Published on: May 26, 2016
To answer this question, you have to look at how the Social Security Administration defines a disabling condition and how your state’s disability determination services work.
How the SSA Defines Disabilities
The Social Security Administration defines a disability in accordance with the law which states that a disability is:
“The inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA) by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.”
State Disability Determination Services
Determination services are conducted through state agencies of the SSA and are primarily responsible for determining whether you qualify for disability benefits or not.
The representatives of these state agencies collect the necessary medical evidence to your claim and provide the initial determination as to whether you fit the law’s definition of being blind.
If your condition prevents you from being able to work, then you are likely to be eligible for disability benefits.
However, if you suffer from blindness, the SSA has special provisions to receiving disability benefits, including:
- Your vision can not be corrected to better than 20/200 in your better eye
- Your visual field is 20 degrees less in your better eye
- Your blindness alone or in conjunction with other disabling conditions inhibits you from working
- Your blindness prevents you from working enough to make sufficient income to cover your basic living expenses; therefore, you may receive partial disability benefits from the SSA.
- Eligible to receive notices from the Social Security Administration in 10 various ways depending on what you are most comfortable with.
When to Expect Social Security Disability Benefits
You should know that you would begin receiving disability benefit cash payments for up to 6 months while the SSA is making a formal disability determination on your claim.
These payments are only provided if the SSA presumptively finds you to be blind and paid to you in order to meet your basic living expenses while making a final disability determination.