Hearing loss is a common medical condition, afflicting approximately 50 million Americans. This issue affects individuals of all ages, ranging from children who are born with hearing problems to older adults who face an increased risk of hearing loss with every decade of life. From our Boston office, the Social Security lawyers at Kantrovitz & Associates can help you file a disability claim on the basis of hearing loss or assist you in navigating the appeals process if your claim has been denied. We have represented clients in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island for more than 20 years. Trust our lawyers to advocate on your behalf in seeking the government assistance that you need.Hearing Loss and Disability Benefits
You are entitled to Social Security disability benefits if you cannot work because of a medical condition that is anticipated to last at least one year or result in death. When evaluating an application for benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) typically refers to its Listing of Impairments, which consists of medical conditions that are severe enough to prevent a person from holding a job and therefore qualify that person for government assistance.
Section 2.00(B) of Part A of the Listing covers medical criteria relating to hearing loss that, if met, will make you eligible to receive disability benefits. It stipulates that your hearing loss must be severe and meet certain requirements. You must undergo an ear examination to identify a medically determinable condition that has resulted in your hearing loss. This examination must be performed by a doctor. Also, you must undergo audiometric testing performed by a physician specialist or audiologist. The testing must be conducted without the use of hearing aids and should generally include pure tone air conduction, bone conduction, speech reception threshold, and word recognition testing. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will then average the test results at various frequency thresholds or decibel levels to determine whether your hearing loss meets the technical criteria set out in Section 2.10 of the Listing.
These criteria apply only to individuals without cochlear implants, which are surgically implanted devices that restore some hearing to persons with profound hearing loss. Different criteria apply to applicants with cochlear implants, who are covered by Section 2.11 of the Listing. If you have a cochlear implant in one or both ears, you automatically qualify for disability benefits for one year following the initial implantation. After that, your hearing loss is assessed through a word recognition test.
If you have profound hearing loss, you may well be able to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. An experienced lawyer can work with you and your health care providers to gather the medical records, specialized hearing tests, and paperwork required to make a successful application.Discuss Your Government Benefits Claim with a Massachusetts Lawyer
At Kantrovitz & Associates, you will find experienced government benefits attorneys who help claimants throughout Massachusetts, including in Essex, Plymouth, Middlesex, Norfolk, and Suffolk Counties, as well as the Merrimack River area. If you have questions about whether your hearing loss qualifies you for disability assistance, we are ready to explore the details of your situation and explain your options. Contact us today by calling our office toll-free at 1-800-367-0871 or emailing us via the contact form on our website.