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Vision problems and blindness may be recognized as disabilities

Some of the greatest joys in life are experienced through what people see and witness. Watching a baby take its first steps or observing a child walk across the stage on their graduation day can be some of the best things a person ever sees with their own eyes. Unfortunately, though, some Pennsylvanians struggle with vision problems and blindness and cannot share in these memorable and defining events.

Vision limitations and blindness are serious medical issues that can impact individuals' abilities to work and provide for themselves. As such, the Social Security Administration recognizes visual impairments as disabilities that may qualify individuals for disability benefits. There is a specific definition that the agency provides for blindness that will be discussed next.

Under the rules of the Social Security Administration, blindness is defined as the failure of a person to achieve better than 20/200 with correction in their better eye or having no more than 20 degrees of vision in their visual field of their better eye. Their visual limitation also must be expected to last for at least a year. Therefore, blindness does not have to be the complete loss of a person's capacity to see in order for them to qualify for disability benefits.

If a person's vision does not meet the definition of blindness described above their visual problems may still qualify them for disability benefits if such problems are sufficiently limiting and expected to endure. Consultation with a disability benefits attorney is a good way for a visually impaired person to begin investigating their options for seeking benefits. This post is not intended to provide legal or medical advice and is offered as information only.

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Pennsylvania Bar Association Philadelphia Bar Co-Chair SSD Committee Philadelphia Bar Co-Chair SSD Committee