It was devastating to find out that your hearing loss could not be corrected, but you’re trying to be positive about your future. Maybe you can’t do the same job you once did, but at least Social Security will give you benefits, right?

Maybe not. The Social Security Administration will only provide benefits for those who suffer from significant hearing loss, and they determine if your hearing loss is “significant” using audiometry and word recognition tests. In most cases, if you perform well on these tests, you will not qualify for Social Security hearing loss benefits.

However, you may be able to collect disability payments if you can demonstrate that your hearing loss has affected your ability to function. Here are a few common methods for proving functional hearing loss to the Social Security Administration:

  • Lack of viable employment – You may be able to collect benefits if there are no jobs you could adequately perform with your amount of hearing loss.
  • Residual functional capacity – The Social Security Administration will assign you a rating based on how much your hearing loss affects your ability to communicate, follow instructions, and perform various tasks. This rating, along with your particular work restrictions, will determine your residual functional capacity (RFC).
  • Lack of vocational training – In some cases, workers who suffer hearing loss may be functionally able to perform other jobs, but do not have the job skills or education to do them. These workers may be granted disability benefits based on medical-vocational allowance.

If you know someone who was denied Social Security benefits after a hearing loss test, send them a link to this article on Facebook or email. You can give them valuable information about sensory loss disabilities in our related links, and maybe help them successfully appeal their case!

Manfred Ricciardelli
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Morristown Workers' Compensation Lawyer
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