How To Deal With Ssd
One of the key things I have found to help cope with SSD is humour, and the ability to laugh and not take my mistakes too seriously. Sometimes my brain interprets things people say as the most ridiculous things- which says quite a bit about my imagination! Comic relief has helped to get through awkward situations while growing up. I notice people don’t hold back as much when it comes to making fun of this kind of disability either- someone in a wheelchair might not be the butt end of quite so many jokes .
Another important lesson I have learnt is to be open and tell people as soon as possible about being deaf in one ear. I don’t like to introduce myself in this waybecause I don’t like to be identified as ‘”that half-deaf girl”, plus I like to give people time to regard me as ‘normal’ before thinking they have to shout or talk to me slowly like a halfwit. But as soon as I feel comfortable I will explain. Particularly if someone asks why I keep swapping sides if they walk on my right-hand side. The worst thing is for unsuspecting people to be rude or angry because they don’t realize I have a hearing problem, and think I am just ignoring them, blanking them, or not paying attention. Explaining the issue resolves this .
General Information About Hearing Impairments
In 2011, a study led by researchers from Johns Hopkins reported that nearly 20% of Americans 12 and older have hearing loss so severe that it may make communication difficult. The study also found that 30 million Americans had hearing loss in both ears while 48 million Americans had hearing loss in one ear. According to 2010 data from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders , approximately 17% of American adults report some degree of hearing loss. Of this group, 18% of American adults between the ages of 45 and 64 have experienced some degree of hearing loss. NIDCD estimates that approximately 15% of Americans between the ages of 20 and 69 have high frequency hearing loss due to exposure to loud sounds or noise at work or in leisure activities.
A hearing impairment can be caused by many physical conditions , and result in varying degrees of hearing loss. Generally, hearing impairments are categorized as mild, moderate, severe, or profound. An individual with a moderate hearing impairment may be able to hear sound, but have difficulty distinguishing specific speech patterns in a conversation. Individuals with a profound hearing impairment may not be able to hear sounds at all. Hearing impairments that occur in both ears are described as âbilateral,â and those that occur in one ear are referred to as âunilateral.â
1. When does someone with a hearing impairment have a disability within the meaning of the ADA?
What Additional Criteria Must I Meet To Qualify For Disability
- You must meet the SSAs definition of disabled in one of the ways discussed above.
- Your condition must have lasted or be expected to last a year or longer or result in death.
- You must be unable to engage in substantial gainful activity or SGA. In SSA lingo, SGA means that your monthly income exceeds $1,170/month. If you are capable of earning more than that, then the SSA will not consider you disabled.
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What Is The Average Va Compensation For Hearing Loss
According to Veterans United, the average veteran receives $435 per month at a 30% disability rating.
Meanwhile, the same veteran at a 50% disability rating would receive nearly $900 per month.
The VA determines your disability rating after a medical review of the condition and the compensation levels are subject to change.
Moreover, the compensation rates do change based on the number of dependents.
For example, a veteran claiming a spouse only will receive less in monthly disability compared to a veteran with a spouse and other dependents.
Contact a VA representative for more information on the claims process and potential disability payouts.
What Type Of Disability Is Hearing Impairment
Different organizations classify disability differently. For example, the World Health Organization breaks down the definition of disability into three categories:
- Impairment: This involves the physical structure of the body.
- Activity Limitation: Any typical activity that is limited. Difficulty hearing falls under this category.
- Participation Restriction: This is the idea that either you or society curtails your involvement in certain activities or behaviors.
Hearing impairment tends to fall rather squarely into all three of those criteria.
Other organizations break it down by the level of your hearing loss. The exact classification of disability that would attach to your hearing impairment will be determined by your precise diagnosis. Generally speaking, hearing impairment is broken down into four categories: mild, moderate, severe, and profound .
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Imbalanced Hearing Is More Than A Mild Disability
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have received a five-year, $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the effects of asymmetric hearing loss in adults and children.
Asymmetric hearing is a difference between the two ears ability to detect and process sound. New studies indicate that people with asymmetric hearing experience greater communication difficulties than previously assumed.
We have two ears for a reason, said Jill B. Firszt, PhD, associate professor, audiologist and director of the Cochlear Implant Program in the Department of Otolaryngology at the School of Medicine. A common assumption was that hearing loss in just one ear was minimally disabling. However, our studies and those of others show that listening with just one ear seriously degrades signal segregation and communication, resulting in diminished quality of life.
According to Firszt, with two equally functioning ears, the brain can use subtle differences in timing and sound intensity between the two ears to identify sound direction and distance from the listener and to understand speech better in the presence of background noise.
But with asymmetric hearing, it is difficult for people to discriminate voices they want to hear from background noise in restaurants, for example, or to sense the relative distance from ones position in traffic to an emergency vehicles siren.
The cochlear implant clinical trial is sponsored by Cochlear Americas.
How To File A Va Claim For Hearing Loss
It is vital to do your homework when you start preparing a VA disability claim.
Thankfully, the VA recognizes hearing impairment as a significant issue in the U.S. Armed Forces and usually attempts to work with veterans toward receiving disability benefits.
However, you will still need to follow a complicated process to state your case:
Step 1: Schedule an examination for hearing impairment with a state-licensed audiologist.
Step 2: Make sure that the hearing examination also includes a controlled speech discrimination test and puretone audiometry test. The examinations are conducted without the use of hearing aids.
Step 3: The VA uses Table VI, Numeric Designation of Hearing Impairment Based on Puretone Threshold Average and Speech Discrimination to determine a Roman numeral designation for your level of hearing impairment.
Step 4: The VA determines a percentage evaluation for hearing impairment by combining the Roman numeral designation for each ear based on test results.
Step 5: After hearing loss is determined through the examination, the veteran must link the hearing impairment to a service connection. In certain situations, patients may only be able to prove the hearing impairment is service-connected in only one ear.
Step 6: The VA concludes its medical evaluation and assigns a final VA disability rating. Based on the rating, the veteran may receive special monthly compensation for deafness or another hearing loss disability.
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Medically Qualifying For Benefits For Loss Of Hearing
Most people that receive SSDI benefits for hearing loss do so because they meet the SSAs disability listings in the Blue Book, which is the SSA medical guide for determining what classifies as a full and permanent disability. Hearing loss applicants can qualify for benefits under two different Blue Book listings.
Hearing Loss requires:
- An average threshold for hearing of 60 to 90 decibel or greater in the good ear and it is dependent upon the kind of testing used.
- Word recognition score of lower than 40 percent in the better ear.
Hearing Loss with a Cochlear Implant requires:
- Automatically qualifies on a medical level for disability benefits for a minimal period of at least one-year following the surgical procedure.
Therefore, if you suffer from severe hearing loss you may be eligible to receive SSDI benefits. If you are eligible for benefits, some of your dependents may also be eligible to receive benefits under your claim as well.
The SSDI process involves detailed documentation from your doctor, including all notes, details from procedures, test results and evaluations and any corrective measures you have taken in an effort to restore hearing. It also involves how the cause of hearing loss was determined and if the cause impacted more than just your hearing as well.
Causes Of Hearing Loss And Deafness
Although these factors can be encountered at different periods across the life span, individuals are most susceptible to their effects during critical periods in life.
- Genetic factors – Include hereditary and non-hereditary hearing loss
- Intrauterine infections such as rubella and cytomegalovirus infection
- Birth asphyxia (a lack of oxygen at the time of birth
- Low-birth weight
- Other perinatal morbidities and their management
Childhood and adolescence
- Chronic ear infections
- Collection of fluid in the ear
- Meningitis and other infections
Factors across the life span
- Cerumen impaction
- Trauma to the ear or head
- Loud noise/loud sounds
- Viral infections and other ear conditions
- Delayed onset or progressive genetic hearing loss
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Prevalence And Demographics Of Hearing Impairment
Prevalence of hearing loss in the United States is estimated from a number of different sources, which collect their data using varying procedures. The National Health Interview Survey , which publishes the prevalence of chronic health conditions reported by adults, estimates that 17 percent of adults in the United States, or 34 million people, indicate some hearing difficulty. The prevalence of men experiencing hearing difficulty is greater than the prevalence of women experiencing hearing difficulty, with 20.8 percent of adult men having hearing trouble compared to 14.1 percent of adult women having hearing trouble. In addition, the prevalence of reported hearing loss increases
Suggested Citation:Hearing Loss: Determining Eligibility for Social Security Benefits
with age: 8.4 percent of the population ages 18-44, 20.6 percent of the population ages 45-64, 34.1 percent of the population ages 65-74, and 50.4 percent of the population age 75 and older report some problems with hearing. These estimates include persons with conductive and sensorineural hearing loss and are not verified directly with audiometric examination.
Suggested Citation:Hearing Loss: Determining Eligibility for Social Security Benefits
and nearly 10,000 children have them . Among children receiving special educational services for hearing loss, 6.2 percent use a cochlear implant and 62.9 percent use a hearing aid for instructional purposes .
Why Is It Important To Manage Unilateral Hearing Loss Or Single
It’s beneficial to hear with two ears for several reasons. Our brain hears best when it receives input from both ears. For example, input from both ears allows our brain to separate speech from background noise to hear better in noisy places, such as restaurants, classrooms and social gatherings.
Sound localization is only possible when there is sound input from both ears. For safety reasons, this is especially important when you need to identify a sound source quickly. In addition, our brain actually amplifies the intensity of the sound when it receives input from both ears so that we can hear softer sounds with two ears compared to only one ear.
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Is Hearing Loss Considered A Disability
In the most important ways that matter, hearing impairment is generally considered to be a disability, depending on how severe the hearing loss is. Thats especially important as it relates to Social Security regulations and the Americans With Disabilities Act . Under the ADA, for example, you are granted certain protections that relate to hearing impairment disabilities. Under Social Security rules, you may be entitled to disability benefits.
Findings For Children With Down Syndrome And Adults With Id In Institutional Settings
The following brief review highlights the literature reports of hearing findings for children with DS and adults with ID residing in institutional settings. This review provides a framework for understanding the hearing status of adults with ID living in general-community environments as reported in this essay. Significant rates of conductive hearing loss for children with DS are reported and attributed to the anatomic differences in the head and neck region of these children . Proactive hearing screening of children with DS is urged to achieve early detection, maximize opportunities for immediate treatment, as well as improve health and education .
Other studies have discussed the hearing status of adults with ID residing in institutional settings, reporting rates of hearing loss ranging from 21% to 70%. These rates varied with age, with individuals younger than age 40 showing lower rates compared with older persons with ID and those without DS exhibiting lower rates compared with those with DS. Further, a number of studies indicated a persistent lack of hearing loss identification for many adults with ID prior to their being study subjects. Essentially all investigations recommended regular hearing and health screenings for adults with ID .
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Can You Get Disability For Hearing Loss
From listening to your favourite bands, to hearing unpleasant sounds, a persons ability to hear is important in making sense of the world around us. Hearing enables us to interpret and reciprocate spoken language an essential form of communication in relaying ideas, emotions, and connections.
So its no surprise that when a person suffers from hearing loss, their daily life is significantly impacted. Communicating in working environments and maintaining personal relationships are just two hurdles a person with poor hearing may have to overcome.
Hearing disorders are common physical disabilities, the most prominent being deafness. A hearing disability can be the result from birth, disease, or injury. Age can also be a factor as ear functions naturally weaken over time.
Treatment for hearing loss predominantly comes in the form of hearing aids or ear implants. Sign language is another option for people with deafness to express themselves.
Help To Pay For Assistive Products
If you need specific assistive products to help with your work or studies, you should contact your local councils sensory service. They may be able to provide you with equipment, whether for free or on loan, or provide you with funding to pay for it. You will likely need a referral from your hearing specialist that specifies the type of equipment you need.
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Example Of A Child With A Disabling Hearing Loss
A child applying for SSI benefits has delayed communication skills due to his hearing loss. The child has occasional temper tantrums at school because of his difficulty in communicating with others. The child also has problems with clearly articulating his speech. Furthermore, he frequently needs directions repeated to him in the classroom and at home. With these facts, the SSA could find that the child is eligible for disability benefits because he has marked limitations in his ability to interact with others and to attend and complete tasks.
Read more about how the SSA assesses your childâs limitations in the six domains of functioning in our article on how a child can functionally equal the disability listings.
If you have questions regarding whether your child is eligible for SSI benefits due to hearing loss, you should contact an attorney who practices disability law.
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Keeping Medical Information Confidential
With limited exceptions, an employer must keep confidential any medical information it learns about an applicant or employee. Under the following circumstances, however, an employer may disclose that an employee has a hearing impairment:
- to supervisors and managers, if necessary to provide a reasonable accommodation or meet an employee’s work restrictions
- to first aid and safety personnel if an employee may need emergency treatment or require some other assistance at work
- to individuals investigating compliance with the ADA and similar state and local laws and
- where needed for workers’ compensation or insurance purposes .
8. May an employer tell employees who ask why their co-worker is allowed to do something that generally is not permitted that she is receiving a reasonable accommodation?
No. Telling coworkers that an employee is receiving a reasonable accommodation amounts to a disclosure that the employee has a disability. Rather than disclosing that the employee is receiving a reasonable accommodation, the employer should focus on the importance of maintaining the privacy of all employees and emphasize that its policy is to refrain from discussing the work situation of any employee with co-workers. Employers may be able to avoid many of these kinds of questions by training all employees on the requirements of equal employment laws, including the ADA.
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Where To Find Information On Your Hearing Disability Rights
The most comprehensive disability legislation in the U.S. is the Americans with Disabilities Act . The ADA applies to private sector companies with 15 or more employees, as well as federal employers. Employers are required to know what the ADA mandates and ensure that management complies with its edicts. Employers are also required to post a notice describing the provisions of the Act in an easily-viewable location on premises, so you should be able to find it in your work location if not, notify your human resources department. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission also has a webpage dedicated to the ADA and how it applies to hearing loss in the workplace.