Post Reply 
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Being declared "Legally Blind"
01-06-2013, 11:40 AM
Post: #1
Being declared "Legally Blind"
I was diagnosed with RP a few years ago and it has progressively gotten worse. My peripheral vision and my overall vision are getting bad and I find that even driving during the daytime is a little scary and makes me anxious. Since I am also unemployed, it is really hard to find a job where I can work from home, as I don't want to drive far or have to commute after it gets dark.

Does anyone know anything about being delcared "legally blind?" What exactly does that mean, and am I entitled to some sort of disability or other payment if I can't find work? I'm scared, as this also means I won't be able to drive, which will severely restrict my freedome and flexibility, but I already feel like I'm becoming a burden to my husband, kids, and friends.

What a lonely feeling, as no one seems to know what I'm going through. We really need some smart people to help find a cure for this terrible condition.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
01-06-2013, 02:53 PM
Post: #2
RE: Being declared "Legally Blind"
Hello there!

Well, first of all, don't feel lonely, every member here knows your situation. As far as obtaining a "status" of legally blind, I'm not fully familiar. I've only done the thing for getting the blue disability sticker for parking spaces.

While it sucks, you can't keep driving forever. Since our disorder is progressive, it will be very hard for you to judge when it's not safe to drive anymore, and you may put yourself in a dangerous situation eventually. It is likely that you can have someone drive for you, it will take some special arrangements.

What is your professional background? I just ask so I can understand what kind of jobs you are interested in having. While you don't have to get a "work from home" job, there are some out there that are not bad, like taking customer service calls from home.

What do you think?
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
01-07-2013, 01:02 AM (This post was last modified: 01-07-2013 01:24 AM by WiseOldMan.)
Post: #3
RE: Being declared "Legally Blind"
Hello, HappyO

I totally understand how you feel, I have been through that.

I assumed you live in US, here is Social Security Admin's definition of legally blind.
"We consider you to be legally blind under Social Security rules if your vision cannot be corrected to better than 20/200 in your better eye, or if your visual field is 20 degrees or less, even with a corrective lens"

If you meet the above definition, you are entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefit. The amount of benefit is depend on your past earning and work credit. Please go to the following link for details http://ssa.gov/pgm/disability.htm

Feel free to ask questions, I been through SSA application process. But the very first thing you will need is a letter from your doctor to declared you legally blind. Once you have that letter, you would also have state benefits, such as job training, adaptive technology training, orientation and mobility (cane travel) training, etc. Check out my websit, I have more info there.

About your driving. Please be sure to check with your insurance company. If you drive with impaired vision and get into an accident, not sure how your insurance would handle this. You might also get sued by other party. So please very careful. And give up you car keys if don't feel safe to drive anymore, don't take chances.

Kato and GuideDog Maddie
Coping With Low Vision the S.O.S Way
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
01-08-2013, 05:34 AM
Post: #4
RE: Being declared "Legally Blind"
Thank you so much for your replies. It's nice not to feel alone. I was scared to participate as I thought it would validate my condition, but there is no escaping it.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
01-08-2013, 05:49 AM
Post: #5
RE: Being declared "Legally Blind"
HappyO,

You are definitely not alone, we are all here to support each others.
Everyone handle his or her life issue differently, you might take sometime to fully accept your condition, and that's normal.
The following article might help to understand your own feeling.
http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/blind/adjus...social.htm

Kato and GuideDog Maddie
Coping With Low Vision the S.O.S Way
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
06-09-2013, 12:44 AM (This post was last modified: 06-10-2013 06:54 AM by Honeybee.)
Post: #6
RE: Being declared "Legally Blind"
It has been about 10 years since I have been on an RP Forum. I found it very helpful after I first gave up driving. I read a post about a woman who was sued and lost her house, her job and everything near and dear to her when she hit and killed a child who was sitting on a curb because she hadn't seen him. She had RP and only drove to her local store and back which was about a mile or so from her house. It encouraged me to keep my resolve to pitch my keys. I continued to work for another 10 years as my eyesight became worse and I relied on my husband and local cab companies to help me get to and from work. I even went on to have a child during this time who doesn't give a cab ride a second thought (he even has his favorite seat). Giving up the car keys is not an easy task as it requires giving up the 'freedom' to come and go as you want. You may even experience the 7 steps of the grieving process. Doctors typically will not ask you to give up your license and I found the DMV allowed me to renew my license knowing I didn't have peripheral vision (they don't test for that). You have to have the willpower to give it up, knowing that you can not afford to lose all that it near and dear to you. I even tried to take myself off our car insurance and they wouldn't do it because I was still considered "able to drive" and benefit from the multiple driver discount. So I keep my license for writing checks and such and haven't driven in 16 years. I have definately gotten more creative regarding my daily activities. It is now time for me to pick up a cane and apply for Social Security Disability as well.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 


Forum Jump:


User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)