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Do I Qualify For Disability Insurance Benefits If I Have Hearing Loss?

CaveyLaw.com > Practice Areas  > Long Term Disability & ERISA Lawyer  > Long Term Disability Disabling Conditions > Do I Qualify For Disability Insurance Benefits If I Have Hearing Loss?

Disability insurance companies don’t always make it easy for policyholders who have hearing loss or problems because of tinnitus or Meniere’s disease to get the disability benefits they deserve. Not all hearing loss qualifies you for disability benefits.

How Do Disability Carriers View Hearing Loss Disability Claims?

You will have to show profound changes in your hearing and overcome the carrier’s argument that:

  1. You’ve been working with hearing problems for years and nothing has changed,
  2. It is all in your head! The spinning sensation, hearing loss in one ear, the fullness or pressure and lack of balance are all subjective complaints, and they aren’t real!
  3. You just need hearing aids or new hearing aids,
  4. You can work in an accommodated work environment,
  5. Your occupation only requires you to work on a computer, and
  6. Your occupation only requires limited interaction with the public or fellow workers so your symptoms don’t prevent you from performing your occupation.

Many disability claims for hearing loss are denied. The disability insurance company also says:

(1) There is no objective basis of the hearing loss,

(2) There is no objective basis for the restrictions and limitations assigned by your physician,

(3) There is no causal relationship between your hearing loss and/or your restrictions and limitations, and your inability to do your own or any occupation,

(4) The surveillance shows there is nothing wrong with you despite your complaints of good days and bad days, and

(5) Your symptoms or the frequency of your attacks don’t prevent you from working a normal schedule.

Nancy Cavey, who has 35 years experience handling disability cases, has successfully represented many policyholders with hearing loss. She overcomes a claims denial by working closely with you and your physician.

She often employs a vocational expert to address the disability carrier’s arguments that you have been able to work, that you could work with accommodation, and your attendance would not be an issue.

Nancy Cavey offers a free initial consultation and welcomes the opportunity to speak with you about your disability claim.

What Are The Types of Hearing Loss?

There are three types of hearing loss:

  1. Conductive hearing loss, caused by outer and middle ear problems that prevent sound from reaching the inner ear.
  2. Sensorineural hearing loss, caused by damage to the sensory cells or nerve fibers in the inner ear that interfere with the transmission of information to the brain, such as tinnitus, and
  3. Mixed hearing loss, a combination of both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.

What Are The Causes Of Hearing Loss?

The most common causes of hearing loss are age and exposure to loud noise. Hearing loss also can occur as a result of:

* Infection,

* Perforation of the eardrum,

* Head injury,

* A side effect of some cancer treatments, and

* A side effect of certain medications.

Tinnitus and Meniere’s disease are also common causes of hearing loss or impairment. Most disability carriers consider both conditions to be subjective.

Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a sound that is generated only in your head! No one else can hear the ringing, buzzing, hissing or roaring that can be experienced with tinnitus.  More than 80% of people with tinnitus have hearing loss as a result of damage to the hair cells in the ear.

There are many ways to treat tinnitus, including sound therapy, but there is no cure. Disability carriers often reject out of hand or minimize the impact tinnitus can have on hearing or the emotional problems it can cause.

Meniere’s disease

Meniere’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear that causes episodes of spinning, know as vertigo.  There is also fluctuating hearing loss, tinnitus and a feeling of pressure in the ear. Often it affects only one ear.

Meniere’s can be debilitating because of its unpredictability and because of the need to lie down for hours. That can cause you to miss time from work. Worse, it can cause depression and anxiety, prompting disability carriers to invoke the mental nervous limitations in policies, which limits benefits to 24 months.     

How Do I Get The Disability Insurance Benefits I Deserve?

Hearing loss, tinnitus and Meniere’s disease can interfere with your daily activities and with your ability to work. If you no longer can work because of hearing loss, tinnitus and Meniere’s disease, or if your doctor has told you to apply for disability benefits, you should take steps before you apply:

  1. Obtain a copy of your disability policy. See how it defines “disability,” “occupation” and “self-reported conditions.” You’ll need to understand what you have to prove and if there are limitations in your coverage.
  2. Obtain a copy of your medical records. Review them to see if there is an objective basis for your diagnosis, what your records say about your report of symptoms and your restrictions and limitations.
  3. Obtain a copy of your personnel file to see if your hearing loss, tinnitus and Meniere’s disease have affected your work performance.
  4. Obtain a copy of your job description. Create your own description of your physical duties with an explanation of how your symptoms impact your ability to do your occupation.
  5. Provide your doctor with the occupational description. Ask your doctor to prepare a report that explains the objective basis for your diagnosis, the objective basis of your restrictions and limitations, and the objective reasons you can’t perform some or all of the material and substantial duties of your occupation.
  6. Prepare a hearing loss, tinnitus and Meniere’s disease diary that explains and gives examples of how your symptoms interfere with your ability to do things on a daily basis and the side effects of your medication.
  7. Hire Nancy Cavey to help you file your initial application. The application process is confusing and designed so you and your physician make mistakes that can result in a delay or even a denial of your benefits. Ms. Cavey knows how to prepare and file a winning shock and awe disability application that leaves the carrier little reason to question your claim.
  8. Hire Nancy Cavey to help you appeal a wrongful denial or termination of your disability benefits. Disability carriers are in the business of collecting premiums and not paying disability benefits. They’ll use any reason to deny your claim. The odds of getting your benefits on appeal are greater when you are represented by an experienced ERISA/private ID policy disability attorney.

Contact Disability Attorney Nancy L. Cavey, Who Can Help You Regardless of Where You Live

Hearing loss, tinnitus and Meniere’s disease can make it difficult, if not impossible, to work. You owe it to yourself and your family to get help today! Nancy Cavey can review your policy and your medical records, and explain to you what your policy says and how to get your disability benefits.  Call today for a free consultation at 727-894-3188.