What Counts as a Visual Disability?

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Why Should I Hire a Disability Insurance Lawyer?
June 1, 2020
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The Social Security Administration determines who can qualify for disability benefits when a person can no longer work because of a medical or mental condition. Those with vision disabilities like blindness may be wondering where they fit according to the SSA. Not every form of poor vision qualifies for disability benefits. There are certain guidelines you have to meet first. Knowing what paperwork and other information you will need to submit can help you prepare for the application process. Anytime you have any questions about this, feel free to reach out to a Philadelphia disability lawyer for guidance.

How Does the SSA Define Visual Disabilities?

Visual disabilities fall under a broader category in the SSA Blue Book called Special Senses and Speech. This category includes impairments with vision, hearing, and speech. The two main types of visual disabilities are visual disorders and statutory blindness.

Visual disorders happen when the optic nerve or other biological parts of the eye are damaged to the extent that a person’s vision is significantly affected. Damage or abnormalities to the physical aspects of the eye can cause lost visual acuity, visual fields, or both. A loss of acuity prevents you from differentiating between objects and details in your environment. Lost visual fields can hinder your ability to perceive anything in your peripheral vision.

Statutory blindness means your visual acuity in your better eye is 20/200 or less when wearing glasses or contacts. If your vision does not meet these requirements, then you might be denied disability benefits.

When is a Visual Disorder Covered by Benefits?

Qualifying for disability benefits for a visual disability can be difficult depending on the complexity of your condition and the ways this impairs your work performance. Disability benefits for vision loss can help cover your basic living expenses when you either cannot work the same number of hours or What Counts as a Visual Disability?cannot work at all.

One of the fastest ways to qualify for benefits is to provide medical records that show you have a vision of 20/200 or less. Doing this will require seeing an eye doctor to test you and record the results in your medical record. However, when you are not deemed statutory blind, you have other options.

The SSA may accept your application if other tests reveal your vision is poor in other ways. Talking with your eye doctor about this can help you figure out what medical tests will support your disability claim. The tricky thing with qualifying for benefits is you may not be accepted if your one good eye is good enough to let you keep working. This means people with one eye can still be denied benefits if that eye still has a certain level of functionality.

Individual Disability Insurance Lawyer in Philadelphia

Proving a disability claim for visual problems can be difficult when various factors are involved. Consider seeking advice from a Philadelphia individual disability insurance lawyer if your application was delayed or denied. Contact Edelstein & Nelson at 1-800-300-0909 for a consultation today. A disability insurance lawyer can help you figure out how to qualify and will collect the evidence needed for your application.

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