If you suffer from severe hearing impairment or deafness, you may be eligible to receive Social Security disability. Here, Maryland Social Security attorney Jeffrey Scholnick of the Law Offices of Jeffrey Scholnick explains Social Security disability for hearing loss.
Who is Eligible to Receive Social Security Disability for Hearing Loss?
According to both the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), approximately one quarter of adults aged 65 and over report experiencing hearing loss to some capacity. While individuals with minor hearing loss do not qualify for Social Security disability, individuals with significant hearing loss or even complete deafness may qualify to receive disability benefits.
Social Security disability benefits for individuals with hearing loss often prove to be necessary forms of aid because of the expensive price of hearing aids, cochlear implants and other medical procedures. For instance, while individuals automatically receive disability benefits for one year after they receive cochlear implants, individuals who wish to have hearing aids often pay an average of $4,500 per pair—if an individual’s insurance does not cover hearing aids, they can end up inaccessible to those who require them. That is why Social Security disability benefits are available for those who fit the criteria.
How Do I Apply For Social Security Disability for Hearing Loss?
To apply for Social Security disability benefits for hearing loss, there are two routes you can take depending on whether you seek Social Security disability (SSDI) or supplemental security income (SSI). If you are applying for SSDI, you can either apply at your local Social Security office or online. If you would like to apply for SSI, it is required that you be interviewed by a Social Security Administration (SSA) representative. Interviews can take place over the phone or in person. In both the SSDI and SSI application processes, you will need certain paperwork containing necessary information such as your work history, current employment, contact information of your healthcare providers and more.
What Tests Must I Take to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
To receive Social Security disability benefits, you must pass either the audiometry test or the word recognition test. The audiometry test measures your hearing capabilities at 500 hertz, 1,000 hertz and 2,000 hertz. To pass the audiometry test you must have a bone conduction hearing threshold of 60 decibels or worse in your better ear, and your hearing threshold sensitivity for air conduction must be 90 decibels or worse in that ear. During the word recognition test, you must only be able to repeat 40% or less of words in a list of words spoken during the test. Word recognition tests are supervised by a licensed physician, audiologist or ENT who oversees your speech discrimination capability. These tests are performed without the use of hearing aids.
Speak to Maryland Attorney Jeffrey Scholnick of The Law Offices of Jeffrey Scholnick Regarding Your Hearing Loss
Hearing loss affects more than 37 million American adults and can impact your day-to-day life and ability to make a living. If you suffer from significant hearing loss and seek Social Security disability benefits to ease the strain of paying for hearing aids, cochlear implants and other treatments, dedicated Social Security disability attorney Jeffrey Scholnick of The Law Offices of Jeffrey Scholnick can help you determine whether you qualify to receive aid. If you would like more information on how you can receive Social Security benefits for your hearing loss, contact The Law Offices of Jeffrey Scholnick today.