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Your eyesight and your ability to claim disability benefits

When you cannot work, it seriously impairs your ability to pay for medical care and other things you need in daily life. Whether you are newly disabled or you have been unable to work for your entire adult life, you understand the importance of securing disability benefits through the Social Security Administration. This is especially important for people who are visually impaired.

In many circumstances, the SSA views blindness as a valid disabling medical condition. If you think you qualify, however, you may find it beneficial to learn more about qualifications and the application process. Even with a valid claim and a serious limited physical capacity, it is common for initial claims to come back denied.

What type of benefits could you get?

Being blind can be a serious financial burden on you and your family. In addition to the cost of medical care, treatments and other things you may need, you may be unable to ever hold gainful employment. For individuals facing this situation, there are two types of disability benefits for which they may apply. They are:

  • Social Security Disability Insurance – These benefits depend on a person's physical abilities to work as well as his or her work history. People may qualify if they have a long enough work history and paid certain types of taxes.
  • Supplemental Security Income – These are benefits for individuals who may not qualify for SSDI. These benefits depend on a person's financial need as well as his or her assets and income.

The right type of benefit for you depends on the details of your individual situation. There are strict qualifications for both, which is why it is helpful to work with an experienced attorney even from the initial stages of your claim. You will want to have an understanding of what the SSA looks at to determine if your blindness is a disability and whether you qualify before you proceed. 

The application process

To apply for disability benefits, you must have a valid medical condition that prevents you from working. Severe visual impairment usually qualifies. However, you will need to complete specific documents, submit paperwork and provide medical evidence of your disabling medical condition. 

This process is complex and sometimes frustrating, especially for a person who is blind or has limited visual capabilities. If you need to apply for either SSI or SSDI, you may want to first discuss your case with an experienced West Virginia disability benefits attorney.

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Shawn Taylor, PLLC
209 Capitol Street
Charleston, WV 25301

Phone: 304-932-4619
Fax: 304-414-6040
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Office Hours: 7:30 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday. Closed on all federal holidays.

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