Social Security Disability Eligibility for Vision and Hearing LossBy Kenton Koszdin Law Office on September 14, 2017 | In Social Security Disability
If you have vision or hearing problems but are not considered legally blind or profoundly deaf, you may wonder if you would meet the eligibility requirements for Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits.
How Social Security Evaluates Vision and Hearing Loss
Once you apply for SSDI benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will review your application. Included will be evaluations of your eye or hearing tests as well as your medical records from your ophthalmologist or ear, nose and throat doctor. The SSA will be particularly interested in your doctor’s notes on what functional restrictions and limitations your vision or hearing loss cause – in other words, if these problems are a disability that prevents you from working.
For example, if a doctor’s note states that you have been advised not to drive because of a vision problem, you may not be able to perform your regular job of driving a truck. At that point, the SSA will assess your age, experience and education to determine if there is another job that you can do.
Residual Functional Capacity Test
In its analysis, the SSA will assign you a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) rating that determines what level of exertion you are capable of as well as what restrictions limit the jobs you can do because of your vision or hearing problem. The resulting rating of your best-corrected vision level or your pure tone average in your better ear will identify any work-related restrictions.
For example, your RFC may specify that, because of your poor vision, you should not work near hazardous machinery because of a lack of peripheral vision, or no driving or operating hazardous machinery due to low visual acuity.
If you have hearing loss, the RFC may include no working at unprotected heights because of vestibular-related balance problems, or no operating hazardous machinery or driving because of poor hearing or balance problems.
Based on your RFC rating, the SSA may determine that you are still able to do your prior job. In that case you will not be eligible for SSDI benefits. If the decision is that you are unable to do your prior job, then your age, experience and education will be assessed to determine what other jobs you are able to do.
If your vision or hearing loss is marked and you are older than age 55, have no skills and have less than a high school education, you may be granted disability benefits because there may not be jobs that the SSA would expect you to do.
We Can Help Appeal Your SSDI Application Denial
If you or a loved one has been denied Worker’s Compensation or Social Security Disability (SSDI)benefits, it’s important to get an attorney experienced in these types of cases involved immediately. Call 800.438.7734 for your initial free consultation, either in our office or in the comfort of your own home. The Kenton Koszdin Law Office, Social Security attorney in Van Nuys, can help you navigate the application process for the best possible outcome for you and your family.