BASIC (03-86)

DI 21501.070 Georgia APTD/AB State Plan

A. Blindness — degree of blindness (2.a.)

A person shall be considered blind for the purposes of receiving Aid to the Aged, Blind, or Disabled, whose vision, with correcting glasses, is so defective as to prevent the performance of activities for which eyesight is essential. The following broader definition of blindness is also included in the State's definition of blindness.

In terms of ophthalmic measurement, central acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting glasses is generally considered as economoic blindness. A field defect in which the peripheral field has contracted to such an extent that the widest diameter of visual field subtends at an angular distance of no greater than 20 degrees may be considered equally disabling.

B. Permanent and total disability

1. Definition of permanent and total disability (3a.)

According to Georgia Law, a permanently and totally disabled person is a person, “who has a medically demonstrable disability which is permanent and which renders him incapable of performing any gainful occupation within his competence.” This definition of permanent and total disability contains three essential criteria:

  1. The disability must be medically demonstrable. The term medically demonstrable means that the person's disability must be verifiable and substantiated by medical findings. In other words, the Medical Eligibility Section must base its decision on the medical data which is provided by the client's physician and/or from other medical sources. A physician's statement that a client is permanently and totally disabled is considered insufficient evidence unless it is substantiated by medical and clinical data.

  2. The disability must be permanent. The factor of permanency refers to a serious physical or mental impairment, or disease which is not likely to improve or which will continue throughout the lifetime of the individual.

    Permanent disability is a condition which is not likely to respond to any known therapeutic procedures, or a condition which is likely to remain static or to become worse unless certain therapeutic measures are carried out. Permanent disability does not rule out the possibility of vocational rehabilitation or even possible recovery in light of future medical advances or changed prognosis. In this sense the term refers to a condition which continues indefinitely, as distinct from one which is temporary or transient.

  3. The disability must be total to the extent that it prevents performance of gainful occupations within the disabled person's competence. The factor of totality involves considerations in addition to those verified through the medical findings. These include, but are not limited to, such considerations as age, training, skills, work experience and the extent to which these factors prevent the performance of gainful occupations within the disabled person's competence.

An individual's total disability would usually be tested in relation to his ability to engage in remunerative employment. The ability to keep house or to care for others would be the appropriate test for individuals such as housewives who were engaged in this occupation prior to the disability and do not have a recent history of gainful employment well enough and with sufficient regularity to receive regular payments on a continuing basis, he is not considered to be totally disabled.

All of these factors must be substantiated in order to make a determination of permanent and total disability, and the absence of any one of these factors would render the person ineligible.

2. Criteria of permanent and total disability (3.b.)

Any applicant/recipient meeting one of the two criteria given in the following paragraphs may be found to be totally disabled to perform a gainful occupation even though he may receive some remuneration through work-related activities.

A gainful occupation is one which is remunerative, performed regularly, and performed without unusual assistance from others.

  1. Inability to Perform the Essential Activities of Daily Living: It is recognized that some severely disabled persons may achieve some semblance of engaging in a gainful occupation because of supreme motivation and effort, or because friends or relatives assist them in various ways. A person, for instance, may be bedridden, unable to leave his home, and require the help of others to meet the needs of daily living. Yet this person may engage in remunerative and productive events such as knitting or selling products via the telephone. The Medical Eligibility Section will consider the following criteria in determining permanent and total disability in such situations, and if the individual meets one or more of these criteria he may qualify for aid to the Disabled.

    Is the applicant/recipient able to engage in remunerative activity because family, friends, or neighbors help in unusual ways, such as running errands, providing working materials or creating a market for him? Is this assistance based more on sympathy and compassion than it is on any profit which may be realized by those who assist?

  2. Inability to Engage in Remunerative Work on a Predictable Basis: In order to determine whether th