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Jun 3, 2009

Blind Man Has Trouble With Social Security

From WSPA in Greenville, SC:

When I first met 61-year-old James Beck it was easy to tell just how difficult it was for him to get around.
“I have to ask somebody whether it’s daylight or dark,“ Beck said.

Beck is legally blind and he says he has the paperwork from his doctors to prove it.

“It’s bad just living in the dark all the time you miss so many things, the sunset and the sunrise and all and you can’t see television but I enjoy listening to it,“ said Beck.

The Social Security Administration says he can work denying him disability benefits for more than two years.

“That man at Social Security said blind people works,“ said Beck. “Well I haven’t been able to find a job.“ ...

SSA’s spokesperson, Patti Patterson, talked with us by phone from Atlanta. She told us a senior attorney denied Beck’s claim in January but a judge approved it after we called, without any new evidence.


Anonymous said...

Senior attorneys do not deny claims. Senior attorney review for claims that can be approved based on documentary evidence in the record, without a hearing. There should be no controversy if the medical reports showed this man can't even sense light, much less has visual acuity of less than 20/200 in either eye. There must be more to the story -- or the story is inaccurate.

Anonymous said...

The definition of blindness for social security puposes is very specific: ". . .central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the use of a correcting lens. An eye which has a limitation in the field of vision such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees shall be considered as having a central visual acuity of 20/200 or less." If a person is not statutorily blind, they may still be found disabled based on a visual impairment.

Anonymous said...

This story is very poorly researched or poorly written--or both!

Anonymous said...

The likely scenario:
The claimant's vision worsened since the Initial and Reconsideration claims. Exactly why ALJ reverse 60% of the DDS determinations!

Anonymous said...

How does somebody who is truly statutorily blind get denied?

Anonymous said...

Legally blind and statutorily blind are not the same thing. The latter refers to the definition in the Social Security Act. The article does not say if he met the definition in the statute.

Anonymous said...

It is all too common a scenario. It is likely that his case was pending at an ODAR and a senior attorney denied it for an On The Record Decision.