Ndis Access Requirements For People With Hearing Disability
Deafness Forum was contacted by people who were confused by information on the NDIS website and in social media about the eligibility of people with hearing loss and deafness to join the National Disability Scheme.
The NDIS website has a list of disability conditions that make a person eligible for the NDIS without the need to prove the impacts of the disability on their lives and they wont have to go through the process again in the future. Section 24 Disability Access does not apply to them. Therefore, people with a permanent hearing impairment of greater than 90 decibels in the better ear do not need to demonstrate they have substantially reduced functional capacity to meet the NDIS access eligibility requirements. They meet the disability requirements in section 24 of the NDIS Act without further assessment required.
Public confusion arose in comparing this information with what was stated in the NDIS operational guidelines . This says that a person with a permanent hearing impairment of greater than 65 decibels in the better ear may have substantially reduced functional capacity. These people will probably be eligible to join the NDIS, but they must provide evidence that the disability results in substantially reduced functional capacity to undertake one or more of the following activities communication, social interaction, learning, mobility, self-care or self-management.
Determining The Level Of Functional Impact
When determining which impairment rating applies to a person the rating that best describes the person’s abilities or difficulties must be applied. In applying the descriptors, each descriptor sets out how the points within it are to apply.
Under the 5-, 10- and 20-point descriptors in order to meet the descriptor in Table 11 a person must satisfy either or . To satisfy all of the sub points , and must apply to the person. Point relates to hearing function, while point relates to difficulty with balance or ringing in the ears.
To satisfy the 0- or 30-point descriptors, all of the points listed in the descriptor must apply to the person.
Determination of the descriptor that best fits the person’s impairment level must be based on the available medical evidence including the person’s medical history, investigation results and clinical findings. A person’s self-reported symptoms must not solely be relied on. It would be inappropriate to apply an impairment rating based solely on a person’s self-reported functional history if this level of functional impairment is not consistent with the medical evidence available.
Hearing Loss Va Ratings For Disability
One of the most common disability claims the VA sees is hearing loss. Working around loud machinery and in combat zones can damage your ears, leaving you unable to distinguish what people are saying or to hear faint noises. In some cases, your service may leave you entirely deaf before the end of your life.
However, while hearing loss is one of the most common disability claims, it is also one of the most complex to understand. Read on to learn more about how to understand your VA disability rating for hearing loss and to find what youre owed.
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What Is Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is caused by the dysfunction of the inner ear resulting in a loss of hearing. This differs from those who are deaf as a person who is deaf is unable to hear anything at all, whereas a person with a hearing loss can still partially hear others. For those with a hearing loss, they can hear using hearing aids to amplifying sounds.Even at the highest possible volume, a person who is deaf is unable to hear. As many cases of hearing loss are untreatable, it is important to prevent your hearing from worsening.
Can I Qualify For Social Security Disability Or Ssi Due To My Hearing Loss
Disability rules regarding hearing loss are complex
Am I likely to get my disability claim approved based on my hearing loss?
How does SSA determine if my hearing loss qualifies for Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
Step 1: Non-Medical CriteriaStep 2: Severe ImpairmentStep 3: Medical ListingsStep 4: Past WorkStep 5: Other Work
Wondering If You Qualify?
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A Caveat With Hearing Loss Applications
Keep in mind that hearing loss applicants often have a challenging time qualifying, as many remote or office jobs can be performed with moderate to severe hearing loss. There are a few factors that could help your claim:
Official Ssa Listing For Hearing Loss
The SSA’s “blue book” of impairment listings states the requirements for automatically being granted disability benefits for hearing loss. There are different requirements for those with cochlear implants and those without.
Hearing Loss Without Cochlear Implants
To “meet” the SSA’s listing for hearing loss without cochlear implants that is, to automatically qualify for disability benefits under the listingyou must meet either one of two tests.
Pure tone and bone conduction audiometry. Your average hearing threshold sensitivity for air conduction must be 90 decibels or worse in your better ear, and you must have a bone conduction hearing threshold of 60 decibels or worse in your better ear. This represents profound hearing loss. Your hearing loss needs to be calculated by averaging your hearing at the sound frequencies of 500 hertz , 1,000 Hz, and 2,000 Hz.
Word recognition test. You must not be able to repeat more than 40% of a list of standardized words spoken in a word recognition test .
Hearing Loss with Cochlear Implantation
This SSA listing applies if you have cochlear implants in one or both ears. For one year after the surgery for implantation of cochlear implants, you are automatically granted disability benefits . After one year post-surgery, if your word recognition score on a “Hearing in Noise Test” is 60% or less, your disability benefits will be extended until your word recognition score improves .
When to Request an Interpreter
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Is Wearing A Hearing Aid Classified As A Disability
In the ways that matter the most, experiencing hearing loss is generally considered to be a disability. This can vary, though, depending on how severe or extreme the hearing loss is. All of this is important knowledge to have, especially when you consider it and how it relates to Social Security regulations and the ADA .
Under this act, you have certain protections granted relating to hearing impairment disabilities, as it relates to employment, for example. Not only that, but according to Social Security rules, you could be entitled to claim certain disability benefits.
Essential Facts About Va Disability For Hearing Loss
Wondering about VA disability for hearing loss? Youre not alone. Over 2.7 million veterans get disability benefits for either tinnitus or hearing loss, and there could be even more veterans who experience hearing loss but dont receive disability benefits for it.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, veterans are about 30 percent more likely to have severe hearing loss or impairment than non-veterans. And this hearing impairment can dramatically affect your quality of life.
Thats why its crucial for veterans with hearing problems to get a diagnosis and treatment from a doctor or healthcare professional. We will discuss everything you need to know about typical VA compensation for hearing loss, tinnitus military symptoms, and more throughout this guide
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Basic Eligibility Rules For Veterans Disability Benefits
Everyone who applies for VA disability must meet certain basic requirements to qualify for benefits. This is true regardless of what medical issues youre dealing with, including hearing loss. In order to qualify for VA disability benefits, you must:
Not sure if your hearing loss is service-connected or not? Heres how you can tell:
- You did not have any hearing issues before joining the military, and yours only started after your service discharge.
- Your doctor determines that the damage to your hearing comes from an illness or injury during your military service. For example: Long-term exposure to jet propulsion fuel is known to cause auditory processing dysfunction. In addition, blast injuries often damage veterans central auditory systems and make it harder to understand others when they speak.
- You had hearing issues before joining the military that got measurably worse as a result of your service. Lets say you had 10% hearing loss before joining the Navy, but that increased to 30% after your discharge. Exposure to loud noise is linked to increased hearing impairment in veterans.
Hearing Loss Test Requirements
Showing that you are currently diagnosed with a qualifying hearing loss condition is the first step to receiving VA disability benefits. The VA tends to be very strict, requiring veterans to take a hearing exam by a licensed audiologist rather than a regular doctor. The audiologist is required to administer two different hearing loss tests for the VA to accept your veterans disability hearing loss diagnosis:
- The Maryland CNC Test measures military hearing loss in veterans via a 50-word test. This test scores the level at which you recognize speech. The VA then uses the Maryland CNC Test results to determine whether your hearing loss condition qualifies for disability benefits. They also use the test to establish how severe your hearing loss condition is.
- Puretone Audiometric Test. The Puretone Audiometric Test measures the faintest tones and is meant to calculate your general hearing loss level. Typically, youll wear headphones for this test and raise your hand to signal each time you hear a noise.
The VA requires these particular tests to determine your diagnosis and eligibility for VA benefits. If you have a diagnosis from your regular doctor, it wont count towards your veterans hearing loss claims.
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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.
What Other Benefits Can I Receive For Hearing Loss
Service members are required to meet with a VA audiologist in order to diagnose a medical condition.
After a series of tests are conducted, the VA can help determine if you are entitled to disability benefits.
Veterans that suffer from hearing loss rely on monthly compensation to treat their condition.
Hearing aids and other hearing supported devices are often available to patients.
Furthermore, service animals have been successful in assisting veterans with a variety of medical conditions, including hearing loss.
However, you cannot receive any of these services until you get evaluated by a VA audiologist.
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When Your Hearing Loss Doesn’t Meet The Listing Requirements
If your hearing loss does not meet the SSA’s disability listing for profound hearing loss, above, you still might be able to get disability if you can show that there are no jobs you can do with your amount of hearing loss.
The SSA will consider how your hearing loss affects your capacity to communicate, follow instructions, and do various jobs. It will then assign you an “RFC,” which stands for residual functional capacity, a type of rating of the type of work you can do. In your RFC, the SSA will include restrictions related to your hearing loss on the work you can do.
For instance, if your average hearing threshold sensitivity is 70 dB is your better ear, you can’t do work that requires good hearing and good word recognition. This would rule out work requiring communicating with the public or over the telephone or radio, or jobs that require the operation of hazardous machinery. However, the SSA could probably find other jobs you could do where hearing isn’t important. But if you don’t have the job skills or education to do those jobs, you might be able to get disability benefits based on a “medical-vocational allowance.” This is especially likely if you are older than 55.
The SSA will still want to see various audiometry tests in your medical records, including pure tone, bone conduction, HINT word recognition tests, and caloric and vestibular function tests.
Qualifying For Disability Benefits With Hearing Loss
The Social Security Administration has a guide known as the Blue Book that lists the requirements necessary for major disabilities such as hearing loss to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. Sections 2.10 and 2.11 of Chapter 2 Special Senses and Speech deals with hearing loss and what is needed to satisfy the requirements.
2.10: Hearing loss not treated with cochlear implantation
Requirement A: An average air conduction hearing threshold of 90 decibels or greater in the better ear as well as an average bone conduction hearing threshold of 60 decibels or greater in the better ear.
Requirement B: A word recognition score of 40% or less in the better ear determined using a standardized list of phonetically balanced monosyllabic words.
2.11: Hearing loss treated with cochlear implantation
Requirement A: Individual has had cochlear implants in one or both ears for one year after implantation.
Requirement B: After one year of implantation, a word recognition score of 60% or less determined using the HINT.
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How To Apply For Disability Benefits On Behalf Of A Child
Some adults are able to complete their disability benefit application online, but all applications for children must be completed at a local SSA office. Before scheduling an appointment, be sure to review the SSAs Child Disability Starter kit. This will give you a thorough list of all the necessary documents, which include birth certificates, household tax information, and more. For a child applying for disability benefits, some additional information needed such as hearing tests, speech recognition tests, and any doctors notes on the childs condition. Be sure to complete the Child Disability Report online, which begins the application process. To schedule an appointment for an in-person interview and finish the application, call the SSA toll-free at 1-800-772-1213.
Things To Prove In A Va Disability Hearing Loss Claim Or Appeal
Its particularly hard to prove a hearing loss disability is related to military service. There are 3 things to look to establish a service connection in any VA disability claim.
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How Bilateral Hearing Loss Is Different From Normal Hearing Loss
There is a huge difference between bilateral hearing loss and normal hearing loss. The normal hearing loss may occur in both or one ear but the bilateral hearing loss can occur in both ears that may be caused by the inner, middle, outer ear, or a combination of these areas. It is reduced the hearing ability in both ears. Normal hearing loss can be recovered by medicine or antibiotics but surgery or best hearing aid is the best solution for bilateral hearing loss treatment.
Thus in order to understand the differences between them, you should first know the difference between normal hearing and bilateral hearing. Normal hearing ranges from 0 to 20dB ie from 20Hz to 20000Hz. The bilateral hearing refers to the hearing with the help of the bilateral hearing aids. Lets discuss the differences between the two.
Tdiu For Hearing Loss
If your service-connected conditions prevent you from working, you may be entitled to total disability based on individual unemployability . For example, if you need full range of hearing for your job , and your hearing loss impacts your ability to work, you can explain that issue to VA. It is important to note that you can also have multiple service-connected conditions where hearing loss is only one of them, but the effects of hearing loss can be positive evidence in favor of entitlement to TDIU.
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