January 18, 2014 | POSTED BY | Clinical Pearls
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Old criteria:

Statutory / legal blindness is defined as:

  1. Best corrected visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye OR
  2. Widest diameter of visual field subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees, in the better eye,  measured with Goldmann III4e or equivalent size stimulus.

New criteria:

As of February 20, 2007, published by The Social Security Administration, to reflect visual acuity measured with one of the newer charts, such as the ETDRS chart:

  1. Legal blindness= cannot read any of the letters on the 20/100 line, as measured with one of the newer charts such as the ETDRS chart
    1. Example 1: if a patient’s best-corrected VA for distance in the better seeing eye was 20/160 using an ETDRS chart, he/she would be classified as legally blind.
    2. Example 2: if a patient’s best-corrected VA for distance in the better seeing eye was 20/125+1 using an ETDRS chart, he/she is not classified as legally blind because one letter on the 20/100 line was read.
  2. Visual field criteria remains the same.

Reference:

Social Security Administration

http://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/2.00-SpecialSensesandSpeech-Adult.htm

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