• Christopher Le

Can I receive Social Security Disability Benefits with Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye disease that can lead to blindness. Vision loss is a result of damage to the optic nerve, which carries images from the eye to the brain. The 2 types of glaucoma are: open-angular and angle-closure. Both of these are marked by an increase in intraocular pressure, which causes pressure in the eyes.


Glaucoma usually does not have any symptoms and is difficult to detect because vision loss usually begins with peripheral vision issues, before moving to central vision.

There is unfortunately no cure for glaucoma, but there are treatments that can help. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to extensive vision damage and even blindness.


Medically Qualifying for Social Security Disability Benefits Because Of Glaucoma

One of the main ways to get approved for social security disability with Glaucoma is by meeting a listing within the Social Security Administrations Blue Book. There are 3 different listings dealing with blindness that glaucoma can fall under. You will need to be able to prove, with medical evidence, that you meet one of the below requirements:

  • remaining visual acuity in the better eye must be 20/200 or less

  • You cannot see more than 20 degrees to the left or the right of a fixed point or you have an MD of 22 decibels or greater, determined by automated static threshold perimetry that measures the central 30 degrees of the visual field

  • the visual efficiency of your better eye is 20% or less

You will need to submit medical evidence and test results such as eye exams to show proof that you meet one of those requirements before your claim can be approved. If you cant meet one of those requirements above, you can still qualify for disability benefits with a Medical Vocational Allowance also known as GRID rules. Please see below.


Medical Vocational Allowance

In order to qualify for social security disability benefits through a Medical Vocational Allowance aka GRID rules, your vision doctor needs to complete a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form. Its best to consult with an experience lawyer to help obtain that form and to send that to your doctor to fill out. In this RFC form, your doctor will need to describe in detail all of your vision loss symptoms and how your vision loss limits your ability to work. This RFC will help boost your chances of being approved for disability benefits. SSA will look at your RFC, as well as your age, and work history to determine if you qualify for disability under the GRID rules. If they determine there’s no work that you can do then you should be approved for disability.

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