Applying for Macular Degeneration Disability Benefits
Macular degeneration is a progressive eye disease, which, over time, can lead to disability. To improve the chances of your claim being approved, it's important to get clear, comprehensive medical evidence. An Ocala FL long-term disability lawyer can help you with a macular degeneration disability benefits claim. Call CJ Henry Law Firm, PLLC today for a consultation.
What Is Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in the country. It affects the area of the retina that controls your ability to see fine details. Macular degeneration eventually impairs your ability to read, drive, use a computer, and even recognize people. It may also become progressively difficult to perform the requirements of your job.
What Are the Symptoms of Macular Degeneration?
Changes to your vision caused by macular degeneration may progress slowly during the early stages of the disease. Many early symptoms go unnoticed until you experience vision loss. Symptoms of macular degeneration include the following.
- Blurred vision
- Distorted shapes
- Impaired depth perception
- Difficulty seeing color
- Dark or blind spots
- Sensitivity to light or changes in light
- Visual hallucinations
Are There Different Kinds of Macular Degeneration?
There are different types of macular degeneration disease and specific information about your experience can be a valuable asset to your insurance company during the decision-making process.
Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Symptoms of dry age-related macular degeneration may not appear for up to 10 years after the onset of the disease. This is the most common type of macular degeneration and is caused by thinning of the macula. Symptoms include:
- Distorted or blurry vision
- Requiring bright lights to read
- Difficulty refocusing after being in bright light
- Color fading
- Difficulty recognizing people's faces
Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Wet age-related degeneration is caused by fluid or blood leaking into the macula from abnormal blood vessels in the eye(s). This type of macular degeneration may begin suddenly and progress more quickly than the dry age-related type of the disease and is likely to affect both eyes.
How Is Macular Degeneration Diagnosed?
In order to get approved for macular degeneration disability benefits, it's crucial to provide your insurance company with proof of your macular degeneration diagnosis. Visit an ophthalmologist or an optometrist for appropriate tests which may include the Amsler grid test, fluorescein angiography, or indocyanine green angiography among others. Insurance companies are looking for objective, measurable information about the diagnosis of disease.
How Is Macular Degeneration Treated?
Your insurance company will also want to know what kind of treatment you've received and if you're compliant with the prescribed treatment. Always follow your physician's treatment instructions.
There is no cure for macular degeneration, but many treatments can slow the disease's progress or improve your existing vision.
Treatments for Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration:
- Working with a low vision rehabilitation specialist to help you adapt to vision changes
- Implantation of a telescopic lens in one eye, which magnifies your field of vision
Treatments for Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration:
- Medication that blocks the development of new blood vessels
- Photodynamic therapy to detect abnormal blood vessels
- Using a high-energy laser to seal the abnormal blood vessels and prevent leakage of fluid or blood
Lifestyle changes are also effective in slowing macular degeneration and improving your overall health.
- Quit smoking
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Take vitamins
- Effectively manage any other medical conditions
If I Can't Work, Can I File a Long-Term Disability Claim?
Deterioration or loss of vision is a traumatic experience. It impairs your ability to work and changes the way you live. Your insurance company may not understand the extent to which macular degeneration impacts your life. It's up to you to tell them.
Always relate how a particular symptom prevents you from working. For example, blurred vision may make it difficult or impossible to read documents or use a computer. Blind spots may cause you to overlook important information. If your job requires physical labor, impaired vision can be dangerous to you and your coworkers.
Changes in your vision may make it difficult or dangerous to travel for your company. Driving, reading traffic signs and signals, or observing pedestrians are just a few travel-related problems you could encounter.
When you file for macular degeneration disability benefits, provide information about the disease, its symptoms, your diagnosis and test results, your treatments, and how it disrupts your home and work life. This information can increase the chances your claim will be approved.
We Can Help With Your Application for Macular Degeneration Disability Benefits
CJ Henry Law Firm, PLLC will review your application and recommend changes that may help you get the macular degeneration disability benefits you need. Call us today to learn more.