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Could an eye injury qualify you for Social Security disability benefits?

Social Security Disability is only available to those who can meet the Social Security Administration’s strict definition of disability. This means that you will continue to suffer from the effects of the injury for at least 12 months and it prevents you from earning a substantial living.

The SSA also has specific requirements your eye injury must meet to be a disability. The main criterion is vision loss.

Basic vision

The basic criterion for an approval of your eye injury is to have vision loss in your better eye that is correctable to no more than 20/200. A loss in the visual field of 20 degrees also will qualify you.

Another option

If your vision loss is not enough to qualify you for benefits, you may still be able to get an approval. You will simply need to show that you are unable to make a living due to the eye injury. If you cannot work in any capacity, then you may still qualify.


Complete loss of vision or vision impairment that is uncorrectable will qualify as blindness under SSA guidelines. You will be eligible for benefits if this is your status. Benefits for blind individuals are slightly different than those for others. The criteria are slightly different and a little easier due to the impacts of vision loss. For example, the SSA lightens the work credit requirements for blind individuals, and you can earn more money from employment before you become disqualified to continue to receive benefits.

Eye injuries can allow you to get SSD benefits, but you still have to go through the application and review process, which requires meeting all the guidelines set by the SSA.