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I needed to stop working because of vision problems, and I’m ready to apply for SSDI benefits in Butte, but I’m not sure I qualify as legally blind. What are the SSA’s requirements for blindness, and is it possible to obtain benefits even if I don’t yet meet them?


First, let’s give an overview of the Social Security Administration’s standard for blindness. The SSA considers an individual to be legally blind in two situations:

  • Vision cannot be corrected to better than 20/200 in the applicant’s strongest eye, or
  • The visual field is limited to 20 degrees or less in the applicant’s strongest eye.


Both of these criteria are part of Social Security’s Listing of Impairments. That means that, assuming that you’ve paid enough into the system, submitting hard evidence effectively demonstrating your disability will mean automatic approval.

For the second part of your question—is it possible to qualify for SSDI benefits if your vision does not meet the legal definition of blindness—yes, it is possible, but obtaining approval may be a little trickier.

In this case, you might want to consider working with a Butte Social Security attorney from the beginning of the application process. An attorney who is knowledgeable about the SSA’s evaluation process can help you build a persuasive case demonstrating that your vision impairment, either alone or coupled with other medical conditions, make it impossible for you to consistently perform basic workplace functions.

To learn about how the Ledgerwood Law Group can help, fill out the online form or call our offices toll-free at 888-761-7383. Don’t wait any longer.

Thomas Ledgerwood
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Proprietor Ledgerwood Law Group