Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Is Mild Hearing Loss A Disability

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Listening Devices For Deaf Children And Children With Hearing Loss

Do I need Hearing Aids for a Mild Hearing Loss?

There are devices that can help your child hear spoken language. And when your child can hear spoken language, they can start learning to use language.

The right type of device for your child will depend on the type of hearing loss they have and how severe it is. These devices, called amplification devices or assistive listening devices, include:

How Do We Categorize Hearing Loss

There are a number of terms and labels you can use to describe your hearing loss. This gives the individual a healthy amount of leeway when it comes to defining his or her own experience and identity.

There are several widely recognized frameworks you can use to help categorize your own hearing loss:

  • Medical categories focus on the biological function of your ears and the physical thresholds of your hearing. Medical categories exist primarily for diagnostic purposes to provide individuals with better treatment options.
  • Legal categories tend to focus on how the law intersects with those who have hearing loss. Legal categories can be attached to certain protections and rights under the law.

In addition to these categories, words also often have connotations that change how people feel. Some people still worry about a perceived stigma associated with hearing loss and try to avoid terms like deafness. For these people, phrases like hard of hearing or thats my bad ear are more comfortable. Its a way of exerting some agency over your hearing condition and how others perceive it.

If You Live In Quebec

If you live in Quebec, you would not apply for the disability benefit under the Canada Pension Plan. You can apply for the Quebec Pension Plan disability benefit if one of the following applies to you:

  • you have worked only in the province of Quebec
  • you currently live in Quebec and have worked both in the province of Quebec and in another province or territory
  • you have worked in Quebec, currently live outside Canada and your last province of residence was Quebec

If you worked both in and outside Quebec

If you paid into both the Canada Pension Plan and Quebec Pension Plan, you need to apply to the province where you live now.

If you worked outside Canada

If you worked in a country other than Canada, the credits you earned in that country may help you qualify for the disability benefit.

If you worked less to care for young children

If you have periods of zero or low income because you stayed home to raise your children, the child-rearing provision could help you qualify for the disability benefit.

If you are divorced or separated

Any contributions you and your spouse or common-law partner made to the CPP while you lived together may be equally divided after a divorce or a separation. This may help you qualify for the disability benefit. Find out more about .

If you missed applying for disability benefits in the past

If you are applying for the disability benefit, but stopped working a while ago, you may still apply for a benefit now.

You may be able to receive the benefit if:

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Social Isolation Loneliness And Stigma

Impact on society and economy

Years Lived with Disability and Disability Adjusted Life Years

WHO estimates that unaddressed hearing loss poses an annual global cost of US$ 980 billion. This includes health sector costs , costs of educational support, loss of productivity, and societal costs. 57% of these costs are attributed to low- and middle-income countries.

How Common Is Hearing Loss

Degrees of Hearing Impairment: How Severe is Your Hearing ...

Each year in the United States, more than 12,000 babies are born with a hearing loss often, the cause is unknown . Profound deafness occurs in 4-11 per 10,000 children in at least 50% of these cases, the cause is genetic . Through the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening program, many states now mandate that all newborns be screened for hearing loss within hours of birth .

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Is Hearing Loss Considered A Disability

In the most important ways that matter, hearing impairment is generally considered to be a disability, depending on how severe the hearing loss is. Thats especially important as it relates to Social Security regulations and the Americans With Disabilities Act . Under the ADA, for example, you are granted certain protections that relate to hearing impairment disabilities. Under Social Security rules, you may be entitled to disability benefits.

Hearing Loss And Deafness

A person who is not able to hear as well as someone with normal hearing hearing thresholds of 20 dB or better in both ears is said to have hearing loss. Hearing loss may be mild, moderate, severe, or profound. It can affect one ear or both ears, and leads to difficulty in hearing conversational speech or loud sounds.

‘Hard of hearing’ refers to people with hearing loss ranging from mild to severe. People who are hard of hearing usually communicate through spoken language and can benefit from hearing aids, cochlear implants, and other assistive devices as well as captioning.

‘Deaf’ people mostly have profound hearing loss, which implies very little or no hearing. They often use sign language for communication.

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Against The Federal Government

If you are a federal employee or job applicant and you believe that a federal agency has discriminated against you, you have a right to file a complaint. Each agency is required to post information about how to contact the agency’s EEO Office. You can contact an EEO Counselor by calling the office responsible for the agency’s EEO complaints program. Generally, you must contact the EEO Counselor within 45 days from the day the discrimination occurred. In most cases the EEO Counselor will give you the choice of participating either in EEO counseling or in an alternative dispute resolution program, such as a mediation program.

If you do not settle the dispute during counseling or though ADR, you can file a formal discrimination complaint against the agency with the agency’s EEO Office. You must file within 15 days from the day you receive notice from your EEO Counselor about how to file.

See 42 U.S.C. §12102 29 C.F.R. §1630.2.

For example, disability laws in California, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York apply to employers with fewer than 15 employees.

See “The Questions and Answers Series” under “Available Resources” on EEOC’s website at

Causes Of Hearing Loss

Mild Hearing Loss

The ear consists of three major areas .

When sound waves pass through the outer ear it causes vibrations which are amplified as they travel through the inner ear.

The nerve cells in your ears contain thousands of tiny hairs that help translate sound vibrations into electrical signals.

Then, these electrical signals are transmitted to your brain where it processes the signals into sound.

Hearing loss generally occurs when the ears are exposed to loud machinery or explosions over a long duration of time.

Additionally, the inevitable factor of age slowly erodes away at our hearing like other senses in the body.

Hearing loss can begin for a number of reasons yet is often attributed to damage in one or more parts of the ear.

Moreover, it can be the result of an ear infection, abnormal bone growths, ruptured eardrum, or tumors.

In the best-case scenario, removing excess earwax can sometimes remedy the problem if the damage isnt permanent.

Unfortunately, most service members are unable to avoid long-term exposure to loud noises because of the occupation.

With that said, you can take precautions by using hearing protection.

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Whats The Right Rating For My Va Hearing Loss Claim

If you get confused with how VA rates most types of disabilities, your VA hearing loss claim will probably make your head spin. Nevertheless, we will try to tackle it here to explain as simply as possible how VA hearing loss claims are supposed to be rated.

On the one hand, these claims should be easy for VA to get right since it is all based on numbers from the audiological testing. On the other hand, though, there are several steps to evaluating a VA hearing loss claim properly.

We have seen several instances where VA did not go through each of these steps. The result? You guessed it a lower VA hearing loss rating than the veteran deserved. Keep reading to see how to avoid this for your claim.

Do I Need a Certain Type of VA Hearing Loss Test to Support my Claim?

Yes. The test must include a controlled speech discrimination test and a puretone audiometry test. The Maryland CNC test is a particular word list that is used to test your ability to hear spoken words. A puretone audiometry test is different tones that must be detected at varying frequencies . Even if you only claim hearing loss in one ear, both ears should be tested. Examinations will be conducted without the use of hearing aids.

Who Needs to Conduct My Test for VA Hearing Loss?
How Your Two Tests Are Used to Calculate Your VA Hearing Loss Disability Rating

You will then combine these two Roman numeral in Table VII to get the overall VA hearing loss rating.

An Example of a 60% VA Hearing Loss Disability Rating

Example Of A Child With A Disabling Hearing Loss

A child applying for SSI benefits has delayed communication skills due to his hearing loss. The child has occasional temper tantrums at school because of his difficulty in communicating with others. The child also has problems with clearly articulating his speech. Furthermore, he frequently needs directions repeated to him in the classroom and at home. With these facts, the SSA could find that the child is eligible for disability benefits because he has marked limitations in his ability to interact with others and to attend and complete tasks.

Read more about how the SSA assesses your child’s limitations in the six domains of functioning in our article on how a child can functionally equal the disability listings.

If you have questions regarding whether your child is eligible for SSI benefits due to hearing loss, you should contact an attorney who practices disability law.

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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:

  • Older applicants are approved more often. If youre over age 50, the SSA will not expect you to jump careers and find a desk job if you have no relatable skills or experience.
  • If you have a job that requires hearing, youll have better odds of qualifying. Police officers, pilots, and construction workers are all great examples of people who have an easier time getting approved.
  • If you dont have a college degree, you may be more likely than someone who does have a degree and is able to work in a variety of fields. People with specialized training or a limited work history have better chances of approval.
  • How Va Rates Hearing Loss

    mild hearing loss simulation

    When assigning disability ratings for hearing loss, VA takes the results of your pure tone threshold test and averages it for each ear. To do so, VA uses a grid chart with different frequencies and lines up the thresholds. This tells the VA rater what the rating should be based on what level of hearing loss they decided you have. Hearing loss involves a very literal application of the rating schedule. Please note that VA rates both ears together, resulting in only one rating for hearing loss.

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    General Information About Hearing Impairments

    In 2011, a study led by researchers from Johns Hopkins reported that nearly 20% of Americans 12 and older have hearing loss so severe that it may make communication difficult. The study also found that 30 million Americans had hearing loss in both ears while 48 million Americans had hearing loss in one ear. According to 2010 data from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders , approximately 17% of American adults report some degree of hearing loss. Of this group, 18% of American adults between the ages of 45 and 64 have experienced some degree of hearing loss. NIDCD estimates that approximately 15% of Americans between the ages of 20 and 69 have high frequency hearing loss due to exposure to loud sounds or noise at work or in leisure activities.

    A hearing impairment can be caused by many physical conditions , and result in varying degrees of hearing loss. Generally, hearing impairments are categorized as mild, moderate, severe, or profound. An individual with a moderate hearing impairment may be able to hear sound, but have difficulty distinguishing specific speech patterns in a conversation. Individuals with a profound hearing impairment may not be able to hear sounds at all. Hearing impairments that occur in both ears are described as “bilateral,” and those that occur in one ear are referred to as “unilateral.”

    1. When does someone with a hearing impairment have a disability within the meaning of the ADA?

    Determining Candidacy For Cochlear Implants

    Cochlear implants are approved by the FDA for use in children as young as 12 months of age. For very young children, measures of unaided and aided speech detection are the primary determinants of cochlear implant candidacy. In addition, the IT-MAIS has been used to assess auditory development in relation to cochlear implant candidacy. That is, candidacy is determined by a lack of development of auditory skills over a 3-6 month time span. For older children, spoken word recognition tests are an important part of candidacy determination and post-implant assessment of benefit. Recent clinical trials have employed open-set measures of word recognition, such as the LNT and measures of sentence recognition, such as HINT-C to determine candidacy in school-age children. For preschool-age children, the open-set MLNT and less difficult closed-set tests, such as the ESP Test , have been utilized to determine candidacy and monitor long-term communication skill development.

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    Whats The Definition Of Hearing Impairment

    Hearing loss, or hearing impairment, is typically defined as having a limited or total inability to hear sounds. If you are unable to hear sounds under 25 decibels in volume, you are considered to be experiencing mild hearing loss. On the other end of the spectrum, an individual is considered deaf when he or she has absolutely no or very little hearing.

    Legally, hearing impairment is usually defined at the state level. For example, many states will define hearing impairment as loss of 70 decibels or the ability to discern speech at 50 percent or less with aids. Special education laws define it as any hearing loss that affects the ability to learn that is not covered under the definition of deafness.

    A hearing test administered by a hearing professional will help you determine if you are experiencing hearing loss, as well as the severity of your hearing loss.

    What percentage of hearing loss means youre legally deaf or medically deaf? Is there some kind of universal point at which the line is drawn between hearing loss and deafness? Those might sound like philosophical, esoteric questions, but theyre not. Hearing loss labels affect whether you qualify for protection and can help you determine what treatment options are best for you.

    Treatments For Hearing Loss

    5 Tips for teaching deaf children with a mild hearing loss – Dr. Satish Babu K

    Treatments for a hearing loss vary depending on the severity of ones symptoms. One option is to remove earwax blockage by either loosening it with oil or flushing it out in order to remove the blockage. For patients who have had a traumatic ear injury or repeated ear infections, surgical procedures may be necessary to improve their hearing. Another treatment option is wearing a hearing aid to amplify the volume of sound electronically.

    This can help to strengthen sounds making it easier to hear others when conversing. Lastly, cochlear implants help patients with severe hearing loss as the implant compensates for damaged or nonworking parts of the inner ear. By treating hearing loss, individuals can regain their confidence when communicating with others.

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    Tips On Applying For Disability With Hearing Loss

    Severe hearing loss is a qualified disability under the Social Security Disability Act, but you must prove to the Social Security Administration that you meet all eligibility requirements in order to receive Social Security Disability . The following tips may prevent you from experiencing hang-ups or common hurdles in the application process.

    Verify Your Hearing Loss Medically Qualifies You for Benefits

    The SSA sets specific measurements for what it considers disabling hearing loss. The Blue Book disability listing for hearing loss outlines these requirements:

    • An average hearing threshold of 90 decibels or greater in the better ear, documented through air condition tests AND a hearing threshold in the better ear of 60 decibels or higher, documented through bone conduction tests
    • A word recognition score of 40% or lower in the better ear, documented through tests in which a list of standardized, monosyllabic and phonetically balanced words are used.

    Let your doctor know you are planning to apply for disability and ask him or her to review the specifics of the hearing loss Blue Book listing. An informed physician can ensure your medical records include the right diagnostic tests and that your hearing evaluation results are recorded in the manner that the SSA requires.

    Ensure Your Hearing Tests are Performed as the SSA Requires

    Confirm and Document Your Hearing Loss is Severe Enough to Prevent Reasonable Accommodations by Your Employer

    Hire a Lawyer

    Against Private Employers And State/local Governments

    Any person who believes that his or her employment rights have been violated on the basis of disability and wants to make a claim against an employer must file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC. A third party may also file a charge on behalf of another person who believes he or she experienced discrimination. For example, a family member, social worker, or other representative can file a charge on behalf of someone with a hearing impairment. The charge must be filed by mail or in person with the local EEOC office within 180 days from the date of the alleged violation. The 180-day filing deadline is extended to 300 days if a state or local anti-discrimination agency has the authority to grant or seek relief as to the challenged unlawful employment practice.

    The EEOC will send the parties a copy of the charge and may ask for responses and supporting information. Before formal investigation, the EEOC may select the charge for EEOC’s mediation program. Both parties have to agree to mediation, which may prevent a time consuming investigation of the charge. Participation in mediation is free, voluntary, and confidential.

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