Glaucoma is a progressive disease of the eyes that gradually causes vision loss. The disease is one of the leading causes of blindness. In some cases, it is possible for a claimant to be approved for Social Security Disability benefits if he or she has glaucoma.
If you have glaucoma, the Harrisburg Social Security Disability lawyers at Schmidt Kramer are dedicated to helping you obtain the benefits you need and deserve. We can explain the process of applying for disability benefits and can assist with all stages of the appeals process.
Call (717) 888-8888 to schedule a free consultation with a Social Security Disability attorney.
What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma occurs when fluid builds up inside the eye and causes pressure, and damage, to the optic nerve. The optic nerve is responsible for carrying images from the eye to the brain, so glaucoma can potentially lead to permanent blindness.
Glaucoma can progress very slowly; it may take individuals with this disease considerable time before noticing symptoms. Many people lose up to 40 percent of their vision before symptoms arise. While there is no current cure, there are treatment options that can help slow the effects of the disease.
Meeting the Requirements of a Listing
After the Social Security Administration (SSA) determines that you are not currently working and have a medical condition that is expected to last at least a year, it will then assess whether you meet one of SSA’s Listing of Impairments. This listing includes a number of specific conditions. If the claimant has one of the conditions and meets the standards under the listing, the applicant is considered eligible for benefits.
Glaucoma is not specifically named as a listing. However, two listings may qualify a claimant for disability benefits:
- 2.02: Loss of Central Visual Acuity – To meet this listing, you must have vision of 20/200 or less in your better eye after the best correction.
- 2.04: Loss of Visual Efficiency or Visual Impairment in the Better Eye – To meet this listing, your visual efficiency must be 20 percent or less after correction, or your visual impairment value must be 1.00 or greater after correction.
Meeting an RFC
Your doctor can fill out the residual functional capacity (RFC) form as part of your application for Social Security Disability benefits. If you do not meet a listing, you may still be eligible for disability benefits if you can show that the condition is severe enough that you cannot work any job on a full-time basis.
To help establish that your glaucoma meets the RFC requirement, you must provide medical documentation of the following:
- Your diagnosis
- Your treatment history
- Your response to treatment
- The effect your condition has on your ability to perform basic job functions
The SSA reviews the evidence in your file and then determines your limitations, such as whether you cannot manipulate small objects or will require frequent breaks. The SSA considers your age, experience, job skills and education level to determine if there exists any type of work in the economy that you can perform.
Contact a Social Security Disability Lawyer
If your ability to work is impacted by glaucoma, contact the experienced Social Security Disability lawyers at Schmidt Kramer to help you with your claim. We can help you navigate the complex process of appealing a denied claim.
We can gather important documentation to help support your claim. We offer a free consultation so you can learn about your rights. If you decide to move forward, you will not owe us any legal fees unless we help you get approval for your claim.