Symptoms And Treatment For Meniere’s Disease
Symptoms of Meniere’s disease include vertigo , fluctuating hearing loss, ringing in the ear , and a sensation of pressure in the ear canal. Nausea and vomiting frequently accompany the vertigo, and episodes can last from 20 minutes to several hours. Sufferers generally experience clustered episodes of Meniere’s followed by long periods of wellness. Meniere’s is sometimes confused with an acoustic neuroma because the symptoms are often the same.
Although the exact cause of Meniere’s is unknown, it usually first occurs in people during their 40s and 50s. Some symptoms of Meniere’s can be managed with medications and home care. Infrequently, however, patients must pursue more aggressive treatments, such as surgery and injections in the inner ear.
Issues With Hearing And Balance
Veterans experience higher rates of hearing loss and tinnitus than the general population. In fact, hearing loss and tinnitus are the most claimed disabilities by veterans. While hearing loss and tinnitus are the most common conditions of the ear that veterans claim, there are other diseases of the ear that veterans may have but are unaware of.
Are you currently experiencing issues with hearing, episodes of vertigo, balance issues and looking for a disability lawyer? It is possible that you suffer from Menieres disease , a disturbance of labyrinthine-vestibular function. This condition, and ear conditions like it, may qualify you for VA Disability benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Scheduling a free consultation or speaking with a disability law firm could save you thousands in the future and help you face these issues.
How We Can Help
There are several ways in which the team at Osterhout Berger Disability Law can help you receive the benefit you deserve. We help individuals who need to
- Apply for Social Security Benefits and want to ensure everything is done right the first time
- Appeal a denial of Social Security Disability Benefits
- Appeal an existing denial of Long Term Disability Benefits
If you are facing one of these situations due to Menieres Disease, please do not hesitate in reaching out. Our team of experienced attorneys are here to help, and your consultation is free.
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Types Of Disability Benefits Available In Canada For Vestibular Disorders
When it comes to claiming disability benefits for vestibular disorders, you might be eligible for one of two types of disability benefits available to Canadian workers. These are the Canada Pension Plan disability benefits and the long-term disability insurance benefits.
CPP disability benefits for vestibular disorders
The CPP is the government pension plan meant to support you after you retire at the age of 60 or 65. It will also cover disability benefits from the time you became disabled until your retirement when your regular pension will commence. To qualify for CPP disability benefits, you need to have worked for four of the past six years and paid payroll taxes. Your contribution to the CPP is automatically deducted by your employer from your salary as mandated by law. The agency in charge of the CPP is Service Canada, which also requires you to prove that your disability is both severe and prolonged leaving you unable to work and earn income to support yourself and your dependent children.
Long-term Disability Insurance Benefits for Vestibular Disorders
Social Security Disability For Menieres Disease
When an individual applies for disability, the Social Security Administration will evaluate his or her condition based on the Blue Book. This guide lists the requirements that need to be satisfied for certain disabilities to qualify for SSI or SSDI. Menieres disease is evaluated under listing 2.07 of Special Senses and Speech and is described below.
2.07 Disturbance of Labyrinthine-vestibular Function
An applicant must have a history of balance disturbance, hearing loss and tinnitus as well as both of the following:
A.) Caloric or other vestibular tests verifying disturbed function of vestibular labyrinth
B.) Audiometry verifying loss of hearing
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Common Symptoms And Impairments
You might be suffering from a vestibular disorder if you exhibit one or more of the following symptoms:
- Vertigo and dizziness. You experience the unusual sensation of spinning or a difference in the movement of the rest of the world relative to yourself.
- Visual impairment. You have trouble focusing your eyes on objects, become sensitive to visual stimuli and lights, and experience difficulty seeing in the dark
- Hearing impairment. You hear a ringing or buzzing noise in your ears, have trouble focusing on sounds, and experience sensitivity to loud noises.
- Spatial disorientation or imbalance. You become clumsy, develop poor posture and coordination, and have difficulty walking properly.
- Psychological changes. You experience anxiety, depression and loss of self-confidence.
- Cognitive changes. You have difficulty concentrating on tasks and remembering information.
Other symptoms include vomiting, nausea, motion sickness, headaches, slurred speech, and chronic pain.
Establishing Service Connection For Menieres Disease
If you are living with Menieres disease or another ear condition it can be difficult to work. This is often due to the risk of losing your balance which is a risk factor along with hearing impairment. Other ear conditions with this effect may include chronic suppurative otitis media, chronic otitis externa, and chronic nonsuppurative otitis media. Veterans who are unable to work due to Menieres disease and similar conditions can file a VA disability claim for veterans benefits. Proving factors like individual unemployability and service connection will be key to receiving the appropriate compensation for your condition.
In order to receive VA disability benefits for this condition and other ear conditions, its important to first prove military service connection. The issue cannot have been caused by sedentary work. To successfully establish service connection for conditions like Menieres disease, a current diagnosis, you will need evidence of an in-service incident or stressor and nexus statement connecting your current disability to the in-service event. You will need service medical records detailing instances of vertigo, dizziness or dizzy spells, loss of hearing and fainting, and statements for fellow servicemen, family, or friends that confirm the noise exposure and the symptoms youve experienced as a consequence of this exposure.
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Disability From Vestibular Disorders: You Are Not Alone
The vestibular system consists of parts of the brain and inner ear that provide humans with spatial orientation and a sense of balance. A dysfunction in this system, which can be caused by disease, injury or environmental factors, can pose a variety of difficulties for the affected individual.Vestibular disorders are a set of misunderstood diseases that affect over a million Canadians and millions more around the world. The condition is most prevalent among people from the age of 40 and above, but it can affect anyone even very young children.
Filing For Social Security Disability With A Menieres Disease Diagnosis
The Social Security Administration discusses Menieres Disease under Section 2.00 of the Blue Book, Special Senses and Speech. As with all disorders, the SSA defines a disability as the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of a medically determinable severe impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months. Your medical records must diagnose your Menieres Disease, and the symptoms of the disease must be so severe that even with treatment you are prevented from working.
The requirements for Menieres Disease are addressed in Section 2.07, Disturbance of labyrinthine-vestibular function . To qualify, you will need to prove that the symptoms you are experiencing from Meniere’s Disease meet this listing.
This section states that in order to qualify for disability benefits, your condition must be characterized by a history of frequent attacks of balance disturbance, tinnitus, and progressive loss of hearing AND you must have disturbed function of vestibular labyrinth demonstrated by caloric or other vestibular tests AND you must have hearing loss established by audiometry.
Hearing impairments are discussed in Section 2.08 and must be shown by either:
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How To Qualify For Social Security Disability If You Have Menieres Disease
The spinning sensation, ringing in your ears, and hearing loss have all taken a toll on you. Your doctor has diagnosed you with Menieres disease and has tried different treatment options for your vertigo and hearing loss, but you are still struggling. You are unable to go about your daily activities and you are unable to work.
Menieres disease is a permanent medical condition for which there is no cure. If you meet the eligibility criteria for Social Security disability, you may receive monthly benefits.
Additionally If You Have Another Impairment For Example High Blood Pressure Or Diabetes You May Be Eligible For Ssdi
Applicants often have more than one illness or injury that prevents them from working full time. By itself one disorder may not meet the requirements of an impairment as stated in Social Securitys Blue Book. However, if an applicant has multiple medical conditions, Social Security must consider how those health issues, combined together, limit an applicants ability to hold a job and perform necessary daily tasks. Social Security will also evaluate how your limitations affect your ability to work , taking into account whether or not you are able to drive, your age, and level of education.
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Listing : Disturbance Of Labyrinthine
Social Security discusses the criteria for automatic approval for vestibular balance disorders under Listing 2.07. To meet the criteria for Listing 2.07, you must prove that your labyrinthine-vestibular disorder or Ménière’s disease has caused recurrent problems with your balance, tinnitus , and a gradual decrease in your ability to hear. In addition to these basic requirements, you must provide Social Security with the following:
- results that show abnormal function of your vestibular labyrinth established by examinations such as positional or caloric testing , and
- a test that demonstrates your hearing loss.
If you can prove that your vestibular hearing disorder meets all of the criteria, your claim will be automatically approved. If you don’t have problems with both balance and ringing in the ears, but you do have hearing loss, you may be able to qualify under hearing loss alone.
Appropriate Treatment For Mnire’s Disease
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Ménière’s Disease. However, the insurance company will still want to see that you are receiving appropriate treatment. The insurance company can easily use non-compliance and lack of appropriate care as a reason to deny your claim.
To demonstrate appropriate treatment, your doctors should include appropriate specialists, including an otolaryngologist. Treatment options may include:
- Medications. Your doctor may prescribe medications to take during attacks of vertigo. These may include motion sickness and anti-nausea medications.
- Non-invasive therapies and procedures. Your doctor may recommend vestibular rehabilitation, cognitive behavioral therapy, a hearing aid, and a meniette device.
- Injections. Your doctor may inject mediations directly into your ear. These medications may include antibiotics and steroids.
- Surgery. If your vertigo attacks are debilitating, your doctor may even recommend surgery. Procedures include endolymphatic sac procedure , vestibular nerve resection , and labyrinthectomy .
- Lifestyle changes: Your doctor may recommend that you change your diet or reduce your stress to help improve your symptoms.
Your main doctor will probably refer you for additional testing and consultations with other specialists. Make sure to follow-up with your doctors recommendations. If you dont, the insurance company may claim deny your claim.
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Is Menieres Disease Eligible For Disability Benefits
Menieres disease is a condition caused by hearing loss or imbalance. It is characterized by episodes of vertigo. This is an inner ear condition, typically affecting only one ear. However, if the condition progresses, it may move to both. The inner ear is responsible for hearing and balance. Typical symptoms of Menieres disease include vertigo or a spinning sensation, hearing loss, tinnitus , and ear pressure. As a result of vertigo, you may also experience nausea and imbalance. Menieres disease is diagnosed by having two episodes of vertigo, each lasting 20 minutes or longer, or by a hearing test. This condition can also be diagnosed with a history and physical examination. An audiogram will be used to determine hearing loss and to rule out other potential abnormalities. If you are diagnosed with Menieres disease, you will likely be treated with anti-nausea medications, hearing aids, and therapy including vestibular rehabilitation. You may also be recommended to follow a low sodium diet and to avoid caffeine and chocolate.
Menieres Disease And Your Ability To Perform Sedentary Work
Even though sedentary work, defined by the SSA as work that requires sitting for up to six hours a day, may eliminate the risk of collapsing due to vertigo, Menieres disease can still make a desk job challenging.
Vertigo causes dizziness and confusion conditions that are not ideal for the need to think and act quickly. Getting in and out of a chair can be dangerous, and communicating on the phone and with others can be difficult due to impaired hearing.
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What Evidence Do I Need To Win My Menieres Disease Claim
The Blue Book also comes in handy when an individual wants to determine what kind of medical evidence is required by the SSA to win their claim. A disability claim for Menieres disease will require the following:
Residual Functional Capacity Assessment
If you do not meet any of the Blue Book Listings, you may still qualify for disability benefits if the condition prevents you from being able to work.
Individuals with this condition may suffer debilitating symptoms that interfere with work duties. For example, they may suffer from dizzying episodes that require them to stop working. They may have a sudden symptom of the condition, making it unsafe to work on heavy machinery or from heights. The medications that individuals with this condition take can also have significant side effects, such as fatigue and sleepiness.
The Social Security Administration will conduct a residual functional capacity assessment to evaluate the claimant’s medical history and symptoms to determine the extent of limitations the claimant experiences. This information is used to determine what type of work the claimant can do, if any.
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Seek Legal Assistance For Your Disability Claim
If you have Meniere’s disease and are unable to work because of this condition, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. However, it can be difficult to prove the disabling effects of this condition. It is important to contact an experienced Social Security Disability Insurance lawyer for assistance.
The experienced Social Security Disability attorneys at Dayes Law Firm PC can collect medical evidence and other records to support your disability claim. We provide a free consultation to our clients to discuss your claim and how we can help. We work on a contingency, so you only pay for our services if you are approved for benefits.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form or call .
Filing Va Disability Claims For Ear Conditions
If you have been diagnosed with Menieres disease or believe that you suffer from Menieres disease, as a result of your time in service, you can file a claim for disability with the Veterans Administration by visiting their website. You can also hire a disability attorney such as one of the attorneys at Hill & Ponton to help you with your claim and determining your residual functional capacity . Our attorneys are dedicated to working with former service members, so veterans can obtain the disability compensation they deserve. If your claim has been denied, contact us today for a free case evaluation.
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How Menieres Disease Symptoms May Limit Your Ability To Work
Your Menieres disease symptoms must also severely limit your ability to work. These include:
- Seeing, hearing, and speaking
- Walking, standing, lifting,
- Understanding and carrying out simple instructions
- Working with supervision, co-workers and common work situations
There are a few more requirements to meet before youll qualify for SSD benefits. First, the SSA will determine if youre engaging in substantial gainful activity. That just means you earn more than $1,310/month, even if its passive income. But if you get some money below that amount each month , you may still qualify.
Secondly, the SSA will also review what jobs you did in the past. If you can still hold some kind of job, theyll reject your SSD application. But if you cannot perform past tasks, the SSA will try to find another job that fits your new limitations. If none exists, the SSA may approve your application.
How Can You Qualify For Disability Benefits With Menieres Disease
Vertigos unpredictable nature makes working full-time difficult . You might suffer permanent hearing loss along with fatigue, emotional distress, depression and anxiety. Vertigo can also make you lose your balance. This increases your risk for workplace falls and accidents. Driving or operating heavy machinery is also difficult. Your doctor likely told you those jobs are too dangerous for people with Menieres disease.
The Social Security Administration categorizes Menieres disease under Medical Listing 2.07. Because the disease can affect people differently, it must meet the following disability qualifications:
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