The Social Security Administration considers your ability to engage in any kind of work when it determines whether you are disabled under the Social Security Administration’s guidelines and regulations. A few conditions are so severe that you are presumed to be disabled if you meet certain guidelines, either under the “compassionate allowance”, which are extremely severe conditions, or if you meet certain “listings”. Most of the listings are very complex and require proof of several objectively verifiable conditions or findings. Both the compassionate allowances and the listings can be found on the Social Security web site.
The Social Security Administration considers hearing loss to meet a listing if it quite severe and requires the following findings:
2.10 Hearing loss not treated with cochlear implantation.
A. An average air conduction hearing threshold of 90 decibels or greater in the better ear and an average bone conduction hearing threshold of 60 decibels or greater in the better ear (see 2.00B2c).
B. A word recognition score of 40 percent or less in the better ear determined using a standardized list of phonetically balanced monosyllabic words (see 2.00B2e).
2.11 Hearing loss treated with cochlear implantation.
A. Consider under a disability for 1 year after initial implantation.
B. If more than 1 year after initial implantation, a word recognition score of 60 percent or less determined using the HINT (see 2.00B3b).
Related problems may include vestibular disorders such as Meniere’s Disease, various conditions that cause positional vertigo, tinnitus, and seizure disorders, under listing SSA may review your condition under the listing for vestibular disorders, and the listing for seizure disorders, such as 11.03. As to the required diagnosis the listing states:
The diagnosis of a vestibular disorder requires a comprehensive neuro-otolaryngologic examination with a detailed description of the vertiginous episodes, including notation of frequency, severity, and duration of the attacks. Pure tone and speech audiometry with the appropriate special examinations, such as Bekesy audiometry, are necessary. Vestibular function is accessed by positional and caloric testing, preferably by electronystagmography. When polytomograms, contrast radiography, or other special tests have been performed, copies of the reports of these tests should be obtained in addition to appropriate medically acceptable imaging reports of the skull and temporal bone. Medically acceptable imaging includes, but is not limited to, x-ray imaging, computerized axial tomography (CAT scan) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), with or without contrast material, myelography, and radiocnuclear bone scans. “Appropriate” means that the technique used is the proper one to support the evaluation and diagnosis of the impairment.
If you meet the definitions in the listing as to how disabling the condition is you may entitled to Social Security disability benefits. You may also be entitled to benefits if your condition medically equals a listing, or if it otherwise prevents you from being able to engage in substantial gainful activity.
We will be happy to discuss your condition and to evaluate your claim. Please click here to fill out our interactive contact form and we will get back to you promptly to discuss your Social Security disability claim, give you a free evaluation of your case, and let you know what we can do for you. You can also call us at (303) 996-0700.
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