Did you know that more than 37 million adults in the U.S report some hearing loss, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)? The NIDCD and NIH report that about a quarter of adults age 65 and older have hearing loss that is disabling. The loss of hearing can be correctable with an implant, dependent upon the cause of the hearing loss. Whether or not your hearing loss is correctable, you may qualify for benefits, even if you decide not to undergo cochlear implantation surgery.
What kind of benefits?
With disabling hearing loss, you have the ability to qualify for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration. Qualification will not only make you eligible for monthly cash benefits but also may qualify you for other state-federal programs, including medical coverage through Medicare and or/Medicaid. The best place to begin with applying for disability benefits for hearing loss is to talk to a Social Security lawyer in Tennessee.
How do I receive these benefits?
Many hearing impaired workers also lose their ability to perform essential job functions. For example, a production worker who has severe hearing loss will no longer be able to hear over loud equipment and/or may not even be able to safely perform their job. As a person’s ability to hear drops, their earnings will steadily drop along with it. Most people receive disability benefits do so because they meet one of the SSA’s disability listings. Hearing loss applicants can qualify under the following two different listings:
- Hearing Loss (2.10) – this requires an average hearing threshold of 60 to 90 decibels or greater in the better ear, dependent upon the testing method or a word recognition score of 40 percent or less in the better ear.
- Hearing Loss with Cochlear Implant (2.11) – which automatically qualifies medically for disability benefits for at least one year following surgery.
If your hearing loss is not severe enough to meet the hearing loss listing, talk to your local disability lawyer in Tennessee. You may be able to qualify for benefits by meeting or closely matching the Disturbance of labyrinthine-vestibular function (2.07) listing instead. To meet this listing, your medical records must show yo experience ongoing issues with balance and tinnitus along with a progressive decline in your hearing ability.
To learn more about qualifying for benefits for hearing loss, contact your disability lawyer in Tennessee.