Risk Factors Of Hearing Problems
Aging increases your chances of developing hearing loss, but certain genetic properties may also place you at higher risk for hearing loss even from the time youre born. Certain diseases that produce a high fever can also cause damage to your inner ear, leaving you susceptible to hearing loss. And if and specific antibiotics can cause damage to your inner ear.
Loud noise exposure can come from either professional or personal noises. It will come as no surprise to you that veterans, who are exposed to everything from gunfire to explosions, often with no hearing protection, are at higher risk of hearing loss. Hobbies like carpentry, motorcycling, snowmobiling, and listening to loud music can also cause damage to your inner ear.
Applying For Disability Benefits With Hearing Loss
Contributed by HearingLife
When you experience unexpected and significant hearing loss, the impact goes beyond the emotional. Your ability to work can be limited and even eliminated entirely depending on your skillset, creating tremendous financial pressure. Financial demands also exist if your child is born with a hearing impairment or experiences hearing loss later on. Your child will need special education opportunities, medical treatment and, if applicable, assistive devices to improve their hearing.
Fortunately, the Social Security Administration has disability benefits available for those who have experienced hearing loss, provided they meet certain medical and financial eligibility requirements. These monthly cash payouts can help stabilize individual or family finances and cover the cost of treatment.
What disability benefits are available?The SSA has two benefits programs that provide people with disabilities with financial support and access to medical care. Each one serves a different need but both will pay monthly benefits to those who meet the medical criteria.
How to medically qualify for disability benefits with hearing lossTo qualify for disability benefits, an applicant must meet a listing in the Blue Book, which is the official SSA catalog of eligible conditions and their criteria. It is divided into two sections: One for adults and the other for children, which in turn are split for applicants with and without cochlear implants.
Table #: Numeric Designation Of Hearing Impairment Based On Speech Discrimination Percentage And Puretone Threshold Average
|Speech Discrimination Percentage|
Once a Roman numeral is assigned to each ear, the appropriate VA disability for Hearing Loss can be found using Table #2 below, which we call the VA Hearing Loss Compensation Table.
First, find the Roman numeral for the ear that hears the best , the VA calls this the better ear for VA rating purposes.
Second, find the Roman numeral of the ear that hears the worst , the VA calls this the poorer ear for VA rating purposes.
Lastly, a veterans final VA rating for Hearing Loss can be found in the intersecting box of these two Roman numerals.
For example, if the best ear has a Roman numeral of II, and the worst ear has a Roman numeral of V, then the appropriate Hearing Loss VA Rating is 10%.
As you can see from the chart, its very difficult to get above a 10% VA rating for Hearing Loss.
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How Do You Prove Hearing Loss
An audiologist is a healthcare professional specializing in diagnosing and treating hearing disorders. Audiology tests can help determine the type and severity of your hearing loss. These tests may include:Pure-tone audiometry: This test measures how well you can hear different tones and frequencies.Speech audiometry: This test measures how well you understand speech.Tympanometry: This test measures how well your eardrum moves in response to changes in pressure.After the audiologist has conducted these tests, they will be able to give you a diagnosis of your hearing loss. If you have hearing loss, they will work with you to develop a treatment plan. This may include hearing aids, assistive listening devices, or surgery.
What Type Of Tinnitus Do I Have
Its important that you know the difference between the two types of tinnitus as well as be familiar with which type you have.
- If you have objective tinnitus your doctor will be able to hear noise in your ear or will be able to detect a pulsating motion from the surrounding structure of the ear.
- If your doctor is unable to hear any sound, you have subjective tinnitus, which is the most common type.
Your insurance company will want objective proof of your condition, which will be easier for those with objective tinnitus. Unfortunately, subjective tinnitus is more common and yet it is more difficult to prove your diagnosis. Tests which will help you provide proof are hearing and/or audiological testing, sleep studies, cognitive testing, and statements of confirmation from your physician.
If your symptoms are subjective, you should check your insurance policy. It may limit your long-term disability benefits for any condition diagnosed mainly by subjective symptoms.
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For tinnitus, the proposed changes would recognize that symptom within the Veterans broader ailment and provide service-connected compensation for tinnitus through the disease to which it is attributed. The proposed rules for mental health conditions would increase the minimum disability rating from 0% to 10%.
PIP is a benefit for people of working age who need help with the extra costs arising from a long-term health condition or disability. The amount of PIP you may get depends on how your disability or health condition affects you. You could get between £23.60 and £151 a week.
Vet must have a current hearingdisability The medical community recognizes: Threshold for normal hearing is from 0 to 20 db Higher thresholds indicate some degree of hearingloss Hensley v. Brown, 5 Vet. App. 155, 157 VA has different standards for determining if hearingloss is a “disability” 38 C.F.R. § 3.385.
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Hearing Loss Vs Cognitive Impairments
Before filing a long term disability claim for your tinnitus, you must be prepared for the insurance company to focus on your hearing loss . This is an extremely common problem that most long term disability claimants with tinnitus face.
Time and time again, insurance companies erroneously deny legitimate tinnitus long term disability claims due to lack of substantial hearing loss. Yet, the most disabling cases of tinnitus often have nothing to do with hearing loss. Rather, the most disabling cases are usually due to an inability to concentrate, focus, sleep, or other cognitive difficulties. In some cases, the condition may even be disabling due to secondary depression and/or anxiety.
Records of these cognitive impairments as a result of tinnitus can help explain to your insurance company why you are unable to perform your job duties. They are just as important, if not more so, than your physical symptoms.
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Hearing Aids And Disability
There are some certain hearing aid tests that you will have to undergo, as well as certain thresholds to meet, in order to qualify and prove your hearing loss. This can then qualify you for some social security disability benefits. The tests are performed without wearing hearing aids. However, the act of wearing a hearing aid in and of itself is not classed by the ADA or social security as a disability itself.
In some instances, you will want to wear hearing aids, even if you have low-level hearing loss, as it could help you in your daily life. However, the level that your hearing loss has been tested at, might be below what ADA and social security would class as a disability.
So, having a hearing aid is something that can be used to help you with your disability, especially if you are experiencing quite profound hearing loss. Just wearing hearing aids doesnt automatically mean that you have a disability, at least not according to different areas of the United States government. It is all about the level of hearing loss, rather than just wearing hearing aids.
An Attorney Could Help You Pursue Veterans Hearing Loss And Tinnitus Claims
A condition that leaves you with a reduced ability to hear or a ringing in your ears may be the result of a head injury, a single exposure to loud noise, or persistent exposure to moderate noise. If this exposure occurred while you were on active duty and has a negative effect on your current quality of life, you might qualify for VA disability compensation benefits.
An experienced lawyer could help you gather the necessary evidence to pursue a claim and assist you with filing the case. If you have already filed a claim and received a denial, our team of attorneys could also help you file an appeal based on your hearing loss or tinnitus. Call VetLaw today to learn more about veterans hearing loss and tinnitus claims.
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Disability Rating For Hearing Problem:
According to the VA Schedule of Ratings Disabilities under section 4.87 hearing problem is rating and diagnostics codes 6200 to 6260.
What Happens When Your Initial Claim Gets Rejected
The initial application will be rejected if there is not enough proper evidence to prove your disability. You will likely need to provide more evidence than just medical records or statements from your doctor. There is other necessary evidence that may be required by the Social Security Administration.
This can be your past work, physical and mental condition while you were working, and your job skills. All these and various other requirements need to be analyzed for your application to be approved.
Social Security grants the benefits based on your functional constraints and not only based on your condition. You can file an appeal if your initial application gets denied. A legal expert can provide guidance on how to proceed with the appeals process. A Social Security Disability Attorney will analyze your case from a completely different point of view and increase the chances of getting your benefits approved.
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Tinnitus Is Also Under Disability Rating Like Other Conditions:
Tinnitus is a noise that you hear in your ears, as resonant or ringing which happens repeatedly or continuously. The only rating available for tinnitus is 10%. A 10% rating will be submitted whether you are ringing in one ear or both ears You can not get a 20% rating due to tinnitus in both ears. However, a high percentage may be available for those whose condition is so serious that it is weak or prevents you from working. You can get an extra timetable for your tinnitus, which is more than the limit of 10 percent in the cloning rating schedule.
The auditory loss is any degree of loss of ability to understand the sound. If you are diagnosed with hearing loss and tinnitus, then you may be entitled to a different rating for hearing loss and a different rating for tinnitus.
The following is required to establish a service connection:
Hearing loss, psychiatric conditions, TBI which is related to it can be rated separately from tinnitus and if it is linked to one, but whether linked to another condition or not, the maximum rating will always be 10%.
An audiologist has some tests and protocol for tinnitus which they used for checking the severity of the tinnitus.
Test to check tinnitus
Your doctor will examine your ears, head, and neck to look for possible causes of tinnitus. Tests include:
Is Wearing A Hearing Aid Classified As Disability
No, wearing a hearing aid is not classified as a disability. However, hearing loss itself is considered a disability, and people with hearing loss may be eligible for benefits from the Social Security Administration .
To qualify for benefits, your hearing loss must be severe enough to interfere with your ability to work. The SSA will also consider other factors, such as your age, education, and work experience. If you think you might be eligible for benefits, you should contact the SSA to learn more.
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Va Disability Claim For Hearing Loss Or Tinnitus
Tinnitus is one of the most claimed disabilities when it comes to applying for disability compensation. Hearing loss comes in at a close second. This statistic comes from the 2015 Annual Benefits Report. The report shows that 9.6 percent of veterans claimed tinnitus and about 5.2 percent of veterans claimed hearing loss. Yet, these two disabilities will be denied time and time again to former service members and their family members.
The bottom line is that it is very important to have the three components mentioned earlier to establish service connection for hearing loss and/or tinnitus: a current diagnosis, evidence of an event that caused the condition, and a medical opinion linking the current hearing condition to the event in service or nexus. Any veteran struggling with tinnitus is hard of hearing, and/or is experiencing hearing loss, should not give up or become discouraged if they are denied the first time or even the second time around. This is a real issue for many veterans and can require real solutions such as Cochlear implants , sign language classes, or even inner ear/middle ear surgery. Hopefully, this information will help in the initial process when trying to establish a service connection for tinnitus and/or hearing loss.
Here Is A Short List Of Typical Hearing Tests
- Puretone Test Tones at different frequencies and volume intensities.
- SRT Measures how much you can understand the sounds of speech.
- WRT You repeat the words you hear, but they are played at a level according to the Pure Tone Test, so the test administrator knows they are able to be heard.
- OAE Testing Tests the sounds that bounce off of your hearing organs.
- ART Works like a reflex when they hit your knee, except its done in your ear. You cant fake this one.
- Auditory Brain Stem Response Actually scans your brainwaves to see if you are responding to sounds or not.
All of these tests follow a specific order depending on your specific needs. If you miss more than 3 words in the WRT, for instance, youll probably see a professional audiologist to examine the inside of your ears. At that point, you may even have procedures to clean out any excess wax, skin, or other diseases of your ears
Here is a video about how to fake a hearing test: #SpoilerAlert You cant.
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Of 10 Common Va Disability Claims: Paralysis Of The Sciatic Nerve
Based on the latest 2018-2019 VA data, Paralysis of the Sciatic Nerve, also known as Sciatica, was the #7 most common VA disability claims for all Veterans, across all demographics.
92.2% of Veterans are rated between 0% and 20%.
Musculoskeletal system conditions include issues with joints and muscles and must involve limitation of range of motion and/or painful motion.
Back injuries and various musculoskeletal injuries, which can lead to Sciatica, or severe radiating pain, are quite common for veterans.
Sciatica is the pain that one experiences when the sciatic nerve is irritated.
Sciatica is not an actual diagnosis of a problem, but rather, an accurate way of describing the location of the pain.
What is Sciatica?
The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body.
This nerve runs from the lower back through the hips and buttocks all the way down to the leg.
Sciatica is extreme pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Sciatica most commonly occurs when a herniated disk, bone spur on the spine or narrowing of the spine compresses part of the nerve. This causes inflammation, pain and often some numbness in the affected leg.
Sciatica develops when the pressure on the spinal nerve causes pain to develop on the lower back, buttocks, and legs.
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Is Mild Hearing Loss A Disability
Mild hearing loss can be a disability, depending on the persons circumstances. For some people, mild hearing loss may not significantly impact their lives, making everyday activities more difficult for others.If mild hearing loss negatively impacts your quality of life, it is considered a disability. There are many ways to manage hearing loss, so if you think it is starting to become a problem for you, talk to your doctor or a hearing specialist.
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Anxiety Secondary To Tinnitus
Anxiety is defined as intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. It is estimated that one-third of adults in the United States suffer from anxiety disorders. The most common symptoms of anxiety disorders include the following:
- Feeling restless, jumpy, or on edge
- Excessive worrying