Being blind certainly can mean that a person cannot see at all. Medical professionals know that there are some cases where people don’t even see impressions from light. They simply see blackness all the time, and things like contact lenses or even surgery often won’t help.
However, for those who are considering their rights to disability benefits, it’s important to note that someone can certainly be legally blind long before they are completely blind. What does it mean to be legally blind, and why is this different?
A decline from 20/20 vision
The baseline that medical professionals are looking for is 20/20 vision. But someone whose vision has declined could be as low as 20/200 vision. That is the threshold for legal blindness.
This means that someone who is legally blind would need to have the object be either 10 times larger or 10 times closer to see it normally. If a person with perfect vision could see that object 100 yards away, a person who was legally blind would need it to be just 10 yards away.
This shows you how problematic it can be to suffer from legal blindness, even for someone who can technically still see. It may be impossible for them to drive a car or hold down a job. They may even struggle to function in their day-to-day life, needing consistent assistance from caregivers, family members or seeing-eye dogs.
For someone in this position, the big thing to take away is that a reduction in vision may qualify them for disability benefits. They do not have to be 100% blind to qualify. It’s very important for them to look into all of the legal options at their disposal and the steps they can seek benefits.