As an eye disease that worsens over time, macular degeneration represents the leading reason for vision loss for people over the age of 60.
The disease develops when the small central part of either retina begins to wear down. For some workers, macular degeneration can have a significant negative impact on their careers.
If you suffer from any stage of the eye disease, you might be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits. However, the Social Security Administrations (SSA) denies a majority of claims, which means you should prepare to take action when you are denied with macular degeneration.
Know How to File an Appeal When Denied Social Security with Macular Degeneration
If you receive a denial letter from the SSA for macular degeneration, you have the right to file an appeal for reconsideration. The first step of the appeals process unfolds just like your initial claim. A different team of medical examiners from the SSA reviews your appeal for reconsideration. If you simply submit the same information the second time around, you can expect the SSA to deny your appeal.
The SSA refers to a medical guide called the Blue Book to issue decisions on Social Security disability claims. Although macular degeneration does not list in the Blue Book, you might qualify for assistance by meeting the conditions established under Section 2.20 for loss of visual acuity or Section 2.04 for loss of visual efficiency.
You have to meet at least one of the following conditions:
- Your visual acuity is 20/200 or worse for your better eye when you wear the best corrective lens on the market
- Your visual efficiency in your better eye wearing a corrective lens is no more than 20 percent
Submit More Persuasive Evidence for Denied Disability Benefits
For the second go-around with the SSA, you must submit more convincing medical evidence than you did the first time. The SSA is especially interested in reviewing the results of diagnostic tests that demonstrate the development of macular degeneration, as well as the severity of the symptoms.
The following diagnostic tests can strengthen your claim:
- Examination of the back of the affected eye
- Defect tests for the center of your vision
- Fluorescein angiography
Undergo an RFC Assessment for a Macular Degeneration Denied Disability Claim
Filing an appeal for a macular degeneration claim might include you completing a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment.
The SSA uses the results of an RFC assessment to determine whether you can continue working at your current job.
For a worker who suffers from macular degeneration, a physician from the SSA will conduct a series of tests that measure the strength and efficiency of the eye that is afflicted with vision loss.
Meet the Deadline for Filing an Appeal
Filing a Social Security disability claim requires you to act with a sense of urgency. You have only 60 days from the day you received the denial letter for your initial claim to file an appeal for reconsideration.
Since the clock is running on your claim, you should consider hiring a Social Security disability attorney. Your lawyer can keep you on the right track for filing a claim, as well as help you gather and collect the type of medical evidence that gets your appeal approved.
Schedule a free case evaluation with a Social Security attorney today to learn how to improve the chances of you winning an appeal for denied disability benefits.