What Social Security programs can cover blindness?

On Behalf of | Apr 16, 2024 | Social Security Disability, SSD Benefits, SSDI

Vision issues can understandably impact a person’s ability to work. In some cases, people can lose their source of income when their vision deteriorates severely, leaving them blind. Fortunately, these individuals can receive Social Security disability benefits based on their case details. The agency has specific rules regarding blindness, usually varying according to the relevant program.

Both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) can provide coverage for blindness. The agency has standards to define whether an individual’s condition is eligible, ranging from poor vision to total blindness. These medical rules are crucial in determining what type of benefits are applicable.

Defining blindness accurately

Social Security’s definition of blindness depends on whether correction is possible through medical intervention. An individual could be blind by the agency’s standards if the following conditions apply:

  • Despite interventions, the individual’s vision is at least 20/200 in both eyes.
  • The individual’s field of vision in both eyes does not exceed 20 degrees.
  • For SSDI benefits, the blindness lasted or will remain for a minimum of 12 months.

If the blindness does not meet the duration requirement, the individual may still become eligible for SSI coverage.

Considering other vision-related issues

Even if a person is not blind by Social Security’s definition, they could be eligible for benefits based on the severity of their poor vision and if other health conditions are present. SSI and SSDI can cover these cases, with provisions changing according to the circumstances.

Seeking legal counsel and experienced advice could be vital when determining whether someone is qualified for these programs. Understanding eligibility factors related to vision problems can help determine appropriate options and clarify misunderstandings.