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Social Security disability for hearing loss

Suffering a disabling injury or illness can be a difficult thing to cope with for an individual. He or she may be rendered unable to perform the activities he or she once loved, and even conducting day-to-day business, like grocery shopping, visiting family and going to work can become challenging, if not impossible. Additionally, these individuals can be left in a dire financial situation if they are knocked out of work. Fortunately, though, these individuals may be able to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, which would help offset medical expenses and lost wages.

One way to qualify for SSD benefits is to show that an individual has suffered hearing loss. Of course, the Social Security Administration has certain requirements that must be met before benefits will be granted. The federal requirements that must be met depend on the type of hearing loss suffered. The SSA divides this into two categories: those with a cochlear implant and those without.

Those who do not have a cochlear implant may qualify for SSD benefits if they meet one of two qualifications. First, an individual may qualify if he or she scores 40 percent or less in their better ear when tested utilizing a standardized list of monosyllabic words. Second, one may qualify here if he or she has an average hearing threshold of 90 decibels of higher when using air conduction testing, or 60 decibels or greater when using bone conduction testing. These levels must be in the individual's better hearing ear.

Those who have a cochlear implant may qualify for SSD benefits in one of two ways. First, they may qualify if they have already been considered under a disability for at least a year after the implant. Second, an individual may qualify if, a year after implantation of a cochlear device, he or she still scores 60 percent or less on a particular type of word recognition test.

Of course, many initial SSD claims are denied for a variety of reasons. This is why those who believe they are disabled and qualify for SSD benefits should think about discussing the matter with a qualified legal professional who may be able to help them develop a strong claim.

Source: Social Security Administration, "2.00 Special Senses and Speech - Adult," accessed on May 29, 2017

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