No one can see what you see. As advanced as modern medicine has become, there are still limitations to how much a machine, test, or doctor can understand how you view the world. When it comes to convincing the Social Security Administration (SSA) that your vision impairment is so severe that it makes it difficult for you to work, it is difficult to know what you can show to help the person reviewing your application see the world through your eyes.

In spite of this, the SSA has a few items that they use to help try to understand how severe your visual impairment is and how it impacts your life.

What to Include in Your Application for SSDI in Boston

Here are a few items that you must submit on your application to increase your chances of being approved:

  • An exam by an ophthalmologist or optometrist. This exam will measure your visual acuity. Based on your exam, your doctor will rate how well they think you can see. This rating plays a significant role in determining whether you qualify to receive SSDI.
  • A peripheral vision exam. This test is done without help of eyeglasses or contact lenses. In it, you will be asked to read letters from a chart. The results of this show the SSA the extent of your vision loss.
  • A visual evoked response test. If the SSA believes your loss is not as severe as you say it is, you might have to undergo extra testing. During a visual evoked response test, your brainwave responses will be matched to visual stimuli. This test is not common, but if you have undergone the test, submitting the results might help improve your chances at being approved.
  • Any diagnoses. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as cataracts, macular degeneration, or other types of diseases, you should include that in your application. This will help the SSA agent reviewing your application get a good feel for your medical history and what you have been through in terms of visual impairments in the past.


The goal of your application is to help the person deciding whether you are approved or denied see the world through your eyes. By submitting all of your tests and medical diagnoses, you will paint a clearer picture of your health. Doing so makes it easier for the reviewer to understand the extent to which your vision loss impacts your ability to work.

For more information about applying for and receiving SSDI in Boston for vision loss, we encourage you to read the related articles on this page.

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John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney, Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyer