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Social Security Disability for Vision and Hearing Loss

Social Security Disability for Vision and Hearing Loss


Sometimes, it can be relatively easy to determine whether a person will qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. At other times, the situation is more difficult and confusing to determine. These are the cases that are often denied, and proceed through a (sometimes lengthy) appeals process. It can be frustrating for the claimant, but when you investigate how Social Security determines claims, it’s easier to understand how this happens.

Vision and hearing loss don’t allow for automatic approval of benefits.

Vision and hearing loss fall into an uncertain category, and here’s why. Social Security does operate something called a Compassionate Allowances program, whereby certain conditions automatically qualify you for Disability benefits. Vision and hearing loss can fall on that list of conditions, but must meet certain strict criteria regarding type and severity of loss.

For example, if your vision cannot be corrected to better than 20/200, you are considered legally blind. These cases are usually approved swiftly. But if your vision can be corrected to 20/150, or if you suffer from a different type of vision problem, the situation becomes more difficult to evaluate. Similar rules apply to hearing loss.

This does not mean you can’t get approved for Disability, but it does mean that your approval won’t be automatic. Social Security will need more detailed information in order to determine your claim.

Your functional capacity will be evaluated instead.

Since vision and hearing loss can occur in varying degrees of severity, your Social Security claim examiner needs to investigate the extent of your disability and how it relates to your ability to work. You might still qualify for Disability benefits if there are no jobs you can perform, considering your vision or hearing loss alongside other factors such as age, prior job skills, education, and other medical problems.

If you suffer from vision or hearing loss, and have been denied Social Security Disability benefits, you could still win your case on appeal. Give us a call, and we can help you determine which steps you need to take next, in order to provide Social Security with the appropriate evidence of your condition.