If you have suffered vision loss and it keeps you from working, you might be eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits. Sometimes vision loss results because of a medical condition, but at other times it is caused by an accident.
The disability claims process is challenging, and every year, thousands of people have their claims for monthly disability benefits denied. If your vision loss has made earning a gainful income impossible for you and you want to apply for monthly disability benefits, a Social Security attorney or advocate can significantly improve your odds of a successful claim.
How Does Vision Loss Qualify For Disability Benefits?
The Blue Book is the medical guide used by the SSA to determine whether an individual meets the criteria to be declared fully and permanently disabled. The Blue Book has listings for Vision Loss. To be approved for benefits using the medical criteria, you must meet the criteria for one of the following listings:
- Listing 2.02 – Loss of central visual acuity – this listing covers vision loss in central field of vision and you must not see any better than 20/200 in your best eye.
- Listing 2.03 – Contraction of the visual field in the better eye – if you have a shrinking field of vision you can qualify with this listing. Your physician will use specific tests to measure your vision and will record what you are able to see when you focus on a fixed point. Your visual field and the distance from all directions from the fixed focal point must be reported. The diameter cannot exceed 20 to 30 degrees, so your field must be narrow.
- Listing 2.04 – Loss of visual efficiency or visual impairment – involving blurry or unfocused vision or an absence of vision. In order to qualify, you must have vision in the best eye that is not better than 20/200 when corrective lenses are worn.
How Can An Attorney Help Me While Applying?
Sometimes it could be challenging to determine if your condition meets the Blue Book criteria. Your attorney or advocate will gather up your medical records and documentation then go over your limitations and restrictions with you to help you determine if you meet the medical criteria of a disability listing for vision loss.
If your vision loss keeps you from performing fine tasks, reading and writing, or operating machinery, you might be eligible for disability benefits. Your attorney or advocate will help you gather the necessary paperwork to ensure the SSA can fairly evaluate your claim.
How Can My Attorney Help Me If My Claim Is Denied?
If you file a claim for disability benefits because of vision loss and your claim is denied, your Social Security advocate or disability attorney will help you prove that you cannot earn a substantial gainful income by using a medical-vocational allowance. This kind of disability review involves looking at your past work history and skills, your age, your educational background, and your medical conditions to determine if you are unable to work.
If your claim is denied, you file an appeal and it will go before an administrative law judge for a ruling. At the hearing, you will be questioned by a vocational expert about your work history and skills and how your condition affects your ability to work. An attorney can help you prepare for these questions. Some questions might involve how your vision loss has affected your ability to handle fine tasks or if you have difficulty reading directions. “How has your vision change affected your work performance?” “Do you have difficulty seeing the instructions on machines?”
Connect With An Attorney Today
If vision loss has impacted your ability to work and you want to pursue a claim for disability benefits, complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page to have your details shared with a local Social Security attorney or advocate who can help you with the claims process.