You can receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits if you have a profound hearing loss. With a mild or moderate impairment, though, it is more difficult to receive benefits. If your hearing loss or impairment, regardless of how severe, prevents you from working, you need to speak to a disability lawyer today. Even if your hearing impairment does not meet the requirements from the Social Security Administration (SSA) for benefits, we can potentially help you qualify in other ways.
At the Disability Advantage Group, we specialize in getting Social Security benefits for our clients, including those with hearing impairments. We have fought dozens of cases with the SSA and can anticipate their response to a variety of situations. Our experience with the disability application process gives you the best shot of winning benefits for your hearing loss.
We offer free consultations to our clients. You can sit down with an attorney, get answers to your questions, and listen to advice on your claim. Call 865-566-0800 today to learn how we can help you get disability for deafness and hearing loss.
Which Types of Impairments Are Eligible for Disability Benefits?
The SSA maintains something it calls its Blue Book of qualifying disabilities. This book lists the various medical conditions that the SSA considers disabling. If you have a valid diagnosis of a listed condition, winning benefits should be a straightforward process. If you do run into complications, our qualified attorneys can help. If your condition is not in the book, the SSA has other avenues through which you can get benefits if your case is strong enough.
The Blue Book divides disabling hearing loss into two types: non-cochlear and cochlear. This refers to whether or not you have received a cochlear implant to treat your hearing loss.
Hearing Loss Not Treated With a Cochlear Implant
If your hearing loss is not treated with a cochlear implant, you can win benefits through the Blue Book by producing convincing medical evidence about your impairment. The SSA lays out specific criteria regarding what we need to prove about your hearing loss.
You must provide evidence that, in your better ear, your average air conduction hearing threshold is 90 decibels or greater. You must also have an average bone conduction hearing threshold of 60 decibels or greater in your better ear. In other words, a sound must be above these specified decibel readings for your better ear to detect it. Even if you are completely deaf in one ear, if your other ear hears better than 90 decibels for air conduction and 60 decibels for bone conduction, you may not qualify under these criteria.
If the above does not apply in your case, you can show that you scored 40 percent or less in a word recognition test using your better ear. This test uses a list of phonetically balanced monosyllabic words and detects how many of those words your hearing picks up on.
Hearing Loss Treated With a Cochlear Implant
If you have received a cochlear implant, the SSA considers you disabled for a full year following the procedure. This means you can receive disability benefits during this time.
After one year, you must take a word recognition test to determine if you are eligible to continue receiving benefits. However, rather than the 40 percent score required for non-implant applicants, you can receive benefits as long as your score is 60 percent or below.
What If My Hearing Loss or Impairment Fails to Meet the Above Criteria?
If your hearing loss does not meet the Blue Book criteria, you still might be eligible for benefits. There is a workaround, with which our attorneys have lots of experience. The process is highly subjective and winning benefits without meeting Blue Book criteria requires a compelling case with lots of evidence. That is why you need the best Social Security disability attorney working for you. We have the experience and knowledge to fight for your benefits regardless of whether you meet the Blue Book’s criteria.
The SSA allows applicants to apply for benefits using something called a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment. Rather than looking at your specific diagnosis, this test evaluates how your condition affects your ability to work and carry out activities of daily living. The higher your degree of functional limitation, the greater chance you have of receiving benefits.
The RFC assessment measures your limitations in several areas.
This includes your ability to carry out normal physical tasks, such as walking, lifting, standing, and carrying objects. We might be able to show, for instance, that your hearing impairment affects your balance and causes physical limitations.
The test measures if you have difficulty carrying out mental tasks essential to work and daily living. In particular, it looks at your ability to understand, remember, and follow instructions. If your hearing loss causes a breakdown in this process, we can use this as evidence to argue for benefits.
The SSA’s literature specifically lists hearing as a type of “other ability” for which you can receive benefits if you have limitations.
Total Limiting Effects
The SSA is most concerned with the way all your limitations combine to make it difficult to work or carry out activities of daily living. Our attorneys work with your treating physicians to gather as much evidence as possible attesting to the full extent of your condition. This evidence might include diagnoses, lab tests, medical reports, and doctors’ observations. We also collect statements from those who frequently spend time with you. Such statements can bolster our case, particularly if we have a strong foundation of medical evidence.
Call 865-566-0800 Today to Talk With a Skilled Social Security Disability Attorney.
Are you ready to get started? The attorneys at the Disability Advantage Group, can start building your case right away. The sooner we do, the sooner you can win your claim and you can start receiving benefits. Call our office today at 865-566-0800 for a free consultation with an attorney.