DI 21501.155 Nebraska APTD/AB State Plan
A. Blindness — definition of blindness (3332)
Economic blindness is defined as visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with corrective glasses. An individual with central visual acuity of more than 20/200 in the better eye with proper correction is considered to be blind if the widest diameter of the visual field does not extent beyond an angular distance of twenty degrees.
B. Permanent and total disability
1. Disability defined: (3337)
For the purposes of this program “permanently and totally disabled” means that an individual has some physical, functional, or mental impairment, either singly or in combination, verifiable by medical findings from which recovery cannot reasonably be expected, and which substantially precludes him from engaging in useful occupations within his competence, such as holding a job or homemaking.
“Physical impairment” refers to loss or defects of arms or legs, malfunctioning of the organs of the body, or physiological disturbances with structural damage.
“Mental impairment” refers to conditions characterized by a marked and consistent failure to adjust to the emotional, social, or intellectual demands of living, and severe enough to require that the individual have the assistance of another person in the essential activities of daily living.
2. Interpretation of definition: (3337.01)
Terms used in the definition of disability are to be interpreted generally as follows:
“Permanence” does not rule out the possibility of rehabilitation, restoration, or even recovery from the impairment. Individuals sometimes respond favorably to treatment after an unfavorable prognosis, or the disabling condition becomes arrested. The discovery of new drugs or other advances in medical treatment is always a potential which may change a “permanent” situation, but pending actual improvement the impairment may be considered to be permanent.
The term “totally” like “permanently” is not an absolute term in that it must be considered in reference to the ability of the individual, as revealed by the facts in his situation, to perform those activities necessary to carry out specified responsibilities, such as those necessary to employment or homemaking. “Totally” involves considerations in addition to those verified through the medical findings, such as age, training, skills and work experience, and the probable functioning of the individual in his particular situation in the light of his impairment.
The term “substantially precludes” relates to the extent to which an individual is able to engage in the activities necessary to carrying on specified responsibilities, such as those related to employment or homemaking. If an individual is able to engage in such activities well enough and with sufficient regularity to receive the usual wage for his own efforts, or to carry homemaking responsibilities on a continuing basis, he is not considered as precluded from engaging in “useful occupations” and cannot be found to be a permanently and totally disabled individual. However, an individual may be substantially precluded from engaging in a useful occupation even though he is able to work for short periods. The fact that some remuneration may be received from a “useful occupation” does not preclude a finding of permanent and total disability.
The term “useful occupations” means productive activities which add to the economic wealth, or produce goods or services to which may be attached a money value. As used in this context “useful occupations” demand the time and attention of the doer for the ultimate benefits of others.
Not included in “useful occupations” would be such activities as hobbies; activity which does not provide a bona fide job opportunity, i.e., if the individual stopped doing it no one would be hired to replace him; that part of a rehabilitation program which is officially designated as “training” , and which is carried on under supervision.
“Homemaking” within the above interpretation of “useful occupations” involves ability to carry the home management and decision-making responsibilities and provide essential service within the home for at least one person in addition to one's self. “Homemaking” is not an employment situation that may be entered for hire but proceeds from a social situation that exists around the individual, either a man or woman, who has assumed homemaking responsibilities.
The following activities are important to the successful performance of the occupation of homemaking—shopping for food and supplies; planning and preparing meals; washing dishes cleaning house; making beds; washing and ironing clothes. In addition, if the care of young children is within the “homemaking” responsibilities—lifting and carrying infants and, in emergency, pre-school children; bathing and dressing young children, training and supervising children, accompanying children to community activities, source of medical care, etc.
A finding that a person is unable to perform the occupation of homemaking would require a determination that the individual is unable to perform a significant combination of these activities because of his impairment, unable to perform for the required number of hours daily, or to perform predictably enough to meet the responsibilities involved.
3. Mental impairment defined: (3337.02)
The definition of “mental impairment” includes those conditions generally known as psycho-neuroses, psycho-physiological reactions, personality disorders, and mental deficiency. It also includes those impairments with diagnosed psychoses as applied to individuals who have been released from a state mental hospital. The severity of the mental impairment must be such that the individual is unable to function independently with respect to the essential activities of daily living.