- Loss of central visual acuity (2.02) – this listing covers loss in your central field of vision and requires you see no better than 20/200 in your better eye.
- Contraction of the visual field in the better eye (2.03) – you can qualify under this listing if you have a shrinking field of vision. Your doctor must measure your vision with specific tests and must record what you’re able to see when you’re focusing on a fixed point. This listing requires reports of your visual field, which is the distance in all directions from the fixed point on which you’re focused. That diameter must be no greater than 20 to 30 degrees. In others words, your visual field must be very narrow.
- Loss of visual efficiency, or visual impairment (2.04) – this listing covers issues that cause blurry or unfocused vision or an absence of vision (total blindness). To qualify, you must have vision in your better eye that is no greater than 20/200 when wearing corrective lenses.
In order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits due to a visual impairment, you will need to provide evidence that shows you meet the criteria of the visual listings. The visual listings for blindness include people who have been blind since birth in addition to those that have experienced severe vision loss due to conditions like glaucoma, retinopathy, and traumatic injury, among others. In fact, the blind can qualify for disability and still continue to work while receiving monthly benefits, provided they meet all requirements. The SSA considers the following factors in reviewing a disability claim for blindness.
DIANNA CANNON, J.D.