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Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Vision Problems

     People often wonder if they qualify for Social Security Disability or SSI benefits for difficulties with their eyes. "Jailhouse lawyers" seem to spread the myth that if your eyes are the least bit bad, despite good correction with lenses, then you can qualify for benefits. The truth is that claimants can qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits under the Listings, but a high level of severity is required. Claimants can qualify due to loss of visual acuity, contraction of the visual field, or decrease or loss of visual field efficiency.

     Appendix 1 to Subpart P of Part 404 of The Code of Federal Regulations, in Section 2.00, states in pertinent part:

  • 2.02 Loss of visual acuity. Reaffirming vision in the better eye after best correction is 20/200 or less.
  • 2.03 Contraction of the visual field in the better eye with:
    • A. The widest diameter subtending an angle around the point of fixation no greater than 20 degrees; OR
    • B. A mean deviation of -22 or worse, determined by automated static threshold perimetry as described in 2.00A6a(v); OR
    • C. A visual field efficiency of 20 percent or less as determined by kinetic perimetry (see 2.00A7b).
  • 2.04 Loss of visual efficiency. Visual efficiency of the better eye of 20 percent or less after best correction (see 2.00A7c).

     If a claimant does not qualify for benefits based on this Listing, the impairments can still be considered when determining whether he or she can return to past employment or whether jobs exist in the local and national economy.

If you need more information about a Social Security Disability/SSI matter, personal injury matter (car wreck, boating accident, slip and fall, etc.), EEOICPA claim, long or short-term disability, VA disability, or a workers compensation matter, please contact the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation. We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611, through Facebook, or through our website. Our office handles claims throughout East Tennessee, including Knoxville, Chattanooga, Kingsport, Bristol, Johnson City, Morristown, Maryville, Rogersville, Dandridge, Tazewell, New Tazewell, Jefferson City, Strawberry Plains, Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Loudon, Kingston, Halls, Maynardville, Crossville, Cookeville, Jamestown, Sweetwater, Lenoir City, Athens, Oak Ridge, Clinton, LaFollette, Lake City, Jacksboro, Bean Station, Cosby, Newport, White Pine, Mosheim, Wartburg, Sunbright, Pigeon Forge, and Deer Lodge.

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