What You Should Know About Hearing Loss and Disability

You are not sure what to do since finding out that the deafness in your left ear is irreversible. After years of working on the tarmac at the Lincoln Airport, you don’t know what other jobs you’ll be able to do—especially if the hearing loss gets worse.

Who Qualifies for Social Security Hearing Loss Benefits?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) can provide you with some much-needed income, but only if your injury meets their definition of “significant hearing loss.” Some injuries will automatically qualify you for benefits, including:

  • Total deafness in both ears
  • An injury that has required cochlear implants

If your injury is less acute, you will you have to undergo audiometry and word-recognition tests to assess the severity of your hearing loss.

What If I Am Denied Hearing Loss Benefits?

If you are denied benefits based on testing, you could still receive disability payments if you can prove to the SSA that your hearing loss has significantly affected your ability to work. This may include:

  • Inability to perform your former job. You may be able to receive benefits if you are unable to continue working in the same capacity as before your injury.
  • Inability to work anywhere. If you cannot perform any jobs due to the nature of your hearing-loss injury, you may receive  disability payments..

In addition to providing proof of your injury, you may receive benefits based on your residual functional capacity (RFC). This is a rating that the SSA uses to determine how your hearing loss affects your working abilities including your ability to communicate with others and make yourself understood, your limitations when it comes to performing various tasks, and how efficiently you can follow instructions. If your work restrictions are significant, the SSA may grant you benefits based solely on your RFC.

Will your disability application be denied the first time? Read through a free copy of our guide, 5 Deadly Mistakes That Can Destroy Your Social Security Disability Case. Contact us at (402) 933-5405 or [email protected]

Sean D. Cuddigan
SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska