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Does Hearing Loss Require You To Seek Long or Short Term Disability Benefit?

Our disability insurance attorneys know that hearing impairment is far more than a loss of the ability to hear. We have an expansive understanding of the restrictions and limitations that a person suffering with hearing impairment must live with on a daily basis. If you need assistance gaining the disability benefits you deserve for your hearing impairment, we can help by filling out your initial application for long-term disability benefits in addition to appealing or filing a lawsuit of your denied disability claim. Disability carriers will often argue that a person should still be able to work even though they have loss of hearing or a reduced ability to hear. We have seen arguments where the insurance company tells a person to get better hearing aid devices. We have also seen arguments stating that the claimant can still use a computer and does not need to hear anybody in order to do their job. Hearing loss does not automatically qualify someone for disability benefits; therefore a claimant must have guidance in order to properly present their claim to the disability insurance company. Our disability lawyers will work closely with you and your treating physicians. We know what the disability carriers must see in order to approve a claim or reverse a disability denial. Hearing loss is often associated with balance disorders, which provide further complications preventing a person from being able to work. There are many objective test available which can prove that a claimant has hearing loss.

What are the Different Hearing Impairment Classifications?

There are different types and varying degrees of hearing loss. Hearing loss is classified according to which part of the auditory system is affected. Contact our firm if you have any questions regarding your ability to gain disability benefits if you are experiencing serious hearing impairment.

Generally, hearing loss can be categorized into three different types:

  • Conductive hearing loss is the result of disorders in either the outer or middle ear, which may prevent sound from getting to the inner ear.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss is a hearing impairment that occurs when the inner ear nerves are unable to properly transmit signals to the brain or become severely damaged.
  • When individuals have both conductive and sensorineural hearing impairment, it is classified as mixed hearing loss.

Ménière’s Disease and Tinnitus as Disability Conditions

The most common types of disabling hearing impairments include Ménière’s disease and tinnitus. Ménière’s disease is a disorder in which the inner ear causes abnormal sensory perceptions. You may be experiencing this type of hearing loss if you have such symptoms as:

  • Vertigo, or a sensation of a spinning
  • Hearing loss usually in one ear
  • Fullness or pressure in the same ear
  • Ringing in the same ear, called tinnitus

You can read our section on Ménière’s disease to learn more about this disabling condition.

Tinnitus is the perception of sound in the head when no outside sound is present. It is typically referred to as “ringing in the ears.” Tinnitus can be a symptom of a condition that causes hearing impairment, or it can exist without any hearing loss. We have helped numerous clients that have been disabled as a result of tinnitus. Most tinnitus claimants also complain of headaches as well.

Our Experience with Hearing Impairment Disability Claims

We want to help you gain hearing impairment disability benefits if you need to file, or have been denied by your disability insurance company. Our firm has resolved many cases that can attest to our abilities in providing beneficial results for our clients. We encourage you to read our resolved cases and client testimonial to learn more about our qualifications and experience. Our disability insurance lawyers can help guide you through this often confusing and difficult process. For a free consultation, please fill out our online contact form or call us today. We have helped individuals seek the benefits they deserve since 1979. No matter where you live, we can assist you an application, ERISA appeal, or the filing of a lawsuit.

Resources

There are many valuable sources of hearing impairment information available on the internet such as American Speech Language Hearing Association – The professional, scientific, and credentialing association for 140,000 members and affiliates who are audiologists, speech-language pathologists and speech, language, and hearing scientists.

There are also charities dedicated to conducting research about hearing loss as well as finding early detection and treatment options including: American Association of the Deaf-Blind.

We keep this site frequently updated with new information about changes and advances in hearing impairment disability laws as well as case resolutions you may find relevant. Check back often to stay informed.

There are 20 opinions so far. Add your comment below.

Paul Dailey:

I am a 59 year old executive that has been suffering from increasing levels of hearing loss. At the time that I noticed and accepted my hearing problem about 8 years ago, I was tested by an ENT physician to determine the degree of hearing loss and also underwent an MRI test to rule out a brain tumor as a possible cause. The MRI test was negative and I declined to get hearing aids at that time.

Follow a continued decline in my hearing ability, I accepted my first hearing aids 5 years ago. As my hearing declined further, I upgraded to more powerful units 1 year ago.

About 2 years ago, I saw another ENT physician and underwent a more rigorous test. This concluded a material amount of comprehension decline in addition to outright hearing loss. The diagnosis conclude that the hearing loss was likely the result of my genetic history and the condition is expected to worsen.

I am in a high performing work environment at a fortune 500 company with a company health care plan. On a daily basis I encounter significant difficulty in understanding my co-workers and my work product is suffering as a result.

It is not uncommon for me to ask people to repeat themselves, sometime multiple times. I am often in a meeting setting where it isn’t practical to ask someone to repeat themselves. As a result, I miss a great deal of meeting content and my work product is suffering significantly.

I have not inquired about long term disability but am at a point where I believe that is necessary. My research on the subject suggests a very high degree of hearing loss to qualify for disability, perhaps more than I am experiencing.

At this point I am looking for advice on the likelihood of success should I go down the disability insurance path.

Regards,
Paul

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Paul,

Please feel free to contact our office to discuss what your options would be for filing disability. It would be helpful if you had a copy of your company policy, as any potential claim will be dictated by the definitions and any limitations contained therein.

Alex Kross:

Hi My name is Alex Kross and I’m currently working at T-Mobile retail store and I have been with the company for 8.5 years. I have severe hearing loss on both ears. My hearing loss is down to 36%. I can no longer assist customers in a retail store (loud environment). Reading lips does not work for me anymore. I need help finding out what my rights are. I don’t want to get fired from T-Mobile for not meeting my expectations because of my severe hearing loss. I’m a father of two wonderful boys and I want to be able to secure my income to provide them. I have contacted my human resource Representative about my situation and he said he will try to help me find the solution. It has been two days and every day I go to work my stress level is climbing to the roof. Please help me with my situation. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my message.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Alex,

If you have disability insurance coverage through T-Mobile you can consider filing a claim for benefits under the policy.

James:

I am 57 years old and have suffered with Tinnitus my entire life. I recently went to an Audiologist for the first time in over 45 years. She told me I had a severe hearing loss in my left ear (at the higher frequencies) and a moderate in my right. When she asked me if I was suffering any of the side affects I didn’t know as I have had this to a degree my entire life. I am a highly anxious person and have had bouts with depression.

My job requires that I communicate with Flight crews of large transport category aircraft as an Aircraft Dispatcher. I am jointly responsible with the Captain of that flight to ensure all safety issues are met. Since flight crews have to pass a flight physical which includes some fairly stringent standards for hearing, isn’t it reasonable to expect the responsible party on the ground to meet the same hearing requirements?

Anyway,

Thanks for your time.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

James,

One would assume, but we would not know the requirements. If you are covered under a disability insurance policy and your condition is impacting/preventing you from working it would seem that under your fact pattern you would have a viable claim for benefits.

Thomas:

James, i have been wearing hearing aids since 1989. I work offshore on a drilling rig. I recently took a demotion to a job out side. Before i was in a office and was able to wear hearing aids. Now that i’m outside. I’m not able to wear my hearing aids due to loud noises and and that company has a policy about wearing ear plugs outside. I have short and long term disability.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Thomas, please feel free to contact our office to discuss your policies with you to determine how we may be able to assist you in filing for benefits.

Ted:

I have moderate/severe hearing loss and unbearable tinnitus that is getting worse. I work for a large insurance company and have both long & short term disability coverage. My new job requires constant phone interaction and I feel I can no longer work with customers on the phone. I will be seeing a hearing specialist tomorrow. Any suggestions?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Ted, if you are eligible for benefits under your employer’s policies then you can certainly explore the possibility of applying for benefits under same. If you do not feel you can continue to work it may benefit you to have a conversation with your doctor as to same. Please feel free to contact use to discuss further.

Judy:

Is progressive hearing loss considered a preexisting condition and would it be covered under short term and long term disability?
Thanks
Judy

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Judy, pre-existing conditions relate to policy provisions pertaining to length of coverage/employment. If you have worked for your company or been covered under the disability plan for less than a year and you had treatment for the hearing loss in the months before employment/coverage, then yes it could be. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss any questions as we would be able to better ascertain your options under your policy.

Margareta:

My LTD policy misfiled/did not file my medical proof. My benefits were denied and one appeal allowed. I certified mailed the proof off fax dated 2 days before the due date. They had a review a week ago but I do not know the result. Do they have 45 to 90 days to let me know? ERISA policy. The policy has a provision if “clerical” error by company will not deny benefits that would have been paid.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Margareta, if the carrier is considering the information an appeal they will have 45 days with the right to a 45 day extension. However, if they are only reviewing the information to determine eligibility (as they did not have it when it was denied) then it may only take a couple weeks. Has anyone from the company discussed the nature of the review with you yet?

Greg:

Mr. Jessup, I am looking for an attorney to take my case that is similar to Paul above. With all due respect your answers to the questions on this page say very little to indicate your expertise with respect to hearing loss. “Call our office to discuss” is what every disability in the world wants and therefore this comment section is of little value. Just my opinion…

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Greg, although we do respect your opinion as to the information we provide as being of little value to you, we are unfortunately not always in a position to provide in depth analysis or as complete an answer as someone would like in a comment section. Without knowing anything about your medical status or policy information I am not quite sure what information we could provide you.

Ultimately, the best way to determine if we can be of assistance, and certainly the most time efficient way to determine same, is with a phone call/consultation. We have utilized Skype, or similar applications, to allow for clients to read lips or type in real time – depending on the level of hearing impairment. As always, we offer a free initial consultation.

Susan:

Due to progressive hearing loss, chronic pain at my implant site, and clicking in my ear, I am considering applying for disability. I am a 50 year old teacher and my hearing interferes with my ability to do my best work. The main thing I am wondering is what is the cost for your attorney service? (I know the first consultation is free.) I am hopeful that your transparency will help me decide whether or not to utilize your services.
Thank you.

Attorney Alex Palamara:

Susan, I am sorry to hear of your issues. We typically work on a contingency fee whereby if we are successful in getting you on claim, our fee will be a reasonable percentage of your benefit each time you receive a benefit from the insurance company. We do whatever it takes to get you on claim and keep you on claim. Please feel free to call our office for a free consultation and for more information.

Ben:

I’m 58, I was recently diagnosed with a profound hearing loss in both ears and tinitus. Hearing aids are on order and required per my ENT. My hearing loss currently impacts my job performance, I work full time for a major firm in NYC. Some of this hearing stems back to my military jobs (Morse Code). I’m 58 now. I just applied for VA benefits, which will take time. re: My job, UNUM is our short and longterm disability carrier. I’m not sure what to do legally. The said I should take time off and consider disability.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Ben, please feel free to contact our office to discuss your situation, and to review your policies with Unum to better advise you as to what you can expect in making the application.

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