There are numerous different types of vision disorders, the majority of which affect an individual’s ability to see clearly. Some vision disorders may also have an impact on a person’s cognitive abilities, as some nerves connect the eye to the brain. As with any other disability, a vision disorder may affect a person’s ability to work and perform day to day activities. As is the case with those who are suffering from a physical or mental impairment, people with vision issues may be eligible for federal benefits, such as Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Depending on the situation, these benefits may be approved and provide the impaired individual with monetary compensation. However, being approved for both SSD and SSI isn’t always a walk in the park. In fact, many people are rejected for these benefits for simple, avoidable reasons.
Understanding Disability Benefits
Disability benefits are intended to offer assistance to disabled or impaired persons so that they can pay for medical treatment and otherwise live comfortably. In many cases, those with mental or physical impairments are unable to work and earn a wage, which is where the government comes in. While these benefits are intended to help those in need, they are often harder to be approved for which many don’t realize. There are several conditions that must be met for a person with a vision disorder, in particular, to receive disability benefits:
- The individual is unable to work because of their vision disorder
- There is medical evidence to support the qualified vision disorder
- The vision disorder and its disabling effects are likely to continue for at least 12 months
These are just a few of the most important talking points that the Social Security Administration (SSA) looks at when determining benefits for a vision disorder.
What Vision Disorders Are Eligible?
As briefly mentioned, a vision disorder typically results in the loss of vision or affects a person’s ability to see clearly. When a person’s vision is compromised, it makes it much more difficult to discern details and perform common, everyday tasks associated with a job, for example. With this in mind, there are several types of vision disorders recognized by the SSA:
- Loss of vision acuity – A person is considered legally blind when their vision acuity is 20/200 in their best eye. This means that the person must stand 10 times closer to something in order to pick out its details.
- Loss of visual field – The visual field is defined as the area in which the eye can see. When someone is experiencing a loss of visual field, it could mean that their peripheral vision is compromised, or that they cannot see accurately through the center of their eye.
- Loss of visual efficiency – Visual efficiency is defined as a series of skills that are needed in order for the eye to work as it should. If someone is unable to distinguish colors, cannot focus, struggles with depth perception, or has a hard time following moving objects, they may have a loss of visual efficiency.
Proving a visual disorder can be somewhat challenging, which is why it is important that you understand the various laws and requirements per the SSA. To learn more about disability benefits in Oklahoma, please contact Atkins & Markoff today.