SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
Filing a Social Security Disability Application - How to File & the Information that is Needed by SSA
Do you need a Lawyer at the Administrative Law Judge Disability Hearing?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of benefits
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much is paid for the Social Security Disability Attorney Fee?
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
How To Get Disability Through SSDI or SSI Approved
Should you get Help from a Disability Attorney before the Claim has been Denied?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
Qualifying for Disability - What is Social Security Looking for?
How do I check the status of my Social Security disability claim?
What Expenses Will A Social Security Attorney Charge In Addition To The Fee?
Facts about Tinnitus and Filing for Disability
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
1. Tinnitus, a symptom of a variety of conditions, causes phantom (not real) noises in the ears. These noises may sound like ringing, buzzing, roaring, clicking, whistling or hissing, and can vary from low or high pitch.
2. Severity of tinnitus varies – some people may experience very loud noise or very quiet noise, and some may experience noise at all times or just some of the time. Tinnitus is not dangerous, but it is an annoyance and may impact quality of life.
3. Impact on quality of life may lead those with tinnitus to seek treatment for anxiety and depression, stress, irritability, fatigue, memory problems.
4. Tinnitus can be subjective or objective. Subjective tinnitus is only heard by the affected individual, while objective tinnitus can be heard by a doctor during an ear exam. Objective tinnitus is rare, and is caused by problems with muscle tissue, blood vessels or bone of the inner ear.
5. Tinnitus is most commonly caused by normal hearing loss associated with age, typically 60 years and older, noise-related hearing loss (leading to either short or long-term tinnitus), excessive build up of earwax, and bone problems, such as stiffening, in the inner ear.
6. Medications can cause tinnitus, which typically increases along with the dosage. Antibiotics, malaria medication, cancer treatments, diuretics and very high doses of aspirin may cause temporary tinnitus.
7. White males over the age of 65 are the most likely to develop tinnitus. Those who have hearing loss or have been exposed to extended periods of loud noise without protecting the ears are at a higher risk for developing tinnitus.
8. Devices that create white noise may help mask the sound. Medications such as certain antidepressants and anxiety medications may be helpful in severe cases. Sometimes alleviating tinnitus is as simple as removing earwax buildup, changing a medication, or treating an underlying condition.
Can you qualify for disability benefits with this condition?
Whether or not you qualify for disability and, as a result, are approved for disability benefits will depend entirely on the information obtained from your medical records. This includes whatever statements may have been obtained from your treating physician (a doctor who has a history of treating your condition and is, therefore, qualified to comment as to your condition and prognosis).
It will also depend on the information obtained from your vocational, or work, history if you are an adult, or academic records if you are a minor-age child. The important thing to keep in mind is that the social security administration does not award benefits based on simply having a condition, but, instead, will base an approval or denial on the extent to which a condition causes functional limitations. Functional limitations can be great enough to make work activity not possible (or, for a child, make it impossible to engage in age-appropriate activities).
Why are so many disability cases lost at the disability application and reconsideration appeal levels?
Speaking as a former Disability Claims Examiner, I can state that there are several reasons:
1) Social Security makes no attempt to obtain a statement from a claimant's treating physician. By contrast, at the hearing level, a claimant and his or her disability attorney will generally obtain and present this type of statement to a judge;
2) Prior to the hearing level, a claimant will not have the opportunity to explain how their condition limits them, nor will their attorney or representative have the opportunity to make a presentation based on the evidence of the case. At the hearing level, of course, this is exactly what happens. And a number of disability representatives will also take such steps even earlier, at the reconsideration appeal level;
3) Disability judges, unlike disability examiners who decides cases at the first two levels of the system, can make independent decisions without being overturned by immediate supervisors--which happens frequently.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Social Security Disability Questions page