DI 21501.260 West Virginia APTD/AB State Plan
A. Blindness — definition (47210)
The applicant/recipient must have no vision or vision so defective as to prevent the performance of ordinary activities for which eyesight is essential. In terms of ophthalmic measurement, central vision acuity of 20/ 200 or less in the better eye with correcting glasses is generally considered as economic blindness. A disqualifying field defect sufficient to incapacitate one for employment may be considered equally disabling. This type of field defect is one in which the peripheral field has contracted to such an extent that the widest diameter of visual field substends an angular distance of no greater than 20 degrees.
B. Permanent and total disability — definition (46210)
The Aid to the Disabled category is intended to offer relatively long-term financial assistance and services to individuals who are physically/mentally and socially disabled to the extent that they are unable to engage in a useful occupation and their return to or attainment of such ability is unpredictable and involves a long or uncertain period of time or cannot be expected.
The term “useful occupation” can refer to employment for wages or homemaking, and the proper application of the term would depend upon the accustomed, or expected role of the client. A person's role depends upon his social situation and how he is expected to function in society. For example, the accustomed role of a husband is generally considered that of a wage earner, and with rare exception he would remain in that role. Generally, the accustomed role of a wife is that of homemaker. However, a widow, a divorcee, or a single woman would be considered a wage earner as she would be responsible for providing an income for herself.
1. Medical factors (46211)
The basic requirement for Aid to the Disabled assistance is the presence of physical/mental impairment. The effect of this impairment upon the individual's performance in his usual or indicated role is generally what must be considered when making an eligibility decision. The resultant effect of this impairment is a combination of both medical and social factors. Information relating to the physical/mental impairment is important because it gives an indication of what the person's body will allow him to do, what tasks he can perform, what amount of activity he can exert, under what conditions he can perform and what is his medical prognosis.
2. Social factors (46212)
The social factors brought out by the Social Summary are equally important (refer to Appendix A—Social Summary at the end of this chapter). The Summary conveys basic information about the applicant which will have bearing on the type of activity a person with his impairment can or cannot realistically perform or be trained to perform. For example:
The person's age and actual educational level will give some idea of the amount of time that will be necessary to involve him in some type of useful occupation within his competence.
The individual's education and employment background will give an indication of the person's drive and achievement level.
The client's attitude toward and acceptance of his disability as well as his desire and plans for rehabilitation will give a suggestion as to his prognosis and advisability of services.
When possible some idea of the type of employment available in the community and the person's attitude toward moving to an area more favorable for employment is helpful when determining the individual's eligibility.
When we speak of useful occupation in terms of employment, we refer to a marketable effort in demand in the community, that can compete with others on the market, that is extended in normal working conditions and that requires no special considerations. In regard to this area, the Summary will be useful in conveying the applicant's feelings concerning his ability to work consistently without long rest breaks, special equipment or any special consideration.
As mentioned in our definition, useful occupation can also refer to homemaking. If this is the individual's accustomed or expected role, the summary will indicate the problems preventing the applicant from assuming this role.
All of the social factors in the Social Summary are important in indicating how much of a handicap the disability is to this particular individual.
3. Interrelating the medical and social factors (46213)
In view of the previous discussion, if a person has a physical/mental disability which prevents him from engaging in a useful occupation consistent with his expected role and competence, and if the social and disabling factors present indicate that rehabilitation would be a relatively long, indefinite or unpredictable process, the individual would be eligible for Aid to the Disabled.