Going Blind At Work And How Workers' Compensation Can Help

Blindness is a serious condition and one that can be hard for people to recover from when it happens to them. This is especially true if it is caused by an accident at their workplace and they can no longer continue to work. Thankfully, workers' compensation will help cover many of their problems including healthcare costs and financial concerns.

How Work Can Cause You To Go Blind

Before discussing workers' compensation and its availability, it is important to discuss ways that a person can go blind at work. Anyone reading this is likely not blind yet or can see well enough to read but is losing vision. That said, they may work at a job which could cause blindness. People who are at risk of going blind at work include those who are exposed to various elements at work, such as:

  • Very bright lights
  • Chemicals
  • Electrical shocks
  • Sharp objects

For example, welders are often exposed to brights lights and chemicals when welding and could go blind due to exposure. Even scientists and doctors are at a risk here, due to the chemicals and sharp instruments they use for their work. Thankfully, workers' compensation can help here.

Workers' Compensation Can Help

In most states, workers' compensation laws will kick in when a person suffers from eye injury or blindness at work or due to their employer's carelessness. It will typically cover a wide range of a person's problems associated with blindness, including the following:

  • Medical and therapy bills
  • Medications
  • Two-thirds of all lost wages
  • Rehabilitation appointments

Workers' compensation will not cover pain and suffering or emotional distress, but a person can actually file a lawsuit against their employer in some instances. This is typically available if their employer was negligent, i.e. they didn't follow strict safety protocols for chemicals and the employee suffered after they burst or exploded in their face.

Can Social Security Help?

If, for whatever reason, workers' compensation cannot help or only helps in a limited manner, Social Security benefits are typically available to those who are legally blind or completely blind. There are two different programs that can be used: Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. To qualify, a person must be classed as legally blind by possessing:

  • Vision worse than 20/200 in their best eye
  • Limitation of 20 degrees or less in their best eye
  • Income that does not exceed certain limits (set up every year)

Thankfully, Social Security is rarely necessary for those who have suffered from a severe enough injury at work. Most states have very serious workers' compensation laws that help protect those who suffer from blindness after a work-related injury that could have been prevented.

That's why it is so important to talk to a workers' compensation attorney when suffering from a loss of vision at work. Failure to do so could force a person to either apply for Social Security or to suffer form financial difficulties that can be difficult to escape.