Social Security Disability Benefits For Partial Or Total Blindness
Whether you are partially or totally blind, vision loss can diminish your quality of life without proper support. There are millions of people around the globe who suffer from vision problems. Fortunately, the United States government has a program that provides financial assistance to individuals with disabilities. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a program that aids individuals who are disabled and unable to work. You can get disability benefits when you have partial or total vision loss.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a standard list of criteria to decide whether you qualify for certain disabilities or not. The process can be extremely complex. For example, if you have good vision in one eye, but poor or no vision in the other, it may be difficult to be approved for disability benefits from the SSA without the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney. Continue reading to learn more about the criteria for establishing entitlement to Blind Disability Benefits from the SSA.
Vision Impairment and Other Disabilities
Many people who have vision issues are also suffering from a list of other conditions. The Social Security Administration will combine your vision disability with other problems in its final evaluation. The SSA will award you disability benefits based on a comprehensive understanding of your physical impairments. There is a good chance of getting Social Security Disability Insurance if your physical and mental impairments hinder your ability to work. To be eligible, you must have paid Social Security taxes through a qualifying work history. Your years of qualifying work history determines the number of work credits you have. Social Security work credits are based on your total yearly wages or self-employment income. You can earn up to four credits each year. In 2021, you earn one credit for each $1,470 in wages or self-employment income. When you've earned $5,880, you have earned the maximum four credits for the year. If you do not have a qualifying disability and sufficient work credits, the chances of obtaining disability benefits decreases, but you may have other options that an attorney can inform you of.
Medical Evidence for Vision Loss Benefits
It is critical to a successful application to have relevant medical documentation in support of your claim for benefits due to total or partial vision loss.
● Your medical reports must show a confirmed diagnosis of the eye disease you are suffering from.
● A physical evaluation from an optometrist will be required to determine the extent of any disability.
To qualify for disability benefits, an applicant must meet the below criteria:
if vision can not be corrected to better than 20/200 in your better eye, or;
if your visual field is 20 degrees or less in your better eye for a period that lasted or is expected to last at least 12 months.
The duration requirement does not apply for SSI payments.
The Social Security Administration has other listings for different types of vision problems, as well. If you are not covered by this criteria, you may look at alternative ways to establish entitlement to disability benefits.
Disability Benefits Based on Residual Functional Capacity
You can be qualified for benefits through a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) analysis. The Social Security Administration will evaluate the amount of work you can still perform in spite of your medical conditions. The RFC evaluates physical limitations that your condition(s) impose upon you. The more severe the condition, the higher the chances of qualifying for disability benefits.
A person dealing with vision loss may experience various limitations. They may be unable to read, write, travel independently, and even complete daily routine activities. Accidents, excessive use of electronic devices, tension, and age-related degradation are common causes of lost or poor vision. It can become very difficult for people to live their lives if they are diagnosed with a vision problem.
These will all be factored while considering your limitations. Qualifying for a medical vocational allowance through a RFC analysis is more likely if your condition is severe.
Special Rules for Blind Disability Benefits
If you do not meet the criteria for SSDI but still experience a financial burden, you may consider applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. The SSA has special rules that make it easier for SSI applicants dealing with vision problems. The process for obtaining SSDI and SSI is long. In some cases, it can take years. However, the SSA has special rules for individuals applying for SSI benefits. When the case is severe on its face, or the chances of getting disability are clearly high, the SSA can grant a presumptive blindness determination. Individuals applying for SSI may qualify for presumptive benefits when they are totally blind.
There is one more special rule for SSA benefit applicants who are legally blind. An applicant can still receive disability benefits even if they can work or earn up to $2,190 per month. This is referred to as the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) rule. Substantial gainful activity is any income over a certain amount per month. As of 2021, the limit is $1,310 for non-blind disabled SSDI or SSI applicants, and $2,190 for blind SSDI applicants. There is no SGA limit applicable to blind SSI applicants. If you make over that amount, the SSA will not consider you disabled.
How to Apply for Disability Benefits Due to Visual Impairment
You should determine whether you meet qualifying criteria and complete a benefits application to commence the process. It can take several months to receive a decision on your application. In some instances, it may take longer than expected due to insufficient evidence or an incomplete or inaccurate application. You can consult a lawyer to ensure that the process is accurate and speedy. A knowledgeable disability attorney can help you get Disability Benefits In Florida with ease. The lawyers will communicate and coordinate with the SSA on your behalf. They will ensure that your application is complete and there are no mistakes.