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SSA Listing 2.00-Special Senses & Speech

Social Security Disability benefits for visual and hearing impairments and loss of speech June 9, 2023

Navigating the intricacies of disability benefits can be challenging, especially for individuals with special senses and speech impairments. In this blog post, we will delve into the specific categories of impairments outlined by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and explore the eligibility criteria for receiving disability benefits in relation to visual and hearing impairments, as well as loss of speech. Understanding these guidelines can provide valuable insight into the support available for those facing these challenges.

Visual Impairments:

  • The SSA recognizes the impact of visual impairments on an individual's ability to work and engage in daily activities. The specific criteria for qualifying under this category include:

    • Loss of Central Visual Acuity: If the remaining vision in the better eye, even with the best correction, measures 20/200 or less.

    • Contraction of the Visual Field: The visual field in the better eye must have a wide diameter that subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees, or meet specific criteria regarding the Mean Deviation (MD) or visual field efficiency.

Hearing Impairments:

  • Hearing loss can significantly affect communication and job performance. The SSA provides guidelines for both treated and untreated hearing impairments:

    • Hearing Loss Not Treated with Cochlear Implantation: An average air conduction hearing threshold of 90 decibels or greater in the better ear, along with an average bone conduction hearing threshold of 60 decibels or greater in the better ear, or a word recognition score of 40 percent or less in the better ear using standardized testing.

    • Hearing Loss Treated with Cochlear Implantation: Individuals may be considered disabled for one year after the initial implantation, or if more than one year has passed, a word recognition score of 60 percent or less determined using the Hearing in Noise Test (HINT).

Loss of Speech:

  • The inability to produce speech that can be heard, understood, or sustained can have a profound impact on daily life and employment opportunities. To qualify for disability benefits, an individual must demonstrate the loss of speech due to any cause, with the inability to communicate audibly through any means.

Applying for Social Security disability benefits can be a complex process, but understanding the specific guidelines for special senses and speech impairments can help individuals determine their eligibility. If you or someone you know meets the criteria outlined by the SSA, it is essential to gather the necessary medical evidence and seek professional assistance to navigate the application process. Remember, these benefits exist to provide support and assistance to those who need it, ensuring a better quality of life for individuals facing special senses and speech impairments.