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What is considered statutory blindness for SSDI?

There are many things that people in Tennessee take for granted when they are healthy. People who are able to walk, use their arms and hands, and see and hear normally generally do not think about how difficult life would be if they lost one of these abilities. However, there are many individuals who are disabled and do not have these normal capabilities. These people still need to live their lives, but it can be much more difficult. They often have to find alternative ways to do things others take for granted.

These disabilities can affect nearly every aspect of life, including the ability to work. This means that many of these people cannot earn an income. Those who find themselves in this situation may be entitled to receive social security disability (SSDI) benefits, though, which can provide significant financial relief. However, those seeking these benefits need to go through medical testing to determine if they meet the federal requirements for a disability and are thus eligible to receive these benefits. In general, a claimant must have a disability that is long-term and prevents him or her from working.

Each type of disability has its own testing standards. Testing for blindness is no different. The Social Security Administration has developed a standard for statutory blindness, which a person must meet in order to receive SSDI benefits under this particular category. In order to be considered statutorily blind, a person must have worse than 20/200 vision in their better eye with the assistance of corrective lenses. People may also meet the requirements if they can see in a diameter no greater than 20 degrees around a point of fixation.

Many people in Tennessee do not have perfect 20/20 vision, but many can reach that type of vision with glasses or contacts. However, this is not the case for everyone. Some people cannot see very far even with glasses. Some people may even be considered statutorily blind which prevents them from working. Those in the latter category may be entitled to SSDI benefits. Receiving these benefits can be a complicated process, though, and many initial claims are denied for lack of satisfactory evidence. Therefore, many claimants may find it beneficial to turn to an experienced attorney for assistance.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Disability Evaluation under Social Security" accessed on March 12, 2018

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