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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.

  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    The SSI Disability Benefits Program

    Medical exams for disability claims

    Applying for Disability in various states

    Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs

    Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews

    Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children

    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits

    FAQ on Disability Claim Representation

    Disability hearings before Judges

    Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers

    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security

    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

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    FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions

    The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Applying for Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    Related pages:

    Social Security Disability Requirements
    Filing a Social Security Disability or SSI application
    SSI disability qualifications for adults and children
    Permanent disabilility qualifications

    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