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Is Social Security Disability Available for Sensory Impairments?

 Posted on January 23,2023 in Uncategorized

Waukesha County Social Security Disability Lawyer for Sensory Impairments

There are a variety of health issues that can affect people, cause them to experience limitations on the activities they can perform in their daily lives, and make it difficult to find or maintain employment. Sensory impairments, including vision loss, hearing impairments, or speech disorders, can be especially difficult to deal with. Fortunately, people who suffer from these issues may qualify for Social Security disability benefits, which will provide them with assistance that will allow them to meet their ongoing needs. In these situations, it is important to understand the requirements a person will need to meet to show that they are disabled and are eligible for benefits through Social Security.

Impairments Related to Special Senses and Speech

To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, a person must earn an income below the amount that is considered to be "substantial gainful activity," and their condition must be severe enough to prevent them from earning sufficient income. Social Security maintains a "Listing of Impairments" that are severe enough to automatically qualify a person for disability benefits. One section of this listing details the requirements for conditions related to "special senses and speech." The impairments listed in this section include:

  • Vision loss - A person may qualify for benefits if they have experienced a loss of central visual acuity such that the vision in their best eye is 20/200 or less, even with the best available corrective lenses. Contraction of a person's field of vision may also qualify as an impairment if they can see no more than 20 degrees around a fixed point in their better eye. Loss of visual efficiency may be considered a disability if the person has a visual efficiency percentage of 20 percent or lower in their better eye.

  • Hearing loss - Hearing tests may be used to determine whether a person's difficulty hearing sounds or distinguishing words qualifies as a disability. Those who do not have cochlear implants to improve their hearing will be considered disabled if tests show that they have an air conduction hearing threshold of at least 90 decibels or a bone conduction hearing threshold of at least 60 decibels in their better ear. Hearing loss may also qualify as a disability if a person has a word recognition score of 40 percent or lower in their better ear. Those who have received cochlear implants will be considered to be disabled for one year after implantation, and after that, their hearing loss may be considered a disability if they have a word recognition score of 60 percent or lower.

  • Speech disorders - A person will be considered disabled if they are unable to speak in any way that can be heard or understood, including through the use of electronic or mechanical devices that amplify speech or improve a person's ability to articulate words. Speech impairments may also be evaluated in relation to neurological disorders that may qualify as disabilities, such as cerebral palsy.

  • Vertigo - Balance disorders related to inner-ear issues may qualify as disabilities in certain situations. These are often referred to as disturbances of labyrinthine-vestibular function, and Ménière's disease is a common qualifying condition. People who suffer from these conditions may experience dizziness, nausea, and hallucinations of a sense of motion, as well as progressive hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Vertigo and related conditions may be considered disabilities if tests show that a person has a disturbed vestibular function and hearing loss.

Contact Our Waukesha County Social Security Disability Lawyer for Sensory Impairments

Social Security disability benefits can provide a lifeline to those with vision, hearing, or speech impairments that prevent them from earning an income. To qualify for Social Security disability based on these issues, it will usually be necessary to show that you meet the criteria outlined in Social Security's Listing of Impairments. If you think you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits due to one of these conditions, it is important to contact an experienced attorney who understands the specific requirements you will need to meet. Our Wauwatosa Social Security Disability attorney is here to help guide you through the application process so that you can get the financial assistance you need. Contact us at 414-240-4801 for a free consultation.



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  • Thank you so much Jonathan. I was so tired of waiting almost 2 years for my disability hearing and you told me always stay positive and to not give up. You met with me before my hearing and told me what to expect and when you told me the judge approved my case I was so relieved! The Social Security disability payments I get allow me to keep seeing my doctors and really help us out. Thank you!

    - Shirley

  • Jonathan thank you for helping me win my Social Security disability case. You are so easy to talk to and don’t make me feel stupid each time I call with my questions.

    - Rene

  • Jonathan is very knowledgeable and pleasant,He is very considerate for his client and return my all phone calls promptly.I was very happy for his services. I highly recommend him to any body who needs attorney help.

    - S.P., Wheeling, IL

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