Though similar to the types of minimal, temporary disturbances many people experience every day, the residual or after images that people with palinopsia experience are so frequent and severe that they can be very disruptive to daily life, even preventing the ability of suffers to work, drive, and socially interact.
Palinopsia can also cause a number of other symptoms that significantly impact your ability to function, including tinnitus, an inability to visual track objects, double vision, and other visual disturbances. It is also commonly associated with a number of other medical conditions, including brain tumors, seizures, brain injuries, and drug addiction, all of which can potentially qualify you for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, even if your vision loss is not severe enough on its own to make you eligible.
Medically Qualifying with Palinopsia
There is no unique listing for palinopsia in the SSA’s Blue Book, with is the manual of impairments used in reviewing disability claims. This makes the review and approval process a little more challenging, but it is still possible for you to qualify for benefits, particularly if your palinopsia is caused by and occurs in conjunction with another qualified condition for which there is a listing. These may include:
- Convulsive and non-convulsive epilepsy
- Traumatic brain injury (which is reviewed under the listing for strokes)
- Benign brain lesions
- Cancerous brain or central nervous system tumors
- Substance addition disorders
Each of these conditions contains its own medical evidence requirements within the Blue Book. You will want to review the listing for any condition you have to know for certain what the SSA requires for proving disability for each.
It is important to know that even if you do not exactly meet a listing, the SSA may find you match one closely enough in terms of severity level that you are eligible for benefits.
It is also possible to qualify without meeting or matching any listing. If the SSA reviews your “residual functional capacity” (RFC), including your activities of daily living, and finds you are so limited that you cannot work in any job that you are otherwise qualified to hold, then you will be found eligible for benefits.
Getting Help with Your Claim
If you meet the medical eligibility criteria for disability benefits, then there are two programs through which you may be able to receive assistance:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
SSDI is only available if you have the necessary work credits from your previous employment, but SSI has no work credit requirements though it does have strict financial eligibility rules, as it is a need based program. You can apply for SSDI online, but SSI applications must be made in person. Call 1-800-772-1213 to schedule an appointment with your local office.
You can submit your applications together or fill them out separately. However, before applying for either program, you may wish to see input from a Social Security advocate or attorney. He or she can review your claim and medical records and provide guidance on strengthening your argument. If you application is initially denied, their assistance can be invaluable during the appeals process.