All Disability. All The Time.

What does it mean to be legally blind?

On Behalf of | Jan 29, 2022 | Qualifying for disability benefits |

When you think of someone who is blind, you likely assume that they can’t see anything at all. And this certainly is the case for some individuals, either those who have suffered injuries, who have become blind gradually or who are born with the disability.

However, there are many people who qualify as being legally blind even though they technically can still see something. So what does it actually mean to be legally blind? If they still have the ability to see, how can they qualify?

A significant reduction in vision may qualify

Saying that someone is legally blind is important because this is what the Social Security Administration is going to look for when determining if they’re eligible for disability benefits. They measure the reduction of your vision, and you can qualify as legally blind even when you have some vision left. There are two key criteria, which are:

  1. A visual field that does not exceed 20 degrees
  2. Visual acuity in one eye that is a minimum of 20/200 (after correction)

You often hear people talk about having 20/20 vision, and this means that they can see clearly from 20 feet away. The lower the second number gets, the worse that person’s vision is. In this case, a person with 20/200 vision would see things from 20 feet away in the same way that a person with perfect vision would see them from 200 feet away even if they have their glasses on.

This helps you see how much of a disability legal blindness can be, even if that person can technically still see. If you believe that you are disabled, then it is important to know about all of the legal steps to take to seek SSA benefits.