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Vision testing for Social Security disability purposes

Those who have suffered vision loss can face a serious hardship. Their day-to-day lives can be changed in many ways. They may be unable to drive and properly see their loved ones, and reading and writing can become extremely challenging. For many of these individuals, adequately performing their job becomes impossible, too. When their vision loss renders them unable to work, they are forced to live without a wage. Needless to say, this is not okay. For this reason, many individuals who have vision problems seek compensation through the Social Security disability system.

As we have discussed before on this blog, to acquire SSD benefits, an individual must meet certain requirements as laid out by the Social Security Administration. For those with vision loss, this means showing that their best-corrected visual acuity falls below a certain level. But how does the SSA measure an individual's best corrected vision?

One way is through visual acuity testing. Typically speaking, this test will determine what an individual can see from a distance of 20 feet. The individual may be asked to count fingers, identify hand motion, or perceive light. Based on the test subject's performance in each eye, a measurement will be given.

Other tests are utilized, too. Chart tests, tests utilizing specialized lenses, cycloplegic regraction, and visual evoked response testing are all acceptable to the SSA. The specific test used on an individual will be determined based on that individual's specific case. For example, testing that uses a specialized lens will only be acceptable if the individual can use the lens on a sustained basis.

Pursuing a disability claim can be stressful. After all, an individual's livelihood may be on the line. Those who know the rules and regulations of the system, though, may be better suited to prepare a compelling legal claim. Those who wish to learn more about how their medical condition may fit into the SSD system may want to seek assistance from a legal professional.

Source: Social Security Administration, "2.00 Special Senses and Speech - Adult," accessed on Dec. 11, 2016

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Alan E. DeWoskin, P.C.
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