In some cases, if an applicant`s vision does not meet the SSA definition of legal blindness, the person may still be eligible for disability benefits if their vision problems, alone or in combination with other medical conditions, still prevent them from working. For more information, see the SSA brochure, If you are blind or have low vision – How we can help. If your eye doctor has recently diagnosed you as legally blind and you need help, contact the American Foundation for the Blind to get started. These dedicated professionals can provide you with the services and training you need to navigate your new world. This guide distinguishes legal blindness from other terms that describe varying degrees of visual impairment. The information also includes causes and categories, as well as criteria and methods for determining legally blind status under federal regulations. The guide also describes issues that affect people who are legally blind, reviews the resources available to them, and provides links to accessing these resources and services. The terms may also be used by health insurers to determine benefits and as part of the vision screening tests required by state departments of motor vehicles (DMV) when determining driver`s license eligibility. For safety reasons, people who are legally blind or visually impaired are generally not entitled to a driver`s licence. The macula of the eye is the central area of the retina that allows us to read, drive, recognize faces, use a computer and see things in great detail. In age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, the macula worsens and “blind spots” appear that obscure objects in a person`s central vision. If you are legally blind on the last day of the year and do not report deductions, you are entitled to a higher standard deduction than non-disabled people.
Other conditions that can cause legal blindness include optic neuritis and neuropathy, or inflammation of the optic nerve, which is common in people with multiple sclerosis, or congenital conditions such as retinopathy of prematurity, congenital cataracts, and childhood glaucoma. Keratoconus, a progressive thinning of the cornea, can also lead to severe vision loss up to legal blindness. We have all heard the term “legally blind,” but what does that really mean? How is it different from complete blindness and who is considered legally blind? According to the American Foundation for the Blind, legally blind is not the same as completely blind, which is used to describe the inability to see anything with both eyes. Most people who are legally blind have some eyesight. Sticks and mobility devices are low-tech items, but equally important that help visually impaired people find their way around the world. For example, the characteristic white stick has allowed blind people to travel freely and safely for decades. The National Federation of the Blind has distributed more than 64,000 free white sticks since 2008 because it believes that “no blind person should be without a white cane, no matter how able they are to pay for it.” Moving around the world requires a basic set of skills that anyone with visual impairment or legal blindness must master. Whether it`s simply walking from room to room or taking public transportation to get downtown to make an appointment, orientation and mobility form the basis of safe movement. Orientation lets you know where you are and where you want to go; Mobility allows you to travel safely without tripping or falling, whether or not you use a cane or other device.
Being legally blind affects your eyesight, but that doesn`t have to stop you from living a fulfilling life. To be legally blind, you must meet one of two criteria: visual acuity (visual acuity) and field of vision (the full range of what you can see without moving your eyes). Professionally trained guide dogs are also of great help to many people who are legally blind, although the cost is much higher and waiting lists can be long to get one. Organizations such as Guide Dogs for the Blind and Guide Dogs of America exist to provide, train, and provide guide dogs free of charge to visually impaired people to improve their mobility and quality of life. You may be surprised to learn that it is Uncle Sam, not the doctor, who determines whether you are legally blind.