Social Security Disability Benefits and Hearing Loss

If You Suffer from Hearing Loss in Both Ears, You May be Eligible for Disability Benefits
The Social Security Administration (SSA) grants disability benefits to those with profound hearing loss or deafness in both ears. The SSA has specific details on how bad your hearing loss must be in order to qualify for benefits.
To qualify, SSA’s rules say you need to take one of two tests:
1) Audiometry. This tests your average hearing threshold sensitivity for air conduction. It must be 90 decibels (dB). You must also have a bone conduction hearing threshold of 60 decibels (dB) or worse in your better ear. The test calculates your average hearing at sound frequencies of 500, 1,000 and 2,000 hertz (Hz).
2) Word recognition. If you can’t repeat more than 40% of listed words spoken in this test, you will qualify for benefits.

No matter which test you take, it must be administered by an ENT, a licensed physician or an audiologist working with an ENT or physical. Any tests you take must be done without the assistance of your hearing aids. It’s possible the SSA will also send you to an audiologist for a test that measure your brainwaves’ response to tones. This is called an auditory evoked response test.

Disability Benefits and Cochlear Implants

If you have cochlear implants in either or both of your ears, you will automatically receive disability benefits for one year after your implants are put in. These benefits kick in regardless of whether or not your hearing improves in the next year. After the first year of your cochlear implants, your benefits will continue if your word recognition test is 60% of lower.

Other Ways to Qualify for Disability Benefits with Hearing Loss

If you don’t meet SSA’s rules for hearing loss as described above, you may still be able to qualify for disability benefits. To do so, you must show you cannot work another job because of your hearing loss.
You will be evaluated on how your hearing loss affects you ability to communicate, do certain jobs and simple things like follow instructions.
The SSA will try to find a job that you can perform where hearing isn’t important. But if your hearing is so poor you can’t adjust to another job, you will qualify for benefits. As you age, the ease of qualifying for benefits in this way increases.
If you’re suffering from deafness or significant hearing loss and need help getting disability benefits in Southwest Alabama or Northwest Florida, call Social Security Disability attorney Gil Laden. Contact Gil today.

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The information on this web site is made available by Gilbert B. Laden, P.C., for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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He has been certified as a specialist in Social Security Disability Law by the National Board of Social Security Disability Advocacy, as acknowledged by the Alabama State Bar.