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What are low vision and blind criteria for disability?

People who are blind or have low vision can qualify for disability benefits in many cases. For these individuals, it might be difficult to find a job that is able to provide the accommodations necessary to allow the person to have gainful employment.

Oftentimes, Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are the only ways that the person can have support. Here's some information that might help low vision and blind individuals:

What is the definition of blind?

You are a considered to be blind if your visual field is 20 degree or below in the eye that is considered your good eye. Another determining factor is if your vision is 20/200 or worse and can't be corrected to be better than that point. In both cases, the condition must be expected to last or have already lasted at least 12 months.

What is the definition of low vision?

There isn't any hard line definition of what low vision is. The criteria that is set for this is if your vision problems, whether they are combined with other conditions or not, prevent you from doing work that can earn you an income.

Can I have any income while getting benefits?

It might be possible to work while you are receiving benefits. In the case of SSDI, the income limit per month for 2018 is $1,970 for a person who is classified as blind. The limit for people who aren't blind is $1,180 per month.

You should make sure that you fully understand the points that apply to your disability claim. You might have special responsibilities and you will have rights to protect.

Source: Social Security Administration, "If You're Blind or Have Low Vision -- How We Can Help," accessed May 04, 2018

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