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Are only blind individuals approved for disability the first time they apply?
A statement a forum devoted to a discussion of social security disability questions went something like this:
"I think only blind people are approved for social security disability the first time".
Is this statement correct? Not even slightly. Roughly, thirty percent of claims for social security disability or SSI are approved. This is a national average, of course, and the flip side to this is that seventy percent of claimants are denied disability benefits on initial applications.
Actually, speaking as a former disability examiner, cases involving visual impairments can be fairly difficult to win. For example, in the case of impaired visual acuity, a claimant could have worse than 20/200 vision in one eye, after best correction, BUT if the remaining vision in the other eye, after best correction, is only somewhat better than 20/200, they will not qualify for disability benefits on the basis of the visual acuity listing (listing 2.02).
And, of course, there are other factors that can rear up in a disability case involving vision loss. For example, as an examiner, I once had a case in which a claimant had to have surgical procedures performed on both eyes. The procedures were staggered, meaning that one eye was operated on and then, later, the other eye was operated on.
Due to the timing of these procedures and due, particularly, to the fact that the case had to be diaried, or put on hold, for three months each time, in the end, this caused the claimant's disability application to take about one solid year to process (however, the reasoning as to why this happened is simple: to see what the residual effects of the surgery would be after each operation so the claimant's residual functional capacity could be accurately rated)
Are blind individuals approved for disability the first time they apply? It depends on what you mean by "blind" and it really depends on whether a claimant's medical documentation satisfies SSA disability criteria. But by and large, cases involving vision loss will take just as long as other types of cases.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Blind in one eye and a Learning Disability, Do I have a Case?
Receiving Social Security Disability benefits if you are blind
Legally blind with retinitis pigmentosa, can I also file for disability?
Getting approved for disability based on being blind
Anxiety about a Social Security Disability medical exam
Can you get disability for OCD?
Can you get disability for Chronic fatigue and Fibromyalgia?
Is Chronic Fatigue considered a disability by Social Security?
Is an FCE the same thing as the RFC evaluation done by Social Security Disability?
How is memory loss considered by Social Security Disability?
Is Morbid Obesity Considered A Disability?
SSDI Request for Reconsideration
Social Security Disability Back Payment Lump Sum
Appealing a Social Security Disability Claim decision
SSI Reconsideration vs SSDI Disability Reconsideration
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:
Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI
These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits
How to file for disability, filing tips
What to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits
Applying for disability benefits, SSI and SSDI
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability?
Will you get disability back pay?
Social Security Disability And SSI Qualifications
Permanent Disability Qualifications for SSD and SSI
Social Security Disability SSI status
Disability lawyer representation, finding lawyers
Who will qualify for disability and what qualifying is based on
Qualifications for Disability Benefits
Important points about filing for disability
How long does it take to get disability after applying?
Am I Eligible For Social Security Disability?
Who is eligible for SSI disability?
How to get disability in Florida