Social security disability or SSD can cover many conditions that impact or limit your ability to work and earn an income. Specifically, it must be a disabling illness or disorder.
Some of these conditions you probably already know about. For example:
- Musculoskeletal conditions (joint, spine or back dysfunction, etc.)
- Neurological disorders (epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, etc.)
- Respiratory illnesses (cystic fibrosis, asthma, etc.)
SSD can also cover conditions that impact the senses, such as vision or hearing loss. Unfortunately, not enough residents in Indianapolis, Indiana, understand that they may qualify for SSD if deaf or losing their hearing.
How do you know if your hearing loss qualifies?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a guide called the Blue Book to determine if an applicant is eligible for SSD benefits. The guide includes a range of criteria the applicant must meet to qualify for hearing loss benefits.
Without a cochlear implant
The hearing loss criteria for those not treated with a cochlear implant include the following.
- An air-conducted hearing threshold of 90 decibels (or greater) in the better hearing ear, and
- A bone-conducted hearing threshold of 60 decibels (or greater) in the better hearing ear, or
- A score of 40 percent or less in the ability to recognize “phonetically balanced monosyllabic” words in the better hearing ear
With a cochlear implant
If you have received cochlear implant surgery for your hearing loss, you are considered disabled for up to one year and likely qualify for SSD.
Once that first year concludes, you may remain eligible for SSD if your word recognition score in the Hearing in Noise Test (HINT) is 40 percent or less.
To those suffering from hearing loss or who are already deaf, it is wise to learn more about Social Security Disability. That way, you will be prepared to submit a complete and accurate application for SSD benefits.