There are specific options from the Social Security Administration (SSA) that are available to you if you are visually impaired. The SSA has special rules for SSDI benefits if you are unable to work due to a vision impairment than for other types of disabilities. Knowing the right application to submit (and how to do so) could mean the difference between collecting benefits following your initial application or having to go through the multi-tiered appeals process and potentially not gaining your benefits at all. Never hesitate to connect with a California SSDI attorney today to support your case.
If you have vision impairment, the Social Security Administration offers two programs you might qualify for – either the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program or the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. The rules for how to determine if you are blind and eligible for benefits are the same between both programs.
You are considered to be blind if your vision cannot be corrected to better than 20/200 vision in your better eye, or if your field of vision is twenty degrees or less in your better eye. These vision issues must be for a period that lasted or is expected to last a minimum of twelve months for SSDI benefits. SSI benefits do not have the duration requirement.
You will need to provide sufficient evidence of your visual impairment and its severity, as well as demonstrate that your vision impairment prevents you from working. This can be more complicated than it sounds for many people.
Fewer than three out of every ten initial Social Security Disability Insurance applications are accepted, meaning that you might have to go through an appeal to obtain benefits. The appeals system of the Social Security Administration is a complex and multi-tiered one.
Your appeal will first occur directly with the SSA, and the second level of appeal will be overseen by an administrative law judge (ALJ). Vocational experts or witnesses may also be called to present evidence in support of or against your case.
If your Social Security Disability Insurance application for your vision impairment was rejected, an attorney experienced in the appeals process can help you navigate the complex steps to obtain your benefits. Reaching out to a California disability attorney before you have to appeal for help on your initial application can often improve the outcome, and it could lead to you collecting benefits much sooner.
The complexity of the application process for Social Security Disability benefits can be daunting, and somewhat intimidating for the individual who has no experience with this type of benefits application. Connecting with an attorney at the start of your application process will best support initial success, and if you have to appeal, an attorney knows how to present your best case, so that you can collect on your rightful benefits sooner than later.