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Applying for disability benefits for a hearing loss

Many Tennessee residents suffer from hearing impairments, some of which can affect their ability to work . People who are hard of hearing may wonder if they can get Social Security Disability benefits for their hearing loss, particularly if they are no longer able to do their jobs because of it. Hearing impairments are included in the Social Security Administration's "blue book" of specified disabilities, with specific standards tied to audiometry testing and speech testing. Audiometry measures a person's levels of hearing and ability to differentiate sounds.

These types of tests may be used if a person with hearing loss applies for Social Security Disability benefits. A disability examiner will arrange a consultative examination with an audiologist. This is particularly important if applicants have not yet visited an audiologist and obtained some data related to their difficulties with hearing. It should be noted that these hearing tests focus on the applicant's better ear, rather than the ear with a higher level of hearing loss. If a person's hearing impairment is not significant enough to meet the standards, he or she will not be approved for SSD benefits on that basis.

However, this does not mean that the road to disability benefits is blocked for people with significant hearing loss that falls outside the agency's guidelines. Most SSD benefits claims are actually approved on the basis of a medical vocational allowance. This happens when an applicant's work history and medical records are reviewed and the applicant can't return to their past work or do a different job.

There are a number of factors to keep in mind when applying for Social Security Disability benefits. Applicants might therefore find it advisable to have legal counsel throughout the process.

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Logan-Thompson, P.C., Attorneys at Law
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Cleveland, TN 37311

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