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Can I get disability benefits for hearing loss or a hearing impairment?
Unfortunately, the hearing impairments listing in the blue book (listing 2.08) doesn't really say a lot that would be of much benefit to claimants. Just the same, here's what the listing says, paraphrased somewhat for better comprehension:
Listing 2.09 - Hearing Impairments (a claimant may qualify for benefits on the basis of either part A or part B criteria for the hearing impairments listing).
Part A - An average threshold of hearing sensitivity for air conduction testing of ninety decibels or more, and for bone conduction testing to corresponding maximal levels (in the better ear, of course) as decided by taking the average of hearing threshold levels at five hundred, one thousand, and 2000 hertz (hz).
Part B - Speech discrimination scores of forty percent or less in the better ear.
Now, how useful is this information for individuals filing for disability or SSI on the basis of hearing loss? Perhaps not that useful. However, let's go over a couple of things that the listing obviously says.
First, it's important to note that audiometry (audiometry is testing whereby an individual's hearing levels are tested as well as the individual's ability to discriminate between various intensities of sound and pitch) and speech discrimination testing will form the basis for a decision.
So, if a claimant has not been to an audiologist, an audiometric consultative exam will be arranged by the disability examiner working on the claim (and, of course, the exam will be paid for by the social security administration).
Second, the criteria used by the social security administration for hearing loss cases focuses on the residual functional capacity of the better ear.
What does this mean from the standpoint of an applicant for social security disability or SSI? That even if your hearing in one ear is listing level, but your hearing is better in the other ear, you will not be approved for disability on the basis of meeting or equaling the requirements of this listing.
Not satisfying the requirements of this listing, however, does not necessarily that you can't be awarded disability benefits if you have significant hearing loss. It simply means that you will need to win your claim as a medical vocational allowance and your hearing loss will be considered as one of the factors satisfactorily limiting your ability to work.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Social Security Disability Requirements
Filing a Social Security Disability or SSI application
SSI disability qualifications for adults and children
Permanent disabilility qualifications
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:
Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI
These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits
Disability qualifications - Who will qualify is based on functional limitations
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
How to file for disability and the information needed by Social Security
What conditions do they Award Disability Benefits for?
How does back pay for Social Security disability work?
What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI? Part I
To get a Social Security Disability or SSI Award do you have to have a Permanent Disability?
Social Security Disability Status - when should I call to check
Do Lawyers Improve The Chances of Winning Social Security Disability or SSI?
What is qualifying for disability based on?
How to qualify for disability - The Process of Qualifying for Benefits
Receiving a Social Security Disability Award Letter
How long does it take to get disability?
Filing and applying for disability in Texas