Is your hearing loss currently being treated with cochlear implantation? Try SSA Listing 2.11 to win Social Security disability benefits.
It’s pretty normal to lose some of your hearing as you get older, so most of us don’t even give hearing loss a whole lot of thought. And if we do, we assume it’s something that can be pretty easily solved by getting a hearing aid.
Unfortunately, whether you’re losing your hearing due to aging or something else entirely, sometimes hearing aids – or cochlear implantation – can’t provide enough help. Even with a good one, you are often unable to hear well enough to communicate effectively with others, and this could hurt your ability to get and keep a job.
If this sounds like you, don’t panic. Those who truly can’t work due to hearing loss treated with cochlear implants may be eligible for disability benefits through Social Security. There are two methods available to apply for benefits:
- Meet the requirements of your listing. To simplify the process of applying for benefits, the SSA has created a guide book of sorts called the Listing of Impairments. In it, you will find every disabling medical condition that the SSA recognizes as well as the specific criteria that you need to meet for each in order to qualify. Prove that you meet these requirements and you’ll automatically get benefits.
- Show that your issue is equal to a recognized condition. What if you can’t meet the specific criteria for any of the listings? No problem. It’s not as easy or straightforward, but you can still get the benefits you need by proving that your condition is at least equal to one of the disabilities that are. This means using the Five Step Sequential Evaluation Process to prove that your particular issue has prevented you from working for 12 months or longer.
Matching a listing is a lot easier than trying to prove equivalency, so that should always be the first thing you try. What are the criteria for Listing 2.11?
SSDI Requirements for Hearing Loss Treated with Cochlear Implants
Individuals who have cochlear implants to improve their hearing but still suffer from difficulty need to show one of two things:
- That they have had their implant for 1 year or less.
- If they have had the implant for over a year, they must score 60 percent or less on word recognition on the HINT test.
Alternatively, they can take a test with a standardized list of monosyllabic, phonetically balanced words and get 40 percent or less correct on word recognition.
The SSA recognizes several different tests that you can take to prove that you meet the criteria. A positive score on any of these will help you with your claim and increase your chance of getting the benefits you need:
- Acoustic immittance testing
- Auditory brainstem response
- Békésy audiometry
- Pure tone audiography
- Rinne tuning fork test
- Speech audiometry
- Weber tuning fork test
An Inability to Meet the Criteria Isn’t the End
Not everyone meets the very specific criteria in the Listing of Impairments. If you are unable to do so for your hearing loss treated with cochlear implants, don’t forget that you can still use the Five Step Sequential Evaluation Process.
Because this process is quite a bit more complicated than simply matching a listing, you will likely need to work with an experienced Social Security disability attorney as soon as possible. Despite the complexity of the process, it can be well worth the effort to get the benefits you need to put your life back on track.
Learn even more about the claims process by reading our Social Security Disability eBook for free and be sure to check back weekly for more information on how you can get the Social Security disability benefits that you deserve.