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Is Wearing a Hearing Aid Classified as a Disability?

an older woman being fitted for hearing aids

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 (Americans with Disabilities Act). 

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.

What percent of hearing loss qualifies for disability?

The question here is not if hearing loss has an impact on you or if hearing loss counts as a disability, but at what level does it become a disability? A lot of hearing loss is degenerative, which means that with the right kind of treatment for it, you can slow the speed or acceleration of it down. At what point, though, does it get classed as a disability? Really, it does depend which organization you are asking, as the answer can vary. 

If you were looking into social security, in terms of disability benefits, then in order to be able to claim, you would need to have an average hearing rate below 90 dB, when the hearing rate is being measured by air conduction. On average, you should also be able to hear below 60 dB, when being measured with bone conduction. You would also qualify if you can’t repeat 40% of words back, during a word recognition test. If you get to the point where you reach one of these thresholds, then you could qualify for things like disability benefits, with hearing loss being the cause.

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 doesn’t 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.

Disability

It can be hard to deal with hearing loss and wearing hearing aids, to the level that is classed as a disability, but it can be even harder to deal with when it can be an ‘invisible’ disability. When they can’t be seen, then it can be tricky for people to understand or see that you need help with something. That is why it is important to take some time to think about your hearing loss. 

Having any kind of hearing loss is something that should be treated as a disability as it is something that can and does impact your health over time. You should make sure that you get your hearing tested regularly as a result, so that you can keep up to date with where your hearing is at, and you can take the steps to protect yourself from any more hearing loss. 

If you have been experiencing hearing loss and want to find out more, then get in touch with us at the Quality Hearing Aid Center on 248-569-5985 today. We can help to answer your questions around hearing loss and hearing aids, as well as get you booked in for an appointment with our expert team of audiologists

We can also go through your options for hearing aids, and do testing to see what your current hearing threshold is. It can feel like a daunting process if you haven’t had experience of this before, but it doesn’t have to be; get in touch with us today to see how we can help you.