Few conditions impact your ability to work than eye problems. While many people dealing with visual disorders believe that you have to be totally blind in order to qualify for disability benefits, the truth is any significant degree of vision loss can affect your ability to work and make you eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Eye Conditions That Qualify for Disability Benefits
Below is an overview of eye conditions that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has recognized as disabling and how a lawyer can help you successfully apply for the benefits you need.
1. Vision Loss (Legally Blind)
The SSA considers you to be legally blind if your visual cannot be improved beyond 20/200 in your better eye or your visual field is 20 degrees or less in that eye and the condition is expected to last for at least 12 months.
2. Partial Sight
Partial sight, also known as low vision, means that you have limited visual capability. It can be caused by trauma or diseases like glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and even brain disorders.
Cataracts are cloudy areas on the lens of the eye. While they are normally treated via surgery, some cataracts may resist improvement and make it impossible to keep working.
4. Sjögren’s Syndrome
Sjogren's syndrome is a systemic autoimmune disease that initially affects lacrimal and salivary glands, resulting in dry eye disease and/or dry mouth disease. It can also cause eyelid inflammation and corneal abrasions.
One of the leading causes of blindness for people over the age of 60, glaucoma refers to a group of eye disorders that damages the optic nerve and impacts vision. The damage is usually caused by abnormally high pressure in the eye.
Hemianopia is partial blindness or a loss of sight in half of your visual field. It is caused by damage to the optic nerve or brain due to conditions like traumatic brain injury, epilepsy, lymphoma, and multiple sclerosis. Depending on the cause, hemianopia may be temporary or permanent.
7. Macular Degeneration
Macular Degeneration is an incurable eye disease that results when the central portion of the retina, known as the macula, suffers deterioration. Symptoms include a central vision disruption that makes it impossible to read, recognize faces, drive, or see objects in detail.
8. Ocular Melanoma
Ocular melanoma is an extremely rare form of cancer that affects the uveal tract, which is the pigmented tissue layer under the white of the eye. Symptoms include visual distortions like wavy lines and floating specks as well as retinal detachment. It has the potential to spread to other areas of the body, with the liver being the most commonly affected organ.
Get a Free Case Evaluation
Applying for disability benefits for eye problems can be an uphill battle, as anything less than complete vision loss is not always recognized as disabling. A Social Security Disability lawyer can help you prepare and present a compelling case for the benefits you need. To get in touch with an SSD lawyer who takes cases in your area, complete the Free Case Evaluation form today.