Let's unpack this tangled term

[disclaimer] ready for a mouthful?

Legal Blindness: The federal definition of blindness for legal eligibility for benefits is "a central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the use of correcting lens, or any eye which has a limitation in the field of vision so that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees is considered to have a central visual acuity of 20/200 or less."


Identifying Services and Benefits 

What type of services and benefits are you looking to obtain? Vision rehabilitation therapy? Disability benefits? Vocational Training or access to Assistive Technology? It's critical to define this. Check out this list from AFB outlining important statistical jargon. 


Speaking with your Eye Doctor

If you have low vision and remaining vision, it may not occur to you that you could be elligible for state and federal benefits. Speak with you eye doctor to learn if your diagnosis is considered "legally blind." If this is the case, get written documentation. 


Documentation of Legal Blindness

Once you've been determined as "legally blind" and have obtained documentation from your eye doctor, you should keep numerous copies of this letter. It can be used to apply for paratransit services, your state commission for the blind services, along with reduced public transportation travel cards.