Visual Impairments

Disability Attorney | 713-682-8194 | Herren LawLosing the ability to see is a tremendously difficult, emotional experience. While vision impairment or loss causes people to overhaul their lifestyles and adapt to new conditions, the financial hardships imposed by an inability to work forces visually impaired people to worry how they can pay the bills, support a family, or continue living a comfortable lifestyle that they had before the vision loss. Nobody should have to face this level of hardship, and for these reasons, among others, the Social Security Administration (SSA) provides benefits for those with visual impairments. Nevertheless, applying for benefits can be a complicated process, and if you cannot work because of a visual impairment, you need the help of a prominent disability attorney in Houston.

Definition of Visual Impairments

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), visual impairment is the functional limitation of the eye or eyes or the vision system. Visual impairment therefore leads to one to five of the following:

  • Loss of visual acuity and inability of the person to see objects as clearly as a healthy person
  • Loss of visual field, meaning inability of an individual to see as wide an area as the average person without moving the eyes or turning the head
  • Photophobia – inability to look at light
  • Diplopia – double vision
  • Visual distortion of distortion of images
  • Visual perceptual difficulties or difficulties of perception
  • Any combination of the above features

What’s more, the definition of visual impairment implies that an impaired eyesight cannot be corrected to a normal level through the application of eyeglasses, contacts, or surgery. If you have experienced diminishing eyesight, there are several organizations and non-profits throughout the Houston area that can provide more information on visual impairment. The Lighthouse of Houston, for example, provides education programs and community services for the blind and visually impaired. If you’re losing your sight, make sure to reach out to the Lighthouse of Houston, the DARS Division for Blind Services, or another organization so that you know what to expect and how you will adapt.

For legal matters, however, you need a Houston disability lawyer capable of navigating the complicated waters associated with disability benefits. From helping you through all the documentation required for the application process to aggressively defending your case, the disability attorneys at Herren Law will leave no stones unturned when trying to win you disability benefits. Call us today for a free consultation at (800) 529-7707. Continue reading below for more information about applying for disability benefits.

Qualifying for Social Security Disability Benefits

The Social Security Administration has two programs that offer disability benefits. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) depends on your work history. If you have worked enough in the past, in what the SSA calls “work credits,” you can quality for SSDI. The other program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), refers to benefits based on qualifying financial requirements.

With regards to vision impairment, however, you must prove to the SSA that vision impairment has dramatically affected your ability to work. Whether or not you receive benefits might be based on the severity of your vision loss. In many cases, the SSA evaluates the vision in your better eye to determine the level of impairment. Individuals legally blind in both eyes often face few complications when applying for SSD.

To learn more about other visual impairments, read through our guides on:

Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits

Applying for Social Security Disability benefits can be a long and arduous affair, and the SSA matches the severity of your visual impairment with your past work history, your income, and other resource criteria. The SSA compares this criteria with its eligibility requirements. Additionally, other pieces of information necessary for your application often include:

  • Information regarding previous work history for the past 15 years before you became unable to work because of your eyesight. For this, including your daily duties and why the employment ended.
  • Detailed reports regarding visual impairment.
  • Contact information regarding the doctors, hospitals, and other medical sources you have used.
  • Dates of treatment and kinds of treatment you have received due to your eyesight.
  • Names of prescription and non-prescription medication you take, as well as the doctor who prescribed it.
  • The kind of medical tests you’ve had, when and where they were done, and who sent you to take them.

It is absolutely critical to include all the necessary paperwork when applying for Social Security Disability benefits, and missing or incomplete paperwork can lead to an outright denial. After turning in your paperwork, the Disability Determination Services (DDS), a State agency, begins a three to four month investigation process. Within this investigation, the DDS generally contacts doctors, hospitals, schools, teachers, therapists, relatives, and others. If your disability is severe enough, such as with legal blindness, the SSA can make a presumptive blindness determination and begin paying you while the DDS makes its final decision.

Contact a Disability Attorney in Houston

At Herren Law, we understand how debilitating visual impairment can be. Furthermore, we understand the importance of eyesight in most occupations. Thus, from no fault of your own, you deserve a level of financial security as you adapt to new conditions in your life. You have many new things to learn and new challenges to overcome, but you shouldn’t have to worry about money. Let the experienced disability attorneys at Herren Law work with you while applying for your disability benefits. With industry-based knowledge, diligence, and compassion, we are ready to give you the strongest case possible, and if required, we will take your case to court and aggressively pursue your rights and your interests.

Contact the leading disability attorneys in Houston by calling Herren Law today. Call now for a free consultation at (800) 529-7707.