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Visual Disorders Criteria for Social Security Disability Benefits - SSA Seeks Comment

  • Published: 2012-04-08 (Revised/Updated 2013-06-17) : Author: Allsup
  • Synopsis: The SSA wants to revise and organize criteria it uses to evaluate disability claims for both adults and children.

Quote: "There are a wide range of visual disorders, and the SSA has established criteria for impairments to help evaluate claims for Social Security benefits."

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SSA Seeks Comment on Visual Disorders Criteria for Social Security Disability Benefits - Allsup outlines importance of SSDI help when applying for Social Security benefits.

Allsup - Founded in 1984 by Jim Allsup, a former Social Security field representative, Allsup was the first nationwide, private Social Security disability claims services company. The company is based in Belleville, Ill., near St. Louis. In 2008 Allsup began expanding the True Help it provides to those with disabilities, providing access to a broad range of financial and healthcare information and services that help our customers live lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. For more information, go to or visit Allsup on Facebook at

Healthcare providers and others have just a week to provide public comment on visual disorders to the Social Security Administration (SSA), which is updating the agency's Listing of Impairments that may qualify someone for Social Security disability benefits. Listings are used by the SSA to determine if a claimant is disabled, according to Allsup, which provides Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) representation and Medicare plan selection services.

The public has until April 13, 2012, to comment on the proposed changes that were published in the Federal Register on Feb. 13.

The SSA said it wants to revise and organize the criteria it uses to evaluate disability claims for both adults and children. The revisions are aimed at ensuring more timely and accurate evaluations, the federal agency said.

"Those with visual impairments must meet a number of requirements in order to receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits," said Ed Swierczek, senior claimant representative at Allsup. Visual disorders might include degenerative conditions, diabetic retinopathy or cancer, and the impairments must prevent someone from working for 12 months or longer in order to qualify for SSDI benefits.

SSDI is a disability insurance program mandated by federal law and overseen by the SSA that operates separately from the retirement and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. SSDI provides monthly income to those under full retirement age (age 65 or older) who can no longer work because of a severe disability expected to last for more than 12 months or is terminal. Individuals and their employers pay for the federal insurance program through FICA taxes.

Social Security Disability & Visual Impairments

SSA's Listing of Impairments describes medical conditions that are so severe the SSA presumes any person with a medical condition(s) that satisfies the criteria of a listing is unable to perform any gainful activity and, therefore, is disabled. The inability to work also must have lasted or be expected to last for at least 12 continuous months or be expected to result in death. The listings are rules that help the SSA identify claims that should clearly be allowed for Social Security disability benefits.

"There are a wide range of visual disorders, and the SSA has established criteria for impairments to help evaluate claims for Social Security benefits. The rules are complex and require careful analysis to understand and ensure conditions are met," Swierczek said. "In cases with this complexity, it's almost always best to have professional disability representation when applying for Social Security disability benefits.

"An Allsup advocate can greatly improve your chances of a successful outcome, in part because we have helped thousands of individuals through the SSDI application and documentation process," Swierczek explained. Allsup has secured Social Security disability benefits for more than 170,000 people with disabilities.

The benefits of Social Security disability representation include assistance with the paperwork, completing applications and forms, collecting medical records and building a claims file that will meet SSA requirements for review in the disability adjudication process. Allsup also helps a majority of its customers to receive benefits more quickly at the initial application level, thus avoiding appeals and the need for a disability hearing.

Find more information about SSDI guidelines by type of disability on To find out if you might be eligible for Social Security disability benefits, call the Disability Evaluation Center at (800) 678-3276 for a free evaluation.

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