Blindness and visual impairment can be caused by a number of different conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, eye injury, cataracts or glaucoma. Of course visual problems can also be congenital. Lack of visual acuity can be the primary symptom of a visual problem, but defects in peripheral vision or loss of visual fields are also visual impairments. When visual acuity is the issue, the Social Security Administration defines blindness as 20/200 or less visual acuity with best correction in the better eye. Even if you do not have glasses they will use a correcting lens to determine your visual acuity. Not having glasses is not going to help you get disability benefits. Click to see the full listing for vision impairments.
You do not need to be completely blind for visual problems to contribute to your disability claim. Any kind of visual problem, considered with best correction, is going to affect your ability to work in some way. For instance, if you have defect in your peripheral vision then you probably should not work around machinery or in hazardous conditions. If you have a defect in your central field of vision you would not be able to work on a computer or assembling items right in front of you. These limitations can be considered in combination with your other medical problems.
The Social Security Administration has different rules for blind people in terms of how much they can earn and still receive disability benefits. Blind people can earn more than others and still be considered disabled. The amount a blind person can earn and still be considered disabled changes every year.