DI 21501.020 Alabama APTD/AB State Plan
Alabama Manual, Part I, Chapter 2, Section III
A. Blindness — definition of blindness
Blindness— A person is considered blind who has no vision, or whose vision with correcting glasses is so defective as to prevent the performance of ordinary activities for which eyesight is essential. Central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in better eye with correcting glasses is considered as economic blindness. A person, however, may be considered blind if his central visual acuity is more than 20/200 in the better eye with correcting glasses but a rough test shows him to have a marked field defect. The marked field defect is one in which the peripheral field has contracted to such an extent that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees.
B. Permanent and total disability — definitions
Permanent and Total Disability— An individual must be both permanently and totally disabled to the extent that he is substantially prevented from engaging in any useful occupation within his competence.
Permanent Disability— Medical findings must be available to establish permanent disability. A permanent disability is a serious physiological or anatomical or mental condition which, according to medical information is not likely to improve and which will likely continue throughout a person's lifetime, although there may be improvement after a period of time. This does not include conditions known to be temporary or transient. Although a person may be diagnosed as having a permanent impairment, he sometimes responds favorably to treatment after an unfavorable prognosis. The discovery of new drugs or other advances in medical treatment are potentials which may change a permanent impairment. Pending the actual improvement, however, the person will be considered as permanently disabled. In these cases and in cases of total disability in which it appears that the disability is permanent but that it may respond to treatment, the review team may approve the person and ask that a re-examination be made in six or twelve months.
Total Disability— Both medical and social information must be available to establish total disability. The total disability must result from a permanent impairment(s) even though the impairment may improve after a period of time. The review team establishes this factor by considering the permanent impairment in relation to the activities which would be required of a person who is going to engage in paid employment either in cash or in kind, in homemaking, or in performing some other type of useful service for others without pay. In other words, medical data and social data are considered jointly in establishing total disability. The worker carries the responsibility for providing social findings.
Useful Occupation— “Useful occupation” means productive activity such as working for pay in cash or kind, or performing services for others inside or outside the home without compensation—such as performing homemaking duties. Homemaking involves home-management and decision-making responsibilities, as well as providing essential services within the home for at least one person in addition to oneself.
NOTE: A person whose only activity consists of supervising others in homemaking tasks or in advising other family members in farming and similar family projects is not considered to be engaging in a useful occupation.
Substantially Prevents— “Substantially prevents” relates to the extent to which a person's impairment has left him unable to engage in activities necessary to carrying on specified responsibilities, such as those related to employment or homemaking.
A person may engage in some limited activities from which he derives a small amount of income. This will not prevent his receiving assistance under the program for the permanently and totally disabled provided he does not have gross earnings of more than $120.00 a year. From these earnings, deduct all work and operating expenses recognized by the agency. Show any remainder as income in the budget.
A person is not considered as prevented from engaging in useful occupations if:
He is able to work well enough to receive payments in excess of $120.00 a year (gross) for his own current efforts; or
He is able to carry the major homemaking responsibilities on a continuing basis for himself and at least one other person.
NOTE: The $120.00 limitation on earnings does not apply to persons receiving training through the rehabilitation program. The actual net earnings will be considered in the usual manner. (See Section IV, “Vocational Rehabilitation Service.” Also see “3c” on page III-17 of the Alabama manual.)
If an APTD applicant is working and has gross earnings of more than $120.00 a year or is a providing all of the major homemaking tasks for at least one other person in addition to himself and plans to continue either of these activities, medical and social data need not be referred to the review team. In these situations, the denial of aid will be on the basis of the individual's earnings or activities rather than on the basis of his failure to meet the criteria of being permanently and totally disabled. If the county department wishes the review team to consider the medical and social data it may be submitted with a letter explaining the reason for the request.