The Social Security Administration (SSA) has designed Social Security Disability benefits programs that offer aid to people who have become disabled and are unable to earn a living. The criteria for being considered eligible for different kinds of physical impairments and debilitating diseases have been laid out in the Blue Book.
Special senses include hearing and sight. The Blue Book features a list of disorders and impairments related to special senses and loss of speech, and guidelines for determining other disorders that may qualify claimants for SSD benefits. They are covered in Listing 2.00 Special Senses and Speech of the Blue Book.
Evaluation of Special Senses and Speech Impairments by the SSA
It can be difficult to be considered as a disabled individual based on a speech disorder, but it is not impossible. The SSA determines the extent of your speech impairment and its effect on your ability to work based on your ability to communicate with others. Mostly, this consideration is based on whether the speech can be improved and made recognizable using a mechanical device or electronic device for better voice articulation.
For evaluating a person’s ability to hear and distinguish speech, audiometer is used for measuring the degree of hearing loss. It is essential for this device to meet the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards to get reliable results. Moreover, an otolaryngologic examination is likely to be conducted by an otolaryngologist or audiologist before conducting a hearing test.
Types of Speech and Special Senses Disorders
- Loss of visual field: This happens due to impairment of visual field because the outer edge of your vision has been damaged. It may also be a result of distortion in your vision field’s central part. Common causes include optical neuropoathy, retinitis pigmentosa, and glaucoma.
- Blindness: The SSA defines blindness as a visual impairment of 20/200 or worse, where any reasonable correction attempts have been rendered ineffective. Different tests may be conducted to determine your visual acuity.
- Loss of visual efficiency: This refers to the loss of visual skills such as color perception, depth perception, and eye focusing speed. If loss of visual efficacy makes it difficult for you to carry out your job duties, you may be eligible to receive benefits.
- Balance disorders: The vestibular system is the primary organ of balance that is located in the inner ear. If there is a dysfunction in that organ, it may cause balance issues, like vertigo, increasing the risk of falls and injuries.
- Loss of hearing: If your hearing is at a 90-decibel threshold or higher, have percent or lower in a phonetic test showing word recognition deficiency, you may qualify for SSD benefits for loss of hearing.
- Loss of speech: This may be a result of any mental or physical impairment.
If you want to make a claim for SSD benefits for special senses and speech related impairments, you should hire an experienced Social Security Disability attorney to help understand the Blue Book eligibility criteria and help you with you case. Contact us today at (800) 608-8881 to schedule a consultation with our Social Security disability attorney.