Can I Qualify for Disability Benefits with Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss can make work challenging when relying on hearing for various job tasks. Some people may have to change jobs, cut down on hours, or move to a lower-paying level at their current job. Another option is looking into disability benefits for hearing loss. Certain disability insurance programs offer monthly income to cover basic living expenses. Talk to a Wilmington disability attorney to learn more.
CHALLENGES OF HEARING LOSS
There are a variety of hearing loss challenges that can make life difficult. These include mental, physical, and financial challenges. Not being able to hear can lead to mental and physical obstacles related to:
- Miscommunication with others
- Communication impairments
- Difficulties following instructions or commands at work
- Slowed reaction time
Certain jobs that require listening carefully for commands, especially over loud equipment, may no longer be safe to perform. Workers in situations like this may make a mistake or miss an important work command. This often leads to decreased hours and losing credibility at work.
Not everyone realizes that hearing aids are far more expensive than contact lenses. Buying hearing aids can run up to $4,000 or more depending on the brand of hearing aids someone is buying. Cochlear implants run up to $100,000 or more. Many people do not have this kind of money right away. Other expenses related to hearing loss come from:
- Audiologist appointments and tests
- Communication assistance devices
- Medical examinations
Not all health insurance policies will cover these expenses unless there is a direct cause for the hearing loss. However, hearing loss is complicated and there may not always be an obvious cause. Financial strain can increase as medical bills and lost income from missed work hours begin to add up.
ARE THERE DISABILITY BENEFITS FOR HEARING LOSS?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) does provide hearing loss disability benefits for those unable to work because of hearing loss. Two main ways to qualify for benefits are if you have a cochlear implant or not.
When you have a cochlear implant, you must have word recognition problems. However, you may not be able to start receiving disability benefits until one year after your cochlear implant operation. If you do not have a cochlear implant, you must show medical evidence of word recognition and air conduction problems in your better ear.
Do not panic if your hearing loss does not meet these criteria in the SSA Blue Book hearing loss listing. You might still be eligible for benefits if you can prove your hearing loss causes daily limitations. Consider contacting a Wilmington disability lawyer to find out more. A lawyer can help you collect evidence for your disability claim.
DISABILITY LAWYER IN DELAWARE
Dealing with hearing loss can be frustrating and may impact multiple areas of life other than work. Reach out to a Delaware disability lawyer if you have questions about your disability benefits application. Contact Edelstein Martin & Nelson today at (302) 295-5050 for a free consultation about your disability claim. Our experienced legal team can help you with the application process or appeal if your disability claim was denied.