Can You Get Disability For Glaucoma In Houston?

At your last eye exam, your doctor may have noticed something you didn’t—your vision is slowly being affected. You haven’t realized that your vision has been receding just a little, because it’s a slow change. But your doctor knows, and now you’re concerned about going blind.

Can You Get Disability For Glaucoma In Houston?

Regular eye exams are important in the early detection and treatment of glaucoma. When caught early enough, the symptoms are treatable, and you may be just fine.

But if you’ve lost a significant amount of sight, and you’re finding yourself unable to see as well as you used to, is disability in your future?

Glaucoma Basics

Although most people believe glaucoma is a disease in and of itself, it’s actually a series of eye problems that could, without treatment, eventually lead to blindness. That’s why regular eye exams are important for the health of your eyes. While there is no cure, available treatments and surgeries can preserve your vision so that you can continue to see. About 5% of patients do go blind despite treatments.

Glaucoma can affect people of all ages, but is more common in middle-aged and elderly patients and is also hereditary. It’s a very slow-progressing condition, affecting the peripheral (side) vision first before it breaches into the central vision.

The most common type is primary open-angle glaucoma, where the eye’s canals are is clogged and fluid can’t properly drain from the eyes. This increases the inner eye pressure, affecting vision over time. POAG responds well to medication, particularly if it is caught early and treated.

The less common form is angle closure glaucoma, which develops quickly and needs immediate medical attention. It is also caused by clogged drainage canals, and occurs when the iris and the cornea closes. Angle closure glaucoma can also increase the pressure inside the eyes.

The SSA, Glaucoma, And Disability

The Social Security Administration recognizes that glaucoma can eventually cause problems for people who work. If it progresses far enough, it is possible that you may be unable to work.

Note that evidence of glaucoma is not enough to rate and receive disability payments. It’s only when the condition interferes with your ability to work that you’ll be considered for disability, and possibly rated for benefits.

The SSA has a specific section in its Listing Of Impairments just for Special Senses And Speech for adults, which describes “statutory blindness.” If your glaucoma progresses to statutory blindness, you may be eligible for an increased amount of benefit, which

However, the SSA also gauges the degree to which a disability prevents someone from working by establishing if they are engaging in what’s called Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). That is, the amount of monthly income you earn and whether it’s enough to support yourself without monthly disability benefit payments. In other words, if you’re working and making enough to live on.

An individual who is not engaged in SGA and is statutorily blind will receive a larger amount of money due to the “adverse economic consequences” of blindness. However, the SSA encourages blind individuals to continue working, because the increased monthly amount due to blindness will not be affected by working.

Working With Glaucoma

If your current occupation is undoable with glaucoma, you may only need to change careers. Available technology can open up a world of opportunities for visually impaired individuals.

The Chicago Lighthouse For The Blind lists these occupations as just some of the ways people with partial blindness can continue to work, with our without SSA benefits:

  • Teachers, college professors and guidance counselors
  • Social workers and psychologists
  • Doctors, nurses and occupational and physical therapists
  • Masseuses and chiropractors
  • Rehabilitation teachers and counselors
  • Customer service representatives
  • Restaurant and store workers
  • Factory workers
  • Freelance writers, journalists and TV and radio broadcasters
  • DJs and musicians

The American Printing House For The Blind also has a website called CareerConnect, which offers resources for those with sight impairment to find suitable jobs.

Disability For Glaucoma

If you’ve been diagnosed with glaucoma, you may be able to receive disability benefits. Not sure where to start? The Herren Law Firm in Houston, TX can assist with your application, appeals and records gathering to prove your case, and win your claim.

We’ve helped over 4,000 Houstonians get their disability benefits, and are ready to help you. Contact us today at 713-682-8194 (or user our online contact form) to schedule your free consultation. There’s no obligation, and no up-front fees, and we only collect a fee if we win your case.