Hearing Loss as Grounds for Social Security Disability

elderly woman using a hearing aid

While a simple diagnosis of hearing loss is not itself a qualifying condition to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA), applicants may still find themselves eligible for assistance—provided their hearing loss negatively affects their ability to work. A detailed article on the role hearing loss plays in SSD claims is available here.

Eligibility by the Book

The SSA’s “Blue Book” is a thorough—though not comprehensive—guide the Administration uses to determine if an applicant’s condition will qualify them for disability benefits. Two sections of this guide address how hearing loss affects eligibility. Section 2.10 addresses hearing loss not treated with cochlear implants, while Section 2.11 applies to applicants who have had implant surgery.

Under Section 2.10, an applicant must meet the following criteria:

  • An air conduction threshold of 90dB or more in the better ear AND
  • A bone conduction threshold of 60dB or more in the better ear OR
  • A word recognition score of 40% or below in the better ear

Under Section 2.10 of the Blue Book:

  • A cochlear implant is considered a disability for one year after surgery
  • After one year, a word recognition score of 60% or below will qualify

Know Before You Apply

In all cases, a detailed hearing evaluation performed by a qualified audiologist will be required to determine an applicant’s eligibility. It is also important to note that hearing loss in one ear—even if 100%—will not qualify—as the SSA evaluates hearing loss based on the applicant’s best ear. If an applicant is unsure if they will qualify, an appointment with a hearing care professional is always the first course of action.

We Can Help

If you are disabled and unable to work, call Disability Attorneys of Michigan for a free confidential consultation. We’ll let you know if we can help you get a monthly check and help you determine if any money or assets you receive could impact your eligibility for disability benefits.

Disability Attorneys of Michigan works hard every day helping the disabled of Michigan seek the Social Security Disability benefits they need. If you are unable to work due to a physical, mental, or cognitive impairment; call Disability Attorneys of Michigan now for a free consultation at 800-949- 2900.

Let Michigan’s experienced Social Security Disability law firm help you get the benefits you deserve.

Disability Attorneys of Michigan, Compassionate Excellence.

I will never forget you and the hard work you did to secure my Social Security Disability benefits. Thank you!

- Christine C.