It is estimated that over 6.6 million people in the United States are blind. In addition, visual impairment that does not rise to the level of legal blindness, which the Social Security Administration (SSA) typically defines as “low vision,” affects Americans at increasing rates with each decade of life. The knowledgeable Social Security attorneys at Kantrovitz & Associates have two decades of experience representing claimants for government benefits throughout Massachusetts. Some of our clients even come to us from Rhode Island and New Hampshire. This is because we thoroughly understand how to present a convincing application for benefits or appeal a claim that has been denied. Trust our attorneys to guide you through this process with compassion and careful attention.Poor Vision Can Make You Eligible for Disability Benefits
You may qualify for Social Security assistance if you cannot perform your job duties as a result of a terminal disease or a condition that is expected to last for a year or more. When evaluating an application for benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) typically refers to its Listing of Impairments, which consists of serious medical conditions that prevent a person from working.
Listing Sections 2.01-2.04 identify criteria related to blindness and low vision. They can be broadly divided into two categories:
- Statutory blindness/2.01. The Social Security Act defines blindness as corrected vision of 20/200 or less in the better eye. Alternatively, the agency will consider you blind if the widest diameter of your visual field is no greater than 20 degrees.
- Low vision/2.01-2.04. This term refers to a set of disorders, including loss of acuity, a narrowing of the visual field, or loss of efficacy.
You should seek Social Security as soon as you believe that you may qualify for it because the evaluation process can take a long time. You may apply online, in person at your local SSA office, or over the phone. If you meet the preliminary requirements for receiving government benefits, the agency will send your application to the Disability Determination Services office in your state. The staff there will make a more detailed assessment to decide if you’re eligible for assistance. This may include evaluations of whether you are currently working, the severity of your medical condition, whether there is a section in the Listing that covers your impairment, the type of job that you held before, and whether you can perform other types of work.
Your application will not succeed if you are holding a job when you apply for benefits, unless your earnings from it are very low. You also need to present evidence showing that your condition prevents you from working for at least one year. If your disability meets the criteria of a specific section in the Listing, you likely can receive benefits. Even if it does not, however, you still may be able to prove your eligibility if your impairment makes you unable to do either your past job or any other work.Knowledgeable Government Benefits Attorneys for Massachusetts Applicants
The dedicated government benefits lawyers at Kantrovitz & Associates help individuals throughout Massachusetts, including the Merrimack River area and Norfolk, Middlesex, Essex, Plymouth, and Suffolk Counties. If you have questions about whether your blindness or poor vision qualifies you for Social Security assistance, the Boston attorneys at our respected firm can help. Contact us today by calling toll-free at 1-800-367-0871 (617-367-0880) or using our online form to schedule a free initial consultation.