DIABETES: Diabetic Retinopathy and Social Security Disability.

How does Diabetic Retinopathy impact your Social Security Disability claim?

Diabetes and other endocrine disorders are not considered “disabling conditions” by the Social Security Administration; however, the effects that diabetes has on your body and health may still qualify you for Social Security Disability.

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

According to the National Eye Institute, diabetic retinopathy is the most common eye disease suffered by diabetics.  Diabetic retinopathy is also the leading cause of blindness in American adults.  This disease is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina, which may include swelling or leaking of fluid, or new blood vessels growing on the surface of the retina.

While diabetics with this disease may not notice a change in vision at first, the diabetic retinopathy can get worse and eventually cause vision loss.

Listing of Impairments: Special Senses and Speech

The vision loss resulting from diabetic retinopathy would be evaluated under Section 2.00 of the Listing of Impairments. This section discusses special senses and speech:

Visual disorders are abnormalities of the eye, the optic nerve, the optic tracts, or the brain that may cause a loss of visual acuity or visual fields.Statutory blindness is defined as:

  • 2.02:  Loss of Visual Acuity.   Remaining vision in the better eye after best correction is 20/200 or less; or
  • 2.03 A:  Contraction of the visual field in the better eye, with the widest diameter subtending an angle around the point of fixation no greater than 20 degrees.

 What does this mean to you?

  • To establish that you have visual disorders, you will need a report from an eye examination that includes measurements of your best-corrected central visual acuity or the extent of your visual fields.
  • To establish that you have statutory blindness, you will need evidence showing only that your central visual acuity in your better eye is 20/200 or less with the use of a correcting lens, or your visual field in your better eye subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees.

Even if your visual disorder does not meet the qualifications necessary for statutory blindness, you may still be able to prove that the disorder affects your ability to function.  Seek a qualified Social Security Disability attorney to help you prove your claim.

Do you need help with your SSD/SSI appeal and hearing?

If you are disabled and need with your Social Security Disability Hearing, contact Deborah at The Hardin Law Firm, PLC, for help with your SSDI/SSI appeal and hearing. 

ATTORNEY: Learn more about our Attorneys and Staff.

SERVING: Cabot, Beebe, Ward, Searcy, Jacksonville, Lonoke County, White County, Faulkner County, and other central Arkansas areas.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this website is intended to convey general information. It should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. It is not an offer to represent you, nor is it intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

Originally published: November 26, 2014 at thehardinlawfirm.com.

 Last updated: December 15, 2016 at 11:03 am