Disability benefits for visual and hearing disorders

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2022 | SSD Benefits

People who suffer from visual or hearing impairments may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. There is helpful information available about the criteria Social Security reviews for these disorders.

Visual disorders

A loss of vision is defined as an abnormality of the eye, optic nerve or brain that causes the person to lose visual acuity or visual fields. Visual acuity and visual fields are needed to read, do detailed work and to see on the periphery, or outer edge of an area.

In order to evaluate a vision disorder, Social Security requires an eye examination report that measures the applicant’s visual acuity and visual fields. Usually, these can be determined with a standard eye exam. However, sometimes the applicant may have abnormalities that are not found in a standard eye exam. If that occurs, Social Security may ask for additional information to establish the vision disorder.

Social Security does not allow the applicant to wear eyeglasses during a visual field exam because it can limit his or her field of vision. It does, however, allow him or her to wear contact lenses.

Hearing disorders

In order to evaluate a hearing disorder, Social Security requires a hearing exam conducted by a licensed physician. It also requires information about the applicant’s medical history, how the hearing impairment affects him or her and a description of the ear abnormalities, both with the inner and outer ear. The applicant is not allowed to wear hearing aids during the exam.

The evaluations for conditions that qualify for Social Security Disability benefits can be complex and time consuming, but there is assistance available to navigate this process.