Medical Eligibility For Ssi For Children Who Are Blind Or Visually Impaired
As part of the SSI application process, the SSA will evaluate the severity of your childs condition using the requirements found in their official manual of disabilitiescommonly referred to as the Blue Book. Childhood vision impairments are evaluated under Blue Book section 102.00Special Senses and Speech. This listing contains several subsections under which your child may qualify. These include:
To qualify for disability benefits, your child will have to meet one of these three listings. Because the Blue Book uses complex medical terminology, it may be in your best interest to schedule an appointment with your childs doctor to go over each of the medical requirements. A doctor or medical professional will be able to explain these criteria to you, run any necessary tests, and can give you some insight into your childs eligibility. Be sure to collect all relevant records and test results at this appointmentyou will need this information when it is time to submit your childs claim.
Special Rules For People Who Are Blind Or Have Low Vision
We consider you to be legally blind under Social Security rules if your vision cannot be corrected to better than 20/200 in your better eye or if your visual field is 20 degrees or less, even with a corrective lens. Many people who meet the legal definition of blindness still have some sight and may be able to read large print and get around without a cane or a guide dog.
If you do not meet the legal definition of blindness, you may still qualify for disability benefits if your vision problems alone or combined with other health problems prevent you from working.
There are a number of special rules for people who are blind that recognize the severe impact of blindness on a person’s ability to work. For example, the monthly earnings limit for people who are blind is generally higher than the limit that applies to non-blind disabled workers.
In 2021, the monthly earnings limit is $2,190.
The Financial Costs Of Vision Loss
Vision problems or blindness are some of the most expensive chronic conditions, with Americans paying on average about $7,000 each year in treatment and management costs, Prevent Blindness reported. However, the expenses can easily rise to $10,000 or more depending on the actual debilitating condition.
The directs expenses include medical vision aids, other medical devices, education or school screening, costs of diagnosed disorders, and undiagnosed vision loss. According to Prevent Blindness, senior citizens consistently suffer the heaviest cost burden. Indirect costs include productivity loss at work and expenses for nursing homes and other assisted care. They account for about half of all costs.
In total, the United States spends almost $140 billion dollars countrywide on vision complications, which is more than double of the cost ten years ago. Just over $70 million of these costs are out paid out of pocket, with government assistance and insurance covering the remaining half.
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Do I Qualify For Disability Insurance Benefits If I Have Eye And Visual Problems
Disability insurance companies dont always make it easy for policyholders who have eye and visual problems to get the disability benefits they deserve. Not every eye or visual problem will qualify for disability benefits.
How Do Disability Carriers View Eye and Visual Disability Claims?
You will have to show profound visual changes and overcome the carriers argument that you have been working with these problems for years and nothing has changed.
Carriers also frequently contend that accommodations can be made to allow you to continue to work.
Many disability claims for eye and visual problems are denied because the disability insurance company says:
There is no objective basis of the eye or visual diagnosis,
There is no objective basis for the restrictions and limitations assigned by your physician, or
There is no causal relationship between your eye and visual problems and/or your restrictions and limitations, and your inability to do your own or any occupation.
Nancy Cavey has successfully represented many policyholders with eye and visual problems. She overcomes a claims denial by working closely with you and your physician. She often employs a vocational expert to address the disability carriers argument that you have been able to work or that you could work with accommodation.
What Are The Most Common Disabling Eye and Visual Problems?
Causes Of Vision Or Eyesight Loss For Social Security Disability
If you have lost some or all of your vision, it does not matter what the cause of the vision loss was, for purposes of collecting Social Security Disability. What does matter is the degree of vision loss and how well your medical records document this.
Workplace eye or head injury, automobile accidents, exposure to chemicals, cataracts, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, hypertensive retinopathy, cancer-related retinopathy, retinal detachment, hereditary conditions, and other central retinal diseases can all be responsible for a loss in vision.
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Social Security Describes How It Evaluates Visual Impairment Very Specifically Under Section 200 Of Its Blue Book
A. How do we evaluate visual disorders?
1. What are visual disorders?
Visual disorders are abnormalities of the eye, the optic nerve, the optic tracts, or the brain that may cause a loss of visual acuity or visual fields. A loss of visual acuity limits your ability to distinguish detail, read, or do fine work. A loss of visual fields limits your ability to perceive visual stimuli in the peripheral extent of vision.
4. What evidence do we need to evaluate visual disorders, including those that result in statutory blindness under title II?
To evaluate your visual disorder, we usually need a report of an eye examination that includes measurements of your best-corrected central visual acuity or the extent of your visual fields , as appropriate. If you have visual acuity or visual field loss, we need documentation of the cause of the loss. A standard eye examination will usually indicate the cause of any visual acuity loss. A standard eye examination can also indicate the cause of some types of visual field deficits. Some disorders, such as cortical visual disorders, may result in abnormalities that do not appear on a standard eye examination. If the standard eye examination does not indicate the cause of your vision loss, we will request the information used to establish the presence of your visual disorder. If your visual disorder does not satisfy the criteria in 2.02, 2.03, or 2.04, we will request a description of how your visual disorder affects your ability to function.
Criteria For Vision Loss
These criteria include:
- The loss in your central field of vision You cannot see better than 20/200 in your better eye to qualify.
- A shrinking field of vision If you can prove that your visual field is narrow, then you may qualify. To prove this, you will need to take several vision tests that will measure your field of vision. The doctor will need to record what you can see when youre focusing on a specific point. The diameter of what you can see around that point should be around 30 degrees or less.
- Visual impairments If you have issues that cause unfocused or blurry vision, or a lack of vision, you may qualify. You must have 20/200 vision or worse in your better eye to meet the definition of having a visual impairment.
The loss of vision can greatly affect your ability to work and to perform day-to-day tasks. Fortunately, you could qualify for Social Security benefits for vision loss. Find out how you can apply for Social Security disability benefits for your vision loss by contacting us at . Also, you can reach us via our contact form and awesome LiveChat feature. Consultations are free, and we are available at your convenience 24/7.
The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute a representative-client relationship.
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Direct Service Connection For An Eye Condition
To qualify for VA disability benefits for eye conditions, veterans must establish service connection. To prove direct service connection, veterans must demonstrate the following:
- A current diagnosis of an eye condition
- An in-service event, injury, or illness related to the eye condition and
- A medical nexus opinion linking the current eye condition to the in-service event, injury, or illness
Once direct service connection is established, VA will assign a disability rating . However, direct service connection is not the only form of service connection that can be established for eye conditions.
Applying For Social Security Disability Benefits
You can apply for Social Security Disability benefits online at the SSA website or in person at your local Social Security office. When applying in person, make sure you bring copies of all your medical records related to your disability.
These records should include a history of your diagnoses, a history of your hospitalizations, the findings of physical and mental exams and a personal statement from your treating physicians about the limitations caused by your condition.
You will also need to bring your employment history and financial records.
When applying online, you may be able to submit your medical documentation electronically.
You will receive a decision regarding your disability claim within three to six months of the date of your application. If you are approved for benefits, your notice of award will provide information about receiving your first disability payment.
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What Eye Conditions Qualify For Va Disability Benefits
The VA Schedule of Rating Disabilities lists the various conditions that qualify for benefits. The list includes several forms of visual eyesight impairment. If you have a diagnosis for any condition on the list and we can connect it to your military service, we can build a strong case that you deserve VA disability benefits. However, this list is not exhaustive and we will assess any situation on a case-by-case basis.
Here are a few of the visual impairments for which the VA offers disability benefits:
- Loss of eyesight
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If you were denied long term disability benefits, Social Security Disability or Veterans Disability Compensation, we are prepared to help you now.
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Medical Evidence Required When Applying For Disability Based On Vision Loss
First, Social Security requires a physical examination by an ophthalmologist or optometrist to measure your central visual acuity . If you won’t qualify for disability under poor visual acuity alone, you’ll also need to get your visual field efficiency tested. All testing is done without your glassesyour doctor will use lenses that are part of the testing equipment. You will be asked to read letters from a chart at a certain distance away . If the SSA suspects your vision is better than you say , the SSA may require you to undergo visual evoked response testing .
If you’ve been diagnosed with an eye disease, your medical record should reflect it. Cataracts, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, hypertensive retinopathy, cancer-related or melonoma-related retinopathy, retinal detachment, or other types of central retinal disease can be responsible for a loss in visual acuity.
How Much Work Do You Need
In addition to meeting our definition of disability, you must have worked long enough and recently enough under Social Security to qualify for disability benefits.
Social Security work credits are based on your total yearly wages or self-employment income. You can earn up to four credits each year.
The amount needed for a work credit changes from year to year. In 2021, for example, you earn one credit for each $1,470 in wages or self-employment income. When you’ve earned $5,880, you’ve earned your four credits for the year.
The number of work credits you need to qualify for disability benefits depends on your age when you become disabled. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.
For more information on whether you qualify, refer to How You Earn Credits.
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Getting Veterans Disability For Visual Eyesight Impairment
If you served in the military and later suffered visual eyesight impairment, you might be eligible for disability benefits. The attorneys at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD have years of experience handling disability cases and have helped many veterans receive compensation for service-related injuries. We can put our knowledge and resources to work getting you veterans disability for visual eyesight impairment.
Going up against the Department of Veterans Affairs can be a trying process, and the decisions the VA make can often seem arbitrary. Let us take the burden off your shoulders. We can handle your claim from beginning to end and pursue it aggressively. Call our office today for a free consultation: .
Get Help With Vision Disorder Disability Benefits
Not sure if you qualify? Request a free copy of John Keefe’s free book, Unlocking the Mystery – The Essential Guide for Navigating the Social Security Disability Claims Process. If you need help with the Social Security application process, our New England SSDI lawyers can help. To schedule a free consultation with our disability benefit attorneys in Boston, call Keefe Disability Law at 888-904-6847.
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What To Do When You Need Help Dealing With Your Disability Insurance Claim
Contact the disability insurance attorneys at Dell & Schaefer today. We work with people every day who are not receiving satisfactory results from their disability insurance companies. We will review your disability policy and let your know immediately if we can assist you. Please review the resolved cases and testimonials section of our site to learn more about how we can help you.
Disability For Blindness And Vision Loss: Brief Background
The terms blindness, legally blind and vision impaired refer to a broad range of conditions ranging from relatively mild limitations to a persons ability to see objects to total blindness. The Social Security Administration defines blindness as central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the use of a correcting lens.
Note the phrase the better eye. In seeking disability for blindness or vision loss, it is not enough to be blind or more than blind in one eye. If you have one eye that works fairly well, you cannot be paid disability benefitsfor blindness alone on that basis, no matter how bad the other eye is.
However, when blindness or visual impairment in a single eye or both eyes is only one of a persons impairments, it can form part of the basis for a successful claim for disability for blindness or vision problems.
You may qualify for Social Security Disability Income or Supplemental Security Income benefits for blindness or vision problems even if your condition does not meet the definition of statutory blindness.
In this blog post, well examine how the Social Security Administrations rules for blindness work.
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Social Security Disability For Vision Loss Or Blindness
Individuals with poor or impaired vision or who are partially, legally, or totally blind may be able to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits for their vision problems. In this article, our experienced Long Beach Workers Compensation attorneys explain who may qualify and how to collect SSDI for eyesight and vision issues.
Getting A Doctors Disability Letter
A disability letter from your doctor in support of your disability claim may help increase your chances of having your disability claim approved.
The disability letter should detail your medical history and how your daily life is affected by your condition. In the disability letter, your doctor should detail your medical history and why your doctor thinks you would qualify for disability benefits.
It should discuss your diagnosis, medical tests that confirmed your diagnosis, exam notes that detail how you are affected by the condition, and what you can and cannot do.
While your doctor basically rehashes your medical records, he or she is writing it in a way that is easier to understand and basically summarizes it.
It puts the details in an easier to understand form and, also, makes it more relatable to your condition and your everyday life. Your doctors disability letter will detail your medical issues and how you are affected by the condition or conditions.
It will also give a long-term outlook for your condition as well as the timeframe of the regression or progression of your condition.
It should also indicate the symptoms that you suffer as well as how your daily life is affected by your symptoms. It should also talk about your ability to work and how you are limited.
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The Social Security Administration’s Definition Of Legal Blindness
The SSA defines legal blindness as best corrected visual acuity
of 20/200 or worse in the better eye or a visual field limitation such that the widest diameter of the visual field, in the better eye, is 20 degrees or less.
When you apply for Social Security Disability benefits, the SSA will compare your condition with a listing of conditions known as the Social Security Blue Book. Legal blindness and visual impairments are covered under Section 2.00 of the Blue Book under”Special Senses and Speech.”
Section 2.02 covers loss of visual acuity.
Section 2.03 covers contraction of the visual field.
Section 2.04 covers loss of visual efficiency.
The Blue Book listings appear on the Social Security Administration website, and they include information on which tests are used to measure visual acuity, visual field and visual efficiency.