There are many forms of illness and injury that can qualify a person for Social Security Disability benefits. Sometimes a person comes down with a serious illness; other times they are injured in a severe accident.
And some develop blindness or are born blind, or partially blind. Many people are unsure to what extent the blind are covered by Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration's website offers a concise explanation as a starting point.
Benefits are offered to people who are blind under two different programs. Some qualify through the Social Security disability insurance program, while others can receive benefits through the Supplemental Security Income program. Some of the rules are different, although the rules used to decide whether people are blind are the same for both programs.
Those who are considered "legally blind" are also eligible for benefits. Someone is considered legally blind if their vision cannot be corrected to better than 20/200 in their better eye or if the visual field in that eye is 20 degrees or less.
However, if one's vision does not qualify in the "legally blind" category, it is still possible that they are entitled to benefits. If a person's vision problems, or health problems that incorporate vision difficulties, interfere with one's ability to work, a person may qualify.
However, in order for someone with such difficulties to be able to collect Social Security disability payments, one must have worked in a job where they paid Social Security taxes. To qualify for SSI, one does not need to have worked, but their income must be under a certain limit.
There are good sources out there that are beneficial, and speaking with a qualified attorney may help you in your quest for disability benefits.
Source: SSA.gov, "If you are blind or have low vision - how we can help," November 2011
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