Friday, October 17, 2008


Yesterday, Janet Jackson resumed her concert tour after canceling two weeks of shows due to vertigo. Besides being the name of a famous Alfred Hitchcock movie, vertigo is the sensation that you are dizzily turning around or things are dizzily turning about you. Vertigo is usually associated with an inner ear or vestibular disorder. When severe, vertigo can be disabling.
I represent a former psychiatric nurse with vertigo whose Social Security Disability ("SSD") benefits were approved in less than five months. The key was showing that the claimant met the criteria of what is referred to as a "listed impairment". A listed impairment is a medical condition that is so serious that a person is deemed disabled if the criteria are met. Vertigo can fall under listing 2.07, entitled Disturbance of labyrinthine-vestibular function.

I was able to demonstrate that the claimant's vertigo satisfied the criteria of listing 2.07. I supplied clinical records reflecting a history of balance disturbance, lightheadedness, hearing loss, nausea and tinnitis. I also submitted rotational chair balance and platform posturography reports, which are test diagnostic teststhat confirm the vestibular labyrinth dysfunction, together with audiometric evaluation reports that established the degree of hearing loss.

Because the claimant had both clinical and diagnostic evidence to support her condition, she was able to show that she met the listing, which enabled her to receive her SSD benefits relatively quickly. Otherwise, she probably would have needed to wait until a hearing, and that would have delayed her receipt of benefits for over a year at a minimum.

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