Hearing loss is a broad term that applies to individuals who are not able to hear as well as someone with normal hearing. Hearing loss is described as mild, moderate, severe, or profound and can be in one or both ears. Those with difficulty hearing on a daily basis but still using spoken language typically have mild or severe hearing loss. Deaf people have profound hearing loss meaning that they have little to no hearing ability and often must communicate using sign language or nonverbal language.
Hearing loss can be genetic but can also occur at any point in a person's life due to infection, disease, trauma, degeneration, or environmental influences. Most causes of hearing loss are preventable and it is essential to avoid environmental causes throughout one’s life. According to the World Health Organization, by 2050 nearly 2.5 billion people are projected to have some degree of hearing loss.
Hearing Loss Often Affects Your Ability to Work
Hearing loss impacts many aspects of a person’s life including communication, speech, cognition, emotional health, and interaction with others. Hearing loss can greatly limit the type of work someone is able to perform and there are far less job opportunities available for those who suffer from severe or profound hearing loss. For example, it may be difficult for individuals with hearing loss to work in a position where they have to communicate directly and frequently with the public (retail, waitressing, hospitality). Driving can also be hard for someone with hearing loss.
Treatment for Hearing Loss Can Help Your Disability Claim
After hearing loss is identified, a person will undergo a series of tests to determine the severity of the loss. Treatment depends on the cause and severity of the hearing loss and there are many options available including surgery, hearing aids, and cochlear implants. Cochlear implants are electronic devices that can partially restore hearing by bypassing damaged portions of the ear to deliver sound signals to the hearing nerve.
Disability Benefits for Hearing Loss
Hearing loss eligibility is found under Sections 2.10 and 2.11 of the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book Listings. The listings specify between hearing loss with cochlear implantation and without. Both listings require proof of specific medical hearing tests. The SSA will require a physical examination by an otolaryngologist (ENT) or a licensed physician as well as documented audiometric testing done by a licensed audiologist or ENT.
Medical evidence provided through extensive records and physician’s statements are key to any disability hearing. Our attorneys are experienced in working with physicians to gather all appropriate documentation needed for approval.
Let Our Team of Social Security Attorneys Guide You
Keller & Keller has handled thousands of disability cases including hearing loss cases. Our Social Security attorneys are available to guide you through every step of the process including filing an appeal if necessary. We are familiar with local and court interpreters and will use a qualified sign language interpreter to ensure that a hearing-impaired applicant can communicate effectively at their hearing. Our attorneys know what the judges are looking for. Denials are more common than you think. Call today for a free consultation.