When Is Hearing Loss Considered a Disability?


Hearing loss can have a significant impact on many different areas of your life. From how you interact with loved ones to how effective you are at work, it may affect more areas than you think. In some cases, hearing loss can be a disability. This makes you eligible for receiving federal benefits.

The Different Types of Hearing Loss

When getting tested for hearing loss, your audiologist will categorize your condition. This is often based on the decibel thresholds that you struggle with hearing. Currently, there are four different categories for hearing loss that audiologists use. These include all the following:

  • Profound Hearing Loss: Trouble hearing over 81 dBs
  • Severe Hearing Loss: Trouble hearing below 80 dBs
  • Moderate Hearing Loss: Trouble hearing below 60 dBs
  • Mild Hearing Loss: Trouble hearing below 40 dBs

How to Determine If Your Type of Hearing Loss Classifies as a Disability

Audiologists will diagnose hearing loss when a person can’t hear sounds at 20 dBs or better in both ears. Hearing aids can help these individuals with enhancing their hearing abilities. But, not all types of hearing loss immediately qualify you as having a disability. This means you are not eligible to receive benefits.

Currently, you’ll have to meet certain criteria to qualify for disability payments. There are three main credentials that you must meet to receive these benefits. These include all the following:

  • Average air conduction hearing threshold of 90 dBs or more
  • Average bone conduction hearing threshold of 60 dBs
  • Word recognition score of 40% or less determined by standardized tests

It is crucial to know that all these qualifications apply to the threshold in whatever ear is best. Most people have hearing loss in both of their ears, but one ear can hear better than the other. The Social Security Administration may reject you if you have hearing loss only in one ear.

How to Go About Applying for Disability Benefits

Do you believe that you qualify for disability benefits due to your hearing loss? Then you can apply online at the Social Security Administration’s website. This is by far the easiest and fastest method for applying. You can log in and out to be able to complete the application at various times to fit your schedule.

You can always apply for benefits over the phone or at your local SSA office. Your hearing care professional can help you in applying for your disability benefits.

Call Us Today

If you’re experiencing any symptoms of hearing loss, then it’s time to contact us. Let our helpful hearing care professionals help you with all your hearing-related needs.