Proving Macular Degeneration Disability Claims
We focus on disability law issues regarding individual long-term disability claims, and employer-sponsored group disability claims. The laws are very different for each type of claim.
In either case, you should not assume the denial by your insurance company is the last word. You have the right to appeal, and we can help.
Insurers are largely reluctant to approve disability claims for eye impairments, even macular degeneration. They are likely to “conclude” that your claim does not adequately support limitations that prevent you from being able to continue in your own occupation or engage in any gainful employment.
You must fully develop your case to prove how poor your central acuity or peripheral vision is. We can help you demonstrate in great detail how your loss of vision limits your ability to work.
Our law firm will ensure that you have sufficient medical records, appropriate and essential input from your ophthalmologist, vocational experts and other specialists, and proof of functional limitations to substantiate your macular degeneration disability.
Macular Degeneration and Long Term Disability
Commonly known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the condition is due to deterioration of the central part of the retina called the macula. It is the region in the back of the eye that records the images we see and sends the images to the brain through the optic nerve.
The macula allows us to see in high detail and color, while the other parts of the retina give us peripheral vision.
There are two kinds of age-related macular degeneration—wet and dry.
Wet macular degeneration (aka Exudative, or Neovascular)
The wet type generally causes more damage to a person’s central or “pinpoint” vision than the dry type. It develops when blood vessels behind the retina start to grow under the macula, and may leak blood or fluid causing vision loss.
Wet macular degeneration is likely to occur in both eyes. Due to the growth of abnormal blood vessels, this form may lead to macular edema.
This type may be treated with drug injections. Only about 10% of people suffer the wet form.
Dry macular degeneration (aka Atrophic, or Non-neovascular)
The more common form is the dry form. It evolves gradually as cells in the macula slowly age and degrade, in due course blurring or destroying central vision in the affected eye.
However, the dry form can develop into the wet form of macular degeneration. There is no treatment other than vitamin therapy for dry macular degeneration.
Effects of Blindness or Low Vision in Macular Degeneration Disability Cases
Victims of this condition may not notice vision loss in the early stage of the disease. If the degeneration of the macula advances, a person’s central vision then becomes blurred and muddy, to the point of blindness in the center of the visual field.
Many people become legally blind, with only peripheral vision functioning. Macular degeneration disability leads to mistakes in the workplace, safety issues, and the inability to perform many if not all tasks.
Disabling symptoms and side effects can include:
- double vision
- inability to recognize faces
- loss of depth perception
- inability to use a computer
- inability to operate equipment, machinery, or drive
- “losing” words when reading
- inability to read with the speed required to get through the daily volume of work
- inability to perform fine detailed work
Contact Us Today
As attorneys who handle macular degeneration disability claims, we understand why this common condition is so crippling. An incurable eye disease, millions of people across the United States suffer from some stage of macular degeneration.
The disorder can cause vision to become so impaired that you can no longer perform your material job duties, or the duties of any job. If you have filed a disability claim for macular degeneration with your insurance company, you may be shocked to learn that the insurer denied your claim saying that you are not disabled under the policy.
Don’t let an insurance company’s unfair denial destroy your well-being and financial health. If you have been wrongly denied disability benefits for macular degeneration or other chronic eye disorder, contact our law firm. We are prepared to fight for your right to the long term disability insurance benefits you deserve. Call Mehr, Fairbanks, & Peterson without delay, for a free evaluation of your claim: 866-921-8719.