Qualifying for SSD with Hearing Loss

Hearing loss, or deafness, is an auditory condition that affects a person’s ability to process sound—losses range from normal to profound in severity. There are three types of hearing loss: conductive, sensorineural, and mixed.

Conductive hearing loss causes a reduction in sound level and occurs because of conditions affecting the outer canal, eardrum, or the middle ear, while sensorineural hearing loss results from damage to the inner ear or the nerve pathways in the inner ear to the brain. Unlike conductive hearing loss, a sensorineural ear condition can’t be medically fixed. Mixed hearing loss is a combination of both conditions.

If your hearing impairment impacts your ability to work, your condition may qualify you for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Ask a member of our team about whether you can qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits with hearing loss.

Qualifying Hearing Impairments

If your hearing can be restored via the use of a hearing aid, it will not qualify for SSD benefits. Otherwise, hearing impairment disabilities are evaluated by the SSA using two benchmarks:

Hearing Threshold

  • What it is: a person’s minimum hearing level
  • How it is evaluated: testing the average threshold levels in the person’s better ear at 500, 1,000, and 2,000hz

Speech Discrimination

  • What it is: how well a person understands what they hear
  • How it is evaluated: receiving a score of 40 percent or less in the better ear on a discrimination test

Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits with a Hearing Impairment

Losing some or all of your hearing can significantly impact your ability to work in many occupations. If you are unable to work due to your hearing loss, you may qualify for SSD benefits from the SSA. However, the SSA may deny your claim—even if your hearing loss is significant.

The Social Security Disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin have worked with many people who have hearing impairments, and we understand what you’re going through. That’s why we’ll do everything in our power to get you the benefits your family needs. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.


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