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SSDI Claims Involving Blindness or Deafness

Most people who file for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) will do so after suffering a debilitating physical injury or serious illness. But there are cases in which someone’s failing senses renders them unable to perform regular work or hold onto steady employment. If you are experiencing hearing loss or problems with your eyesight, you may qualify for SSDI benefits and not even know it.

Hearing and Eyesight Loss Costs

The assumption that hearing problems and eyesight issues do not cost much to remedy is a false one. Costs can pile up quickly and become a great burden on those affected, especially if they have found it impossible or unsafe to continue working due to their conditions.

Factors that add to the costs related to hearing and eyesight loss are:

  • Routine medical examinations
  • Tests performed by specialists or labs
  • Hearing aid/prescription glasses
  • Corrective surgery or procedures

Many health insurance plans will only cover portions of expenses related to hearing and eyesight problems, and usually only if the problems are caused by a specific event, such as an unexpected explosion damaging your eardrums. Naturally-occurring blindness or deafness are typically not covered, or only fractionally so.

Legal Blindness and Deafness

To qualify for SSDI benefits due to hearing and eyesight problems, you must meet Social Security Administration (SSA) standards for what they consider to be legal blindness or deafness. Additionally, your conditions must render your completion of regular work functions impossible or unsafe to yourself or others.

  • Hearing loss is defined as experiencing a degradation of 60 to 90 decibels compared to your “better ear”, or the hearing perception of an average adult; requiring a cochlear implant of any kind can also constitute hearing loss and permit at least one year of SSDI coverage; additionally, ear-related conditions that cause frequent balance issues or tinnitus can constitute hearing loss.
  • Blindness is defined as experiencing eyesight issues that prevent your vision from being corrected to 20/200 or more in your “better eye”; having a field of view that is less than 20 degrees also constitutes legal blindness.

Conditions that affect a person’s senses are generally considered to be worse or more severe than physical injuries, and so SSDI benefits can pay out higher to people experiencing blindness or deafness, even if only temporarily. To get help filing for SSDI, or if your filing has been denied, contact Disability Action Advocates to get a free consultation with our Las Vegas Social Security Disability Attorneys.