Sunday, June 22, 2014

SSD Benefits for Hearing Loss

Can you receive Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits if you have problems hearing but are not deaf? The answer is yes. Perhaps the tougher question is how do you establish your entitlement to SSD benefits when you have problems hearing but are not deaf. Most claimants establish their entitlement to SSD benefits by showing how their medical conditions prevent them from performing the physical or mental demands of work. For example, claimants with back or knee problems show that their conditions prevent them from being able to sit or stand long enough to work. 

Showing how a hearing problem prevents you from doing the physical or mental demands of work is very difficult. An alternative way of establishing entitlement to SSD benefits is by demonstrating you meet the criteria of a listing. There is a listing, numbered 2.10 specifically for hearing loss.

Clearly documented medical records are needed to meet the listing based on hearing loss. Listings for many impairments are inexplicably overlooked or rejected. However, because the listing for hearing loss is based on meeting test data, there is no wiggle room for rejecting that the claimant meets the listing. 

I represent an attorney whose SSD claim was approved today. I obtained a report from the claimant’s otolaryngologist detailing why the claimant met listing 2.10. Notably, SSD was awarded without the claimant even being asked to attend a consultative examination.