Many people in the United States and around the world are blind. In the U.S. in 2012, 21 million adults had some degree of vision loss, according to the American Foundation for the Blind. Of all these people, only a small fraction received Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits in 2012. It is important for blind people to know that they may have this important resource available to them if they meet eligibility requirements.
People with blindness are often unable to work. As a result, according to some estimates, many are below or only slightly above the poverty line. The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes the challenges blind people face in work and daily life. To encourage them to return to work, the SSA allows recipients of disability benefits to earn more income working (Substantial Gainful Activity, or SGA) than other beneficiaries. In other words, the threshold for earning is higher for people determined to be blind by the SSA.
Find Out How We Can Help
At Binder and Binder®, we know the challenges blind people face. We stand ready to help at any stage of a claim for SSD benefits. To learn how we can assist, please call from anywhere in the United States at 800-662-4463. Or contact us online for a free consultation.
Are You Eligible for SSD Benefits for Vision Loss?
Having a diagnosis of macular degeneration, cataracts or retinopathy is not enough to qualify someone for SSD benefits. Rather, the SSA measures visual acuity to determine eligibility. To be eligible for SSD benefits, a person must have vision that cannot be corrected to better than 20/200 or have a visual field of 20 degrees or less in the better eye.
Although people must meet the threshold described above to be considered blind by the SSA, they may still be able to receive disability benefits if their vision loss combined with other problems prevents them from working.
Benefits Available for Blind People Under SSI
People who are blind and have not paid into the Social Security disability system may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). They must meet the SSA's definition of blindness and qualify for benefits by demonstrating financial need. They may also be eligible for additional benefits for the costs of working, such as guide dogs, special transportation, Braille translations and attendant care services.
Call Binder & Binder to Learn About Your Options After Becoming Disabled
If you have vision problems and can no longer work, talk with the advocates at Binder & Binder®. We have helped thousands of people just like you obtain the benefits they need and deserve after becoming disabled due to blindness or other eye problems. Call us at 800-66-BINDER from anywhere in the United States to talk with one of our advocates about your situation. You may also contact us online.