The doctor has given you the news. Your loss of vision is due to glaucoma. While you are doing everything you can to treat the condition and keep it from getting worse, there is nothing you can do to bring back the vision you have already lost. There is nothing you can do that would let you go back to work. You simply don’t have the eyesight left to work safely. Right now you are suffering from multiple losses. You are mourning the life you used to live and you are concerned about how you are going to pay your bills if you are unable to work.
Understand Your Rights
People who suffer from glaucoma may be able to recover Social Security disability benefits. However, before you can start receiving monthly checks you will have to prove that you are eligible for such benefits. Generally, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits if:
- You have worked the required amount of time to receive benefits.
- Your vision loss is expected to last for one year or more.
- Your vision loss prevents you from working.
More specifically, you may qualify for Social Security disability because your vision loss meets one of the categories in the Social Security Administration’s Listing of Impairments. For example:
- You may qualify pursuant to listing 2.02 if the visual acuity in your stronger eye is less than 20/200.
- You may qualify pursuant to listing 2.03 if contraction of the visual field in your stronger eye allows you to see a diameter of less than 20 degrees around a fixed point.
- You may qualify pursuant to listing 2.04 if your visual efficiency in your stronger eye is less than 20% once corrective measures, such as glasses, are used.
You will need to present medical evidence and other documentation exactly as requested by the Social Security Administration in order for your application to be approved.
If You Think You Might Be Eligible, You May Have Questions That Need Answers
Specifically, you may be wondering:
- What kind of benefits can I recover? You may receive a monthly Social Security disability check. The amount of money in the check depends on your age and how much you’ve worked and contributed to the Social Security system in recent years and over your lifetime.
- How do I get started with a Social Security disability application? The Social Security Administration allows you to apply for disability benefits online, over the phone, or at a Social Security office. However, it is important to know that a large number of initial applications are denied because of incomplete or incorrect information. Accordingly, it is important to avoid that delay by making sure you know how to file an application and get the help you need to do so in a way that the application can be approved.
- What evidence will I need to support my application? You will, at a minimum, need information about your work history and medical diagnosis.
- How hard is the Social Security disability application process? A large percentage of initial applications are denied. Some are denied because of technicalities. However, that should not discourage you from filing an application if you are disabled. Remember, you have the right to hire a Social Security disability lawyer to take care of the application process for you.
If you have additional questions about Social Security disability, we encourage you to get answers by starting a live chat with us now.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.