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Hearing Loss

Utah Lawyer — Social Security Disability and SSI Benefits for Hearing Loss

If you have severe hearing loss in both ears such that you have difficulty conversing with others in a normal tone of voice you may qualify for Social Security Disability and SSI benefits. At my Orem, Utah, law office, I help people with hearing loss successfully apply for Social Security Disability and SSI Benefits.

Talk with Me about How Hearing Loss May Qualify You for Social Security Disability and SSI Benefits 

How bad must my hearing loss be?

Many clients with hearing loss that is quite severe, if not total deafness, in one ear may consider themselves eligible for disability benefits. However, it is important to note in the information that follows that the hearing impairment required to be found disabled must be in the better ear. Even total deafness in one ear while the other ear still works pretty well is not considered disabling for social security disability benefits. As a general guideline to evaluate yourself for possible disability for hearing loss, if you are able to communicate with others at a normal speech volume level you are probably not disabled enough to get disability benefits based on hearing loss alone. With that in mind, here is what is required:

Evaluations and testing required: For you to be found disabled due to hearing loss requires both a complete otologic examination and audiometric testing to establish that you have a hearing impairment.

Audiometric Testing: The audiometric testing should be within two months of the otologic examination. Audiometric testing must be by or under the direct supervision of an otolaryngologist or audiologist qualified to perform such tests.

Otologic Examination: The complete otologic examination must be performed by a licensed physician (medical or osteopathic doctor). It must include your medical history, your description of your hearing loss, appearance of your external ears, evaluation of the tympanic membranes, and assessment of any middle ear abnormalities.

Severity of Loss Required: For you to be found disabled due to hearing loss your testing and evaluations must show one or both of the following:

  1. 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.
  2. A word recognition score of 40 percent or less in the better ear determined using a standardized list of phonetically balanced monosyllabic words.

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