Blindness & SSD Benefits in Austin
Let Our Attorneys Provide Legal Help for Your Vision Problems
If you suffer from vision impairment, it may make it difficult for you to work or even impossible to earn a living. The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides disability benefits for those who cannot work because of a disabling condition. There are special rules for people who are blind.
An experienced attorney at The Bob Richardson Law Firm can help you understand your options for receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). We can assist you with your application for benefits or help you appeal a denied Social Security Disability claim.
If you are unable to work because of vision problems, contact us now to speak with a member of our legal team. The Bob Richardson Law Firm has offices in Austin and Waco*. Our attorneys offer free Social Security Disability claim evaluations and can answer your questions, including:
- Am I eligible for SSD benefits based on blindness?
- What should I do if I am blind and need benefits?
- How can an SSD lawyer help me get the maximum SSD benefits I deserve?
Eligibility for Social Security Disability Benefits Based on Blindness
The SSA provides benefits only to individuals who meet a certain definition of “disabled.” To determine whether someone is eligible for benefits, the SSA uses a “Blue Book” listing of impairments. “Adult Blindness” is found in Section 2.00 of Part A in the Blue Book.
The section indicates that disability benefits are available to individuals who are “legally blind.” According to the SSA, you are considered legally blind if you have vision that cannot be corrected to at least 20/200 in the eye with the best vision.
If the visual field in the eye with the best vision is 20 degrees or less, then you may also be considered legally blind. Because corrected vision is tested, you may be required to first attempt to improve your vision with glasses or contacts before you are considered legally blind.
If your visual impairment does not meet the SSA’s definition of legally blind, you may still qualify for disability benefits if you have another condition and accompanying required symptoms that are listed in the Blue Book. You may also be eligible if you do not have a listed condition but have medical problems that are equivalent in severity to covered injuries or ailments.
The SSA also applies basic eligibility criteria to individuals who wish to qualify for benefits based on any medical condition, including vision impairment. You must either have worked and earned a sufficient number of work credits to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or you must have a low income and limited family resources to qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Claiming SSD Benefits Based on Vision Impairment
You will need to show that you are legally blind and satisfy the SSA’s definition of disabled in order to receive benefits. To do this, you may need medical records and test results from a specialist. For those who qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) on the basis of blindness, this usually means seeing an ophthalmologist.
If you can show that you are legally blind, you should submit an application to the SSA. You will need to provide information on your medical condition, your past work and your current employment status and income.
The SSA allows individuals who are blind to make slightly more money than those who are not blind before being disqualified for benefits on the basis of income.
For example, the SSA disqualifies you from receiving benefits if you are engaged in substantial gainful activity (SGA). For most applicants, making more than $1,070 per month (as of 2014) means they are engaged in SGA and not entitled to benefits. Individuals who are blind may make up to $1,800 per month (as of 2014) and still qualify.
The maximum income levels change based on annual cost-of-living adjustments. The most up-to-date information can be found on the SSA’s website.
Our Lawyers Help People Get SSD Benefits Based on Vision Problems in Austin
Can I have a lawyer represent me in applying for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income? At The Bob Richardson Law Firm, our lawyers have the experience necessary to advise you on whether you may qualify for benefits and, if so, what type of benefits to pursue. We can help you complete and file your application, providing required documentation and ensuring your medical records are comprehensive and detailed.
The SSA initially denies more than half of all applications for disability benefits, including the applications of blind individuals. If this happens to you, do not give up. Many claimants go on to receive the benefits they deserve – including retroactive benefits – through the appeals process. Our lawyers can help.
An SSI attorney can represent Social Security Disability claimants focus exclusively on Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income cases. Our attorneys members of the National Organization of Social Security Disability Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR) and the Fifth Circuit Organization of Social Security Claimants Representatives (FOSSCR). We do not charge hourly fees up front. The Bob Richardson Law Firm represents claimants on a contingency fee basis. We get paid only if we obtain SSD benefits for you.
For a free evaluation of your Social Security Disability claim, contact us by phone or use our online contact form.