and it can prevent you from securing and maintaining consistent employment. If you are losing your ability to see and are no longer able to work, you may be entitled to disability benefits through the Social Security Administration. Certain applicants with vision loss qualify for Social Security disability (SSDI) after years of sending the SSA payments with each paycheck, while others qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) because they have limited income and are unable to work.

Not all applicants with vision loss automatically qualify for disability support. The severity of your vision loss and the current state of your health will affect your ability to receive benefits through SSDI or SSI. To qualify, you must show that your vision loss is significant enough to prevent you from working.

The SSA typically reviews three factors when reviewing vision loss applications:

  • Visual acuity. The SSA will review the clarity of the vision that remains in the applicant’s better eye. This includes a review of the sharpness of the retinal focus within the eye, the health of the retina and the sensitivity of the interpretative faculty of the brain.
  • Peripheral field contraction. Some people who are losing their vision experience a slow regression of their visual fields. In concentric contraction cases, the entire peripheral vision is weakened.
  • Visual efficiency. This is the extent to which you can use your available vision.

For a disability claim involving vision loss, the SSA evaluates the claimant’s medical records to see how much vision remains. They will look at the quality of vision in the claimant’s better eye. If one eye meets the approval requirement but the other does not, the claim may be denied.

When someone does not automatically qualify for disability benefits, they can still pursue support through a medical-vocational allowance. A medical-vocational allowance takes into consideration the functional limitations that result from vision loss. A Los Angeles disability attorney can review your case and work with medical professionals to prove that your vision loss impairs your ability to work even if you do not automatically qualify for benefits.

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