Do you need an attorney for a social security disability case? Watch this video find out why you do need an attorney, and then read on to learn how hearing loss can qualify you for social security disability.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a report on the “Prevalence of Disability and Disability Type Among Adults,” but they did not include hearing loss in the survey they administered for this report. The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) has expressed indignation at this oversight since the report will be used to evaluate the amount of public resources necessitated by each type of disability.
While people with hearing loss were recognized in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, they often still have trouble acquiring benefits such as Social Security Disability, perhaps because their disability isn’t as “visible” literally or figuratively in the public’s perception.
However, this very real disability makes it difficult to work in loud environments with machinery, in telephone or radio jobs, or in positions with a lot of client or coworker communication. For this reason, we at Darrell Castle & Associates are committed to procuring much needed Social Security Disability benefits for our clients with hearing loss. See my video on why you need a lawyer for a disability case, and then read on to find out how our Memphis Social Security Disability attorneys can help you get the benefits you deserve.
Who Automatically Qualifies for Social Security Disability for Hearing Loss?
In order to qualify you for Social Security Disability for hearing loss, we must prove the severity of your condition to the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA has two different standard tests through which you can automatically qualify: the Word Recognition Test or Audiometry.
These tests, along with a physical ear examination, must be taken without hearing aids and administered by an audiologist certified through The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association or The American Board of Audiology or by an otolaryngologist (ENT). To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits through the Word Recognition Test, you must have “a word recognition score of 40% or lower in the better ear.”
To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits through Audiometry, you must have:
“An average hearing threshold of 90 decibels or greater in the better ear, documented through air condition tests AND a hearing threshold in the better ear of 60 decibels or higher, documented through bone conduction tests.”
Another way you could potentially automatically qualify for Social Security disability benefits is through cochlear implants. People with cochlear implants automatically receive benefits for their first year with the implants, and continue to receive benefits after that if their word recognition score remains at 60% or worse.
Further details on automatically qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits for hearing loss are included in the SSA Blue Book.
What If I Don’t Automatically Qualify Social Security Disability Benefits?
If you don’t automatically qualify for Social Security Disability benefits through the word recognition test, audiometry, or cochlear implants, the SSA will establish a residual functional capacity (RFC) for you, which indicates the types of jobs you could potentially hold, taking into account your disability.
In this case, notes on how your hearing loss has prohibited you from fulfilling job responsibilities (in spite of workplace accommodations) can help you obtain an accurate RFC. If it is determined that you can no longer perform your current job based on your RFC, the SSA will search for new jobs you could potentially hold.
However, if you are over 55 and don’t have the training or education for those new jobs, then you may be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits through a medical-vocational allowance. It is actually more common to receive benefits for hearing loss this way than it is to receive them automatically based on testing.
Why Do I Need a Social Security Disability Attorney?
We might have made the process of obtaining benefits for hearing loss sound simple, but that was mainly for the sake of a clear explanation. It is actually quite difficult to obtain Social Security Disability benefits for hearing loss without an attorney on your side, particularly if you don’t meet the testing requirements for automatic benefits.
A social security disability attorney can work with your physician to make sure that the SSA has sufficient documentation of your disability in order to obtain your most accurate RFC. An experienced social security disability attorney is also familiar with how judges and SSA medical experts will react during your hearing loss disability case and can represent you well with that professional insight.
With a social security disability attorney guiding your case, you have a much greater chance for receiving benefits for your hearing loss.
Your Memphis Social Security Disability Attorney
We at Darrell Castle & Associates are absolutely ready to represent you in your Social Security Disability case for hearing loss. We are committed to respecting and defending your description of how your disability affects your daily life. We also promise to accommodate your disability the best that we can during the case process. If you are struggling with hearing loss, please contact our Memphis office today to begin pursuing the Social Security Disability benefits you deserve.