People often wonder if they qualify for Social Security Disability or SSI benefits because they have difficulty hearing. People have heard that just because they have a bad hearing loss that they will automatically qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits. Claimants can qualify for benefits due to hearing loss, but the loss must be very severe to qualify under the Listings.
Appendix 1 to Subpart P of Part 404 of The Code of Federal Regulations, in Section 2.00, states in pertinent part:
- 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; OR
- B. A word recognition score of 40 percent or less in the better ear determined using a standardized list of phonetically balanced monosyllabic words.
- 2.11 Hearing Loss Treated With Cochlear Implantation
- A. Consider under a disability for 1 year after initial implantation; OR
- B. If more than 1 year after initial implantation, a word recognition score of 60 percent or less determined using the Hearing In Noise Test (HINT).
If a claimant does not qualify for benefits based on this Listing, the impairments can still be considered when determining whether he or she can return to past employment or whether jobs exist in the local and national economy. A severe hearing loss can sometimes eliminate enough jobs to where the person is found disabled at Step 5 of the Sequential Process.
If you need more information about a Social Security Disability/SSI matter, personal injury matter (car wreck, boating accident, slip and fall, etc.), EEOICPA claim, long or short-term disability, VA disability, or a workers compensation matter, please contact the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation. We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611, through Facebook, or through our website. Our office handles claims throughout East Tennessee, including Knoxville, Chattanooga, Kingsport, Bristol, Johnson City, Morristown, Maryville, Rogersville, Dandridge, Tazewell, New Tazewell, Jefferson City, Strawberry Plains, Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Loudon, Kingston, Halls, Maynardville, Crossville, Cookeville, Jamestown, Sweetwater, Lenoir City, Athens, Oak Ridge, Clinton, LaFollette, Lake City, Jacksboro, Bean Station, Cosby, Newport, White Pine, Mosheim, Wartburg, Sunbright, Pigeon Forge, and Deer Lodge.