Disability For Hearing Loss

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Can I Get Benefits for Hearing Loss Disability?

Most people experience difficulty in hearing as they age. This might have a significant impact on their ability to interact, communicate, and enjoy life. One of the most recognizable age disabilities that occur in adults is hearing loss. Many adults may feel isolated and left out when they suffer from hearing loss. They may not want to participate in any of the social interactions and gatherings they previously enjoyed. As a result of this disability, a person may not be able to access vital information from legal professionals or their health care providers.

As per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a person suffering from hearing loss disability has specific rights regarding access to effective communication in a particular setting. Under the ADA, hearing disabilities are considered to be a significant condition and not just a normal part of getting older.

The ADA describes a disability as any physical or mental condition that affects a person’s ability to perform life activities. The ADA safeguards millions of people who experience disabilities and has enhanced accessibility for disabled individuals across the country, allowing them to continue taking part in community life.

Is Hearing Loss a Disability?

Many laws safeguard the rights of those who have hearing loss. However, it can be complex to interpret these laws, especially as the world and technology continue to transform at a rapid pace. One of the most important laws that safeguards the rights of Americans who have a hearing impairment is the ADA, which took effect in 1990. There are three major sections under ADA:

  • Employers that have more than 15 employees are required to provide reasonable accommodations to any employees who may have disabilities, without any discrimination based on their condition.
  • The ADA prohibits discrimination by any public government entities. For example, the law provides accessibility to government systems through assistive listening technology through hearing loops and wheelchair ramps to enter government buildings. 
  • The ADA prohibits discrimination by improving accessibility at privately owned accommodations.

Disability for Hearing LossWhether an individual has a cochlear implant, hearing aid, or no assistive technology, the ADA applies to an individual’s limitations and the impairment will be considered a disability under the law. This means that a person who has a disability can expect legal protection and accommodations. 

However, as technology is transforming and the services are becoming more accommodating, the meaning of discrimination has shifted. For example, it would be illegal for a company to charge an additional fee for closed captioning on a video call if a person required those captions to access the technology service.  

The Social Security Administration (SSA) categorizes a severe hearing impairment as a disability. However, to receive financial disability benefits for a hearing impairment, the applicant will need to prove to the SSA that they meet all of the eligibility criteria to qualify.

Can You Get Disability for Hearing Loss?

The ADA covers deafness or hearing impairment, which means that employers are therefore required to make reasonable accommodations for employees and job applicants who are hard of hearing. To get Social Security disability benefits relating to hearing loss, an applicant must be able to prove that their disability is severe and prevents them from doing any kind of job or earning a living. 

To get access to the benefits you need, you should be able to clearly document how your hearing loss prevents you from earning a living or performing any particular job. If you can successfully do so and provide the required evidence of your disability, you may be able to qualify for disability benefits from the SSA.

How Much Hearing Loss Is Considered Disabled?

The Social Security Administration has set some criteria for determining whether an individual’s hearing loss should qualify as a disability. Some of the specific factors for hearing disability that the SSA includes within the Blue Book include:

  • A threshold hearing of 90 decibels or greater that is documented through tests such as air conduction or a hearing threshold of 60 decibels or higher that is documented through tests such as bone conduction
  • A word recognition score of 40% or lower that is documented through tests that use phonetically balanced, standardized, or monosyllabic words 

If you plan to apply for disability benefits based on your hearing loss, you should inform your doctor that you intend to seek benefits and ask them to assess whether you can meet the specific requirements for hearing impairment that the SSA sets forth within the Blue Book. An experienced physician can help to ensure that your official medical records include the right diagnostic tests and that the hearing evaluation tests that you have undergone have been precisely recorded in a way that the SSA recognizes.

In addition to the threshold levels on the hearing tests, the SSA also specifies that the hearing tests must be conducted in the right manner and by the appropriate person. The doctor who is performing the hearing test must be a licensed otolaryngologist or a licensed audiologist, in addition to being certified by the American Board of Audiology or the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

The doctor involved with the testing is also required to perform a physical examination of the ear before they conduct any of the hearing tests. The doctor should also make sure that they document any physical findings, which can include the condition of internal and external ears, the middle ear, and the tympanic membrane. If a patient is using hearing aids, then the doctor is supposed to carry out the hearing evaluation without using them. 

Therefore, if you want to seek disability benefits based on your hearing loss, you should confirm with a medical professional that your hearing loss is severe enough to prevent you from doing any work and prohibits your employer from offering any type of reasonable accommodations. 

The hearing loss disability tax credit is a tax credit that can help to reduce the cost of certain expenses related to a disability. The amount of the credit is based on the taxpayer’s income, age, and family size.

Contact an Attorney to seek Disability Benefits for Hearing Loss

People who have a hearing impairment disability may experience difficulty communicating with people, understanding others’ speech and words, or following conversations. The most common form of hearing impairment is sensorineural hearing loss, which generally affects both ears.

If you are seeking disability benefits or accommodations, the ADA can be an exceptionally useful resource for you. The ADA guarantees that disabled individuals have equal opportunities in society, and it can serve as grounds to hold companies liable for breaking the law.

If you have a hearing impairment, it is important to have a lawyer who understands that you have significant rights under the law and how to fight for those rights in the courtroom.

Disability lawyers in Florida can help you find effective solutions for these issues so you can continue to interact with the world around you in your preferred way.


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