Vision

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For some people, it may be that vision poses a significant challenge. For instance, the ability to maintain better than 20/200 visual acuity in both eyes even with the use of corrective lenses or medication.

In the first example, we have a person who is having an annual eye examination.

Doctor: "Hello. I see you're here for your annual eye examination."

Patient: "Yes."

Doctor (while pointing at a Snellen chart) instructs the patient: "Please cover your left eye with your hand and, using your right eye, please read out loud the characters on line eight."

Patient: "D, E, F, P, O, T, E, C."

Doctor: "Excellent. Now cover your right eye with your hand and using your left eye, please read out loud the characters on line eight."

Patient: "D, E, F, P, O, T, E, C."

Doctor writes results in file and says to the patient: "That's great. You have normal vision; your visual acuity is 20/20."

In the first example, the individual is able to see without any difficulties and without the need for corrective lenses. They would therefore not qualify for the disability tax credit.

In this second example, a person who wears corrective lenses is having an annual eye examination.

Doctor: "Hello. I see its been about a year since your last exam. Have you noticed any change in your vision since you started wearing your glasses?"

Patient: "Maybe a little, especially when I'm tired. I can certainly see better since I've had them."

Doctor: "Okay, please remove your glasses." The doctor then checks the file and positions the phoropter and adjusts the lens. "Now I'm going to block your vision in your right eye. Now, would you please read out loud the characters on the smallest line you can see clearly?"

Patient: "E, D, F, Z, P."

Doctor: "Okay, I will now block your vision in your left eye." The doctor then adjusts the lens on the phoropter, and says to the patient: "Now, using your right eye please read out loud the characters on the smallest line that you can clearly see with that eye."

Patient: "P, E, C, F, D."

Doctor: "There has been some further degeneration in the vision in your right eye. So let's try some different lenses to see what adjustments we will have to make to your prescription."

In the second example, while there has been some decrease in visual acuity, the individual is still able to see adequately with the use of corrective lenses, and therefore would not qualify for the disability tax credit.

In this third example, a person has a macular degenerative eye condition and is having an annual eye examination.

Doctor: "Hello. I see you are here for your annual eye examination. Today we'll see if there is any further progression of your macular degenerative eye condition. Since I saw you about 13 months ago, have you noticed a change in your vision?"

Patient: "Even with the extra-large computer screen and the ability to increase the font size, I'm having a lot of difficulty reading, and I've noticed that I can't see the bus numbers anymore even when I'm standing right beside them."

Doctor: "Okay, please cover your left eye with your hand and, using your right eye, read out loud the characters on the third line, from left to right."

Patient: "I can't clearly make out any of the characters. I really don't know what they are."

Doctor: "Can you read the characters on line two, also from left to right?"

Patient: "It looks like an R and a D."

Doctor: "What do you see on line one?"

Patient: "It looks like an E."

Doctor: "Using the other eye, try reading the characters on line two from left to right."

Patient: "I think it's an R for the first one, but as for the other one, I would only be guessing. I have no clue what it is."

Doctor: "Can you tell me what letter this is on the first line?"

Patient: "It looks like a B to me."

Doctor: "Your vision has decreased to the point where your visual acuity is now equal to or less than 20/200 in both eyes. Since we established at your last visit that corrective lenses won't be of use to you because of the nature of the disease affecting your vision, I must unfortunately tell you that you are now considered legally blind."

In the third example, the individual is not able to see even with the use of corrective lenses or medication, and since visual acuity in both eyes is now equal to or less than 20/200, the patient would qualify for the disability tax credit.

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