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How is blindness defined by the Social Security Administration?

Many North Carolina residents wear glasses or contact lenses to improve the quality of their eye sight. It is possible for people with significant near or far-sightedness to improve their vision to the point that they are able to engage in the careers and activities of their choosing. However, not all individuals with vision problems are able to find this level relief through corrective measures.

Blindness is a condition where a person suffers from significant visual impairments. Under the rules of the Social Security Administration, a person is considered blind if their central visual acuity is 20/200 or less in their better eye, or if their field of vision in their better eye is 20 degrees or less. Central visual acuity refers to the eye’s ability to clearly discern specific objects, while field of vision refers to the entire range of sight that a person has, including in the peripheries.

For a person to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance, their blindness must meet one of the above-mentioned qualities and must be expected to last for at least 12 months. For a person who wishes to be approved for Supplemental Security Income benefits, the impairment requirements are the same, but there is no requirement that the condition last for a year or more.

Blindness is a serious and usually debilitating condition that can prevent a person from doing their job. When it rises to the level discussed in the Social Security Administration’s definition, then it may allow a person to collect SSDI or SSI benefits. Consultation with a disability benefits attorney can be useful for those who wish to learn more about how blindness is assessed by the Social Security Administration.

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