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Blindness, visual impairment, and qualifying for SSD benefits

There is a wide array of medical conditions that can leave an individual facing physical, emotional and financial hardship. The harsh reality of having to deal with a challenging medical condition in a time of financial need can be stressful and overwhelming. Fortunately, those who need financial assistance may be able to get help through the Social Security disability system. These individuals need only prove that they meet the federal requirements to receive benefits.

Though many of the medical conditions that qualify for SSD benefits are subject to the same rules and limitations, there are some that are treated slightly differently. Amongst those are blindness and vision impairment. According to the Social Security Administration, an individual is considered blind if his or her vision is 20/200 in the individual's best eye and the impairment cannot be corrected. Blindness is also recognized when an individual's visual field is 20 degrees or less.

Yet, even those who are not considered blind may still qualify for SSD. These individuals need only show medical proof of their condition and that it significantly impacts their ability to work. This sounds easy but can be challenging. Therefore, an individual who is considering seeking Social Security disability may want to discuss the matter with a qualified attorney.

Such an attorney may advise you that one way visual impairment and blindness is treated differently is that it has a higher earnings limit. This means that those who qualify for SSD due to blindness or vision impairment can still work, make more than $1,800 a month and still qualify for benefits. To learn more about SSD and how one may qualify, an individual suffering from debilitating vision problems may want to have an in-depth discussion with his or her attorney.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Disability Planner: Special Rules For People Who Are Blind Or Have Low Vision," accessed on March 28, 2016

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