People who are legally blind may be eligible for Medicare before age 65 if they receive disability insurance benefits (SSDI). This is especially important to recognize if you are unable to work for at least 12 months due to legal blindness. According to SSDI rules, legal blindness is determined by showing no more than 20/200 vision in your best eye during an eye test (e.g., Snellen Eye Chart) despite wearing corrective lenses. Keratoconus can take years to progress from early to advanced. However, in some people, keratoconus can worsen quickly. The cornea may suddenly swell and begin to heal. When the cornea has scar tissue, it loses its softness and becomes less clear. As a result, vision becomes even more blurred and distorted. Keratoconus, sometimes abbreviated as KC, is an eye condition in which the shape of the eye changes, resulting in blurred, cloudy or distorted vision, as well as sensitivity to light and glare problems.
Many people with keratoconus also have a history of myopia. In fact, some people first learn about their condition through assessments to see if they are candidates for LASIK surgery. Visual disturbances caused by keratoconus can be relatively mild at first and are often treated with glasses or contact lenses in the early stages. In some cases, people with keratoconus may be equipped with custom-made contact lenses specifically designed to correct their vision and adapted to the unique shape of their eyes. As the disease progresses, other treatments such as surgery to apply corneal inserts or treatments to reshape the cornea in other ways, or corneal transplants may be needed. In the early stages, symptoms of keratoconus can be: For more information about housing staff with keratoconus, please contact JAN. Medicare supplemental insurance (Medigap) is a private insurance policy that can cover the remaining 20% of health care costs not covered by Medicare Part A or Part B. Some Medigap plans also include vision coverage (for routine exams and glasses), which is not typically covered by Medicare. For anyone with keratoconus and who is legally blind (and not eligible for Medicaid), purchasing this additional coverage is a good idea. Medicare Part A covers hospitalization (at 80% of the total cost). Meanwhile, Medicare Part B covers health care outside of a hospital, such as outpatient doctor visits.
The diagnosis and treatment of certain eye conditions is covered by Medicare, and corneal transplantation (which is one of the surgical treatment options for severe keratoconus) is covered by Medicare. Here are the two main parts of traditional health insurance that apply to legally blind adults with keratoconus. If you have been diagnosed with keratoconus, the Keratoconus Precision Center can help you choose the best course of action to preserve your vision. Fortunately, in most cases, treatments such as scleral contact lenses and/or corneal cross-linking can prevent even advanced keratoconus from causing this severe vision loss. In later stages of keratoconus, more time may be needed for treatment and recovery from surgery. Another accommodation that may be required during the condition is a modified schedule to allow for the use of public transportation or other alternative modes of transportation or to accommodate overnight travel restrictions. Depending on the situation, telework may be another accommodation to consider in case of travel problems. To diagnose keratoconus eye disease, the doctor measures the curvature of the cornea. Several different tests can be used to diagnose keratoconus. The topography test is most often used to measure the curvature of the eye and create a colored “map” of the cornea.
To qualify for SSDI as a person who is legally blind and under the age of 65, a work credit calculation is performed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This is based on the dollar amount of income in a job (or self-employment) where you paid Social Security taxes (as well as the total number of years worked). According to disability-benefits-help.org`s website, a person between the ages of 31 and 42 would need 20 work points and five years of preparatory work to qualify for the SSDI. There is also a five-month “waiting period” before SSDI payments can be made to any applicant approved to receive SSDI. Keratoconus can cause legal blindness in a small percentage of affected adults (which usually leads to significant financial stress when they are unable to work). Meanwhile, federal law requires Medicaid coverage for people who receive SSDI and have limited financial assets (based on state revenue guidelines). Every person with keratoconus is different. Some employees with this condition, especially those in their early stages, may not require accommodations other than free time to treat or monitor their condition. Others may be able to adapt if they have the flexibility to adjust lighting near their workplace. In general, however, the housing needs of employees with keratoconus are likely to be similar to those of employees with other health conditions, resulting in poor vision and sensitivity to light. Keratoconus can cause a loss of visual acuity severe enough to be considered a disability.
Keratoconus is not a disability, but the vision loss caused by keratoconus may be severe enough to be considered a disability. Inflammation caused by allergies or irritants can contribute to the destruction of corneal tissue, leading to the development of keratoconus. Excessive eye rubbing and connective tissue diseases such as Marfan syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome are also associated with the development of keratoconus. In the United States, if a person`s best corrected visual acuity in both eyes is 20/200 or worse – whether caused by keratoconus or another condition – that person is considered legally blind and may qualify for disability benefits. If you have significant vision loss due to keratoconus, see a keratoconus specialist to see if any of these new treatment options (or possibly a corneal transplant) can improve your visual acuity and rule out the possible disability of keratoconus. To determine eligibility for government-sponsored vocational rehabilitation and training, special education services, disability benefits, equipment for the visually impaired, and tax exemption programs, the U.S. government defines legal blindness as follows: Changes in the shape of the eyes in people with keratoconus result from the weakening of corneal tissue, the clear tissue that covers the front part of the eye. As the tissue weakens, it also becomes thinner.
The thin parts of the affected cornea then begin to swell forward, forming a cone shape. Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease, which means that changes in the shape of the eye become more pronounced over time, resulting in persistent changes in vision. Most people who develop keratoconus in one eye end up developing keratoconus in the other eye. If both eyes are affected, the condition may progress at different rates in each eye. Changes can be gradual or more sudden. Although keratoconus is generally considered a progressive condition, changes in eye shape sometimes stop before more invasive treatments are needed.