Does hearing loss qualify as a disability?
Does hearing loss qualify as a disability? The effects of hearing loss can be incredibly profound, both emotionally and logistically. Hearing impairment can affect your ability to perform the duties of your job, depending on your occupation, and in younger people, it can create barriers that require additional equipment and attention to school.
One of the first things that you might wonder about when you or someone you love experiences sudden hearing loss or are born with a hearing impairment is whether or not the condition qualifies as a disability for the purposes of SSDI or SSI . If you’re not sure where to start navigating this new area, let’s go over some hearing loss basics and discuss whether hearing problems can be classified as a disability.
How is hearing loss defined?
Hearing loss occurs when part of the auditory system is not working properly. There are four main types of hearing impairment. A conductive loss occurs when something blocks sound from entering the ear and can often be corrected with medication or surgery. Sensoineural loss occurs when there is a problem in the inner ear or auditory nerve. The mixed loss includes both conductive and sensoryineural loss. Finally, there is an auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder that occurs when sound enters the ear but is not as composed as the brain can process it.
There are also different degrees of hearing loss, which are commonly divided into four types (mild, moderate, severe, and profound). With mild hearing loss, quieter sounds may simply be absent; with moderate loss, little to no speech can be heard at normal volume; with severe loss, no speech is heard at normal volume; and with minimum volume, severe loss is called impossible.Identify each Speech and you can only hear certain loud noises.
Depending on the type of loss, the recommended hearing health care coverage may vary. You may need a hearing aid or aid, or you may find that you can do without one. Your needs and specific problems, some hearing problems are accompanied by secondary problems such as tinnitus (ringing in the ears), determine your course of treatment. The best place to start is, of course, with a professional hearing test by a doctor such as an audiologist.
How is hearing often lost?
Is hearing loss a disability?
While SSA recognizes the hearing loss as a disability, it depends on the individual case of the injured victim. Only those with severe or profound loss are eligible for SSDI or SSI disability benefits. The SSA has specific measurements that are used to define whether your degree of hearing loss is eligible for assistance. The average hearing threshold for the better ear must be 90 decibels or more and a hearing threshold of 60 decibels or more, which is documented by air and bone conduction tests. You must also have a word recognition score of 40% or less in the better ear, as demonstrated by tests using standardized, phenetically balanced words. If you are planning to apply for disability benefit, speak with your doctor so they can guide you through the process to increase the chances of your application being accepted.
While the loss of your hearing is a big life change that brings many challenges and emotions, working with a healthcare professional such as an audiologist can help you figure out what types of treatments are right for you. Your doctor can even help you claim disability benefits if your hearing loss is severe enough to qualify. If possible, don’t be afraid to hire a personal injury attorney and see what punitive or damages you might be entitled to. While hearing loss can be difficult to manage, resources are available to help you both mentally and financially when you are ready to find them.
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