Social Security Disability Visual Impairments Including Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, Cataracts, Diabetic Retinopathy. 

Vision loss can have a large impact on a Social Security Disability or SSI claim.  If ones eyesight is bad enough they may meet a listing.  But one does not have to be completely blind to meet or equal a listing.  If the vision is not bad enough to meet a listing it can still reduce an individuals functioning in a work environment and help win an SSD claim.

On this page I will discuss the different eye conditions and will then talk about the eye listings.  I will also discuss the impact vision loss can have on a disability claim.

If you need help with your Social Security Disability claim for vision impairment or any medical condition call us at 1-877-527-5529.

Social Security Disability Visual Impairments Listing and Common Eye Disabilities

There is a variety of medical conditions that cause vision loss.  Some of these are:

  • Glaucoma - most common are open angle and closed angle pressure builds up in the eye and causes damage to optic nerve or retina.
  • Cataract - clouding of the lens of the eye.
  • Diabetic Retinopathy - caused by diabetes it effects the circulatory system of the eye.
  • Paraneoplastic Retinopathy - the rods of the eyes are affected causing visual loss.
  • Hypertensive Retinopathy - caused by hypertension.
  • Macular Degeneration - usually caused by age the middle of the retina is damaged. 
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa - eye disease which is inherited and affects the cones and rods.
  • Optic Neuropathy - this condition is caused by insufficient blood flow to the optic nerve.
  • Melanoma - it usualy occurs in the iris and choroid.

I will now discuss the medical listings for eye impairments.

Listing 2.02 Impairment of Visual Acuity.  Vision in the better eye after correction is 20/200 or less.  This listing is pretty self explanatory but it is important to remember to have your eye exams in the file.  You should have more than one eye exam in the file to show you meet this listing.

Listing 2.03 Contractions of peripheral visual fields in better eye.  
A.  To 10 degrees or less  from point of fixation; or
B.  So the widest diameter subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees; or
C.  To 20 percent or less visual field effieciency.
As the name implies this is a measure of ones peripheral vision.  It is determined by a Peripheral Field Test.  If you are having difficulty with your peripheral vision it is important to have this test to document the amount of peripheral loss you have.

Listing 2.04 Loss of Visual Efficiency.  The visual efficiency of better eye is 20 percent or less after correction. 
This listing deals with the loss of both visual acuity and peripheral vision loss.  In your records make sure your doctor has calculated your visual efficiency.

Listing 2.06 Total Bilateral Opthamoplegia.  The loss of muscle function in both eyes.

Click to see the full listing for vision impairments.

Decreased Vision Affect on RFC or Ability to Work

Visual impairments cause non-exertional limitations.  These limitations can be crucial to a successful SSDI or SSI claim.  Some common limitations are inability to work around machines, driving, moving head quickly, reading, dealing with small objects, stairs, ladders, and inability to focus eyes for periods of time.  It is also important to point out if you get headaches or have to rest your eyes after a period of time.  It is also important to note that eye impairments can be made worse by exertional activities such as lifting weight or bending over.  Make sure if you have an eye impairment that you have a Residual Functional Capacity Form (RFC) filled out by your eye doctor specifically for the eyes to show your limitations.

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If you need a lawyer to help you win your SSD or SSI claim for visual impairment or blindness call us at 1-877-527-5529.