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How Is Hearing Loss Evaluated in Social Security Disability Cases?

 Posted on July 23, 2021 in Social Security Disability

Dallas County SSDI attorneyThose who experience health issues that prevent them from being able to maintain gainful employment may be able to receive disability benefits through Social Security. There are multiple different types of health conditions that are recognized as disabilities by Social Security, but an applicant for disability benefits will need to meet specific requirements to demonstrate that they are disabled. People with hearing impairments will need to understand how these disabilities are addressed in the listing of impairments used by Social Security.

Hearing Loss Without Cochlear Implants

For those who have not had surgical implants to correct hearing loss, the determination of whether they are disabled will depend on the results of medical examinations and hearing tests. An otologic examination must be performed by a licensed physician, and it will look at a person’s medical history and the ways hearing loss has affected their life. A doctor will examine the person’s external ears, the eardrum, and the middle ear to look for abnormalities or issues that may affect the person’s hearing.

Audiometric testing must be performed by a licensed audiologist or otolaryngologist. A person’s hearing will be evaluated without the use of hearing aids. These tests will include pure tone or air conduction testing that measures how well the inner and outer ear can register sounds through the air and bone conduction testing to determine how well a person can register sounds transmitted through vibrations of the bones in the skull. Speech reception threshold (SRT) testing will be used to determine whether a person can recognize at least 50 percent of the words on a standard list at certain decibel levels, and word recognition testing will determine the maximum amplification level needed for a person to identify spoken words.

A person will be considered disabled if their average threshold for air conduction hearing is at least 90 decibels and their average threshold for bone conduction hearing is at least 60 decibels, or if they score 40 percent or less on a word recognition test. These measurements will be based on the person’s hearing in their better ear.

Hearing Loss With Cochlear Implants

When a person receives a cochlear implant, they will be considered disabled for one year after the procedure was performed. After that period, a person may still be considered disabled based on word recognition testing. A hearing in noise test (HINT) will be performed to determine whether the person can recognize sentences that are presented at 60 decibels. If the person scores 60 percent or less on a word recognition test, their hearing loss will be recognized as a disability.

Contact Our Collin County SSD Attorneys for Hearing Impairment

If you have experienced hearing impairments that have affected your ability to work, the Law Offices of Coats & Todd can help you apply for disability benefits through Social Security. We can also work with you to appeal the denial of a disability claim. Contact our Dallas County Social Security disability lawyers by calling 972-671-9922 to set up your free case evaluation.






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