Many times problems with loss of visual acuity, loss of visual fields, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, astigmatism and cataracts interrupt a person’s ability to functionally use their eyes. Curiously enough, the least common cause of a visual disability in claimants represented by Drummond Disability has to do with the ability to read an eye chart. In fact, one can read an eye chart and still meet the statutory definition of blindness.
There are many reasons for this anomaly and probably the single most common reason is the condition affecting the claimant has destroyed a large portion of their visual field commonly termed as “pinhole” vision. These visual problems are often aggravated by other issues which include many diseases of the eye which affects the ability to focus or to focus for a sustained or useable period of time.
The types of visual disturbances which usually contribute to a successful claim are based on loss of visual field or visual disturbances such as astigmatism.
At Drummond Disability, we often refer people for specific optical tests that are geared toward determining whether they have functional eyesight. These tests are performed by professionals who are aware of the Social Security Regulations and definitions for statutory blindness in addition to being cognitive of how visual difficulties affect a person’s day-to-day functioning.
Some of the problems we’ve experienced in getting records from treating Optometrists or Ophthalmologists is that often their records consist of hand written notes on pre-printed forms which do not explain to the lay person, Adjudicator in the Social Security Administration, or an Administrative Law Judge, the precise nature of the claimant’s visual problems.
For that reason, Drummond Disability often has to take an affirmative step and make sure our clients get the appropriate examinations and evaluations in order to document their impairments in a complete and comprehensive manner.
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