These Eye Problems May Qualify You For SSDI [infographic]

An elderly woman wears eye glasses and takes note, low vision

Conditions that cause complete or partial blindness can qualify people for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Contrary to the popular belief that only total blindness can qualify one for disability benefits, any form of vision loss that affects one’s ability to work can make a person eligible. Here we discuss eye conditions that may qualify an individual for disability benefits.

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41Klain Eye Problems May Qualify You For SSDI IG

Legal Blindness

A person is considered legally blind if his or her vision cannot be corrected beyond 20/200 in his or her better-seeing eye. Alternatively, the person’s visual field does not exceed 20 degrees, and this condition is expected to last for a minimum of 12 months.

Low Vision

A person with low vision or partial sight has limited visual capability. Trauma and diseases, such as diabetes, glaucoma and brain disorders, can cause partial sight.


Glaucoma is a group of conditions that cause damage to the optic nerve. The nerve damage usually occurs because of fluid buildup that significantly increases the pressure inside the eye. Glaucoma is one of the major causes of blindness in people aged over 60.


A cataract is a clouding in the lens of a person’s eye. Symptoms of cataracts include blurry vision, colors seeming faded, sensitivity to light, and double vision. More than 50% of all Americans aged 80 and above currently have cataracts or have undergone surgery to remove them. Although cataracts are treatable via surgery, some can resist improvement and make a person unable to work in his or her normal occupation.


Hemianopia describes partial blindness or vision loss in half of a person’s visual field. It is commonly caused by conditions that damage the brain or optic nerve, such as:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Stroke
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Lymphoma
  • Epilepsy

Macular Degeneration

The macula is the central part of a person’s retina. Macular degeneration takes place when the macula starts to deteriorate or suffers damage. This incurable disease distorts central vision, making it impossible for one to drive, recognize faces, read or see things in fine detail.

Ocular Melanoma

This rare cancer affects the pigmented layer of tissue below the white of a person’s eye, referred to as the uveal tract. Its symptoms include retinal detachment and visual distortions like floating specks and wavy lines.

Sjögren’s Syndrome

This autoimmune disease first affects the salivary and lacrimal glands, leading to dry mouth and/or dry eye disease. It can cause corneal abrasions and eyelid inflammation.

Qualifying for disability benefits with an eye problem that has not caused total vision loss is not always straightforward. For that reason, one can find out if his or her case can qualify from a disability lawyer. The lawyer will also help the person prepare a compelling case to help him or her obtain disability approval.


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