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Hearing Loss Disability Lawyer

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Hearing Loss Long-Term Disability Lawyer

Free Consultations Nationwide. Call 1-844-434-7224 or Send us a Message Today. If you suffer from Severe Hearing Loss and have been Denied your Long-Term Disability Benefits, we can help.

Our Disability Lawyers help people who suffer from Hearing Loss and have been wrongly denied their Long-Term Disability Benefits. Consultations are always FREE, and you NEVER pay upfront.

Many people take the ability to hear for granted as a natural aspect of life. However, a significant portion of the population experiences hearing loss, with varying degrees of severity. While some individuals may only suffer from partial hearing loss, others may completely lose their hearing. For those who were born with normal hearing and gradually lose it over time, the experience can be profoundly disorienting. The impact of hearing loss can be far-reaching, affecting communication, daily activities, work and overall quality of life.

Very mild hearing loss may not affect you much, but severe cases can cause major disruptions, particularly to your work life. It may prevent you from doing the job you’ve always done and/or moving up in your career. If this is the case, you may be wondering if you can get disability benefits for hearing loss. This is likely one of many questions you have, and our long-term disability lawyers can help you understand your rights and options free of charge.

If you’ve been denied long-term disability benefits for Hearing Loss, you don’t have to go through the Disability Appeals Process. You can hire your own Disability Lawyer for free to fight for you.

If you live with hearing loss nd have been denied long-term disability benefits, speak to an experienced disability lawyer to discuss your options. Lalande Disability Lawyers have been representing disability claimants for decades and have the experience you need to help overturn your disability benefit denial. Call us today at 1-844-434-7224 for your FREE CONSULTATION, or alternatively, send us a message through our website, and we will be happy to get right back to you. Our scoliosis disability lawyers only get paid – if you get paid.

What is Hearing Loss?

Hearing loss is a condition characterized by a decreased ability to perceive or understand sounds. It occurs when damage to one or more parts of the ear disrupts the transmission of sound signals to the brain. Hearing loss can affect people of all ages, and severity ranges from mild to profound.

Hearing loss is broken down into different degrees based on the severity of the impairment:

  • Mild hearing loss involves difficulty hearing soft sounds or understanding speech in noisy environments.
  • Moderate hearing loss requires straining to hear normal conversation, and it often requires higher volume levels on electronic devices.
  • Severe hearing loss significantly impacts communication, making it challenging to understand speech even with amplification.
  • Profound hearing loss is the most severe, where you may perceive only very loud sounds or no sound at all.

Signs and Symptoms of Hearing Loss

It is important to note that hearing loss can be unilateral, affecting only one ear, or bilateral, impacting both ears. The extent of hearing loss can also vary between ears, with one ear experiencing more severe hearing loss than the other.

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of hearing loss is crucial for seeking timely intervention and exploring available support options, such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, or assistive listening devices. Some of these signs and symptoms include:

  • You are finding it hard to follow conversations at a regular volume, especially in louder environments.
  • You’re frequently asking people to repeat themselves when you’re talking.
  • You’re often misunderstanding what people say and respond inappropriately.
  • You find yourself always turning up the volume when watching TV, listening to music, etc.
  • You’re often avoiding social situations due to your conversation struggles.
  • A constant and increasing ringing in the ears for no apparent reason – also known as Tinnitus.
  • You’re experiencing unexplained ear pain or discomfort or a feeling of “fullness” in the ears.
  • You struggle to hear higher-pitched sounds like alarms or children’s voices.
  • You struggle to hear softer sounds, such as someone whispering.

What Causes Hearing Loss?

Several factors can contribute to hearing loss. Some of it may be fueled by genetics, though lifestyle plays a major role, as do some medical conditions and illnesses.

Some common causes of hearing loss include:

  • Prolonged or repeated exposure to loud noises, such as those from heavy machinery, concerts, or explosions. This can damage the delicate hair cells in the inner ear, leading to noise-induced hearing loss.
  • Infections such as meningitis or measles can also lead to hearing loss by damaging the inner ear or auditory nerve.
  • Certain medications, including some antibiotics and chemotherapy drugs, may have ototoxic effects, causing harm to the inner ear and resulting in hearing loss.
  • Genetic factors can play a role, with some individuals inheriting a predisposition to hearing loss from their parents.
  • Many also lose hearing from the natural aging process known as presbycusis. This gradually reduces hearing sensitivity over time.

Types of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is mostly categorized into three main types: conductive, sensorineural, and mixed. Each type involves different parts of the ear and has various underlying causes.

Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound waves can’t effectively reach the inner ear due to problems in the outer or middle ear. This type of hearing loss often results from blockages, such as earwax buildup, foreign objects, or abnormal bone growth.

Infections like otitis media (middle ear infection) or otitis externa (swimmer’s ear) can also cause conductive hearing loss from inflammation and fluid accumulation. Additionally, perforated eardrums or damage to the ossicles (tiny bones in the middle ear) can disrupt sound transmission, leading to conductive hearing loss.

In some cases, conductive hearing loss may be reversed through surgery or other medical intervention. However, this depends largely on the cause of hearing loss and whether or not the damage is permanent.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type and involves damage to the inner ear or the auditory nerve. This type of hearing loss is often permanent and can be caused by various factors. Exposure to loud noises, such as those from industrial equipment or firearms, can harm the delicate hair cells in the cochlea, resulting in noise-induced hearing loss.

Sensorineural hearing loss can also occur naturally as you age. It happens when the hair cells and auditory nerve fibres deteriorate over time. Genetic disorders like Usher syndrome or Alport syndrome can also cause inherited sensorineural hearing loss. Other causes can include viral infections (such as measles or mumps), head trauma, and ototoxic medications.

Mixed Hearing Loss

Mixed hearing loss is a combination of both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. In this case, you’ll simultaneously experience problems in the outer or middle ear and the inner ear or auditory nerve. For example, someone with age-related sensorineural hearing loss may also develop earwax blockage, resulting in mixed hearing loss.

Other Hearing Loss

In addition to these main types, there are a few other forms of hearing loss. For example:

  • Central hearing loss involves damage to the auditory processing areas of the brain, affecting the interpretation of sounds.
  • Functional hearing loss, also known as non-organic hearing loss, is a rare condition where an individual experiences hearing loss without an identifiable physiological cause.
  • Auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder (ANSD) is another type that affects the transmission of sound signals from the inner ear to the brain, resulting in distorted or inconsistent sound perception.

Understanding the different types of hearing loss is essential for accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Healthcare professionals, such as audiologists and otolaryngologists (ENTs), can conduct comprehensive evaluations to determine the type and extent of an individual’s hearing loss and recommend suitable management options.

Jobs That Rely on Hearing Health

Several occupations heavily depend on hearing, and those with hearing loss may face significant challenges in performing their duties effectively.

Musicians, such as singers, guitarists, drummers, and any kind of musician, rely on their hearing to create, perform, and teach music. Hearing loss severely impacts their ability to distinguish pitch, timbre, and rhythm, making it difficult for them to continue their chosen careers.

Emergency service personnel, such as firefighters, police officers, and paramedics, also require excellent hearing to communicate effectively in high-stress situations and respond to auditory cues like alarms or cries for help.

Pilots and air traffic controllers must also have a sharp hearing to communicate with their team and monitor audio signals to ensure the safety of passengers and crew. These professions, in particular, require a strong and healthy hearing for the safety of those doing the job, those they’re helping, and everyone around them.

Similarly, drivers, particularly those operating public transport or heavy machinery, must be aware of auditory warnings and communicate with passengers or colleagues. In the military, hearing is crucial for communication, situational awareness, and following orders quickly and accurately in complex, high-stakes environments.

If you have training, education, and experience only in these hearing-dependent fields, you are likely eligible for ongoing disability benefits, even under the “any occupation” definition. This is because your job-specific skills and training won’t easily translate to other occupations that don’t rely on hearing. In many cases such as this it would be unreasonable to expect someone to pick up a new career effectively, thus, they should continue receiving long-term disability benefits.

Unfortunately, insurance companies like to make this difficult, hence the importance of securing an experienced long-term disability lawyer to help you fight.

Can I Get Disability Benefits for Hearing Loss?

If you are living with hearing loss in Canada, you may be eligible for disability benefits, depending on the severity of your condition and its impact on your daily life and ability to work.

In Canada, hearing loss becomes a disability when it reaches a certain threshold. According to the Canadian Pension Plan Disability (CPP-D) program, you may be eligible for disability benefits if your hearing loss is severe and prolonged, lasting for at least one year, and prevents you from working regularly. The CPP-D defines severe hearing loss as a hearing threshold of 90 decibels (dB) or greater in the better ear, measured by averaging the hearing loss at 500, 1000, and 2000 Hertz (Hz).

However, it’s important to note that even if your hearing loss does not meet the CPP-D threshold, you may still qualify for long-term disability benefits if your condition significantly impacts your ability to work. For example, if you have moderate hearing loss (between 40 and 69 dB) and work in a communication-intensive job, such as customer service or teaching, your hearing loss may significantly hinder your performance and limit your employment opportunities.

Should I Hire a Long-Term Disability Lawyer if I Have Hearing Loss?

A long-term disability lawyer has specialized knowledge and experience in navigating the complex world of disability benefits. They can thoroughly assess your case, help you gather the necessary medical evidence, and guide you through the application process. By engaging a long-term disability lawyer early on, you can ensure your application is as strong as possible, increasing your chances of approval and minimizing the risk of denial or delay.

Moreover, a disability lawyer can help you understand the full scope of benefits available to you. In addition to the Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPP-D) program, you may be eligible for other forms of support, such as the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) or provincial/territorial benefits. A knowledgeable lawyer can identify all the programs for which you qualify and assist you in applying for them, maximizing your financial support.

In the event that your initial application for disability benefits is denied, a lawyer is crucial for the appeals process. They’ll review the reasons for the denial, gather additional evidence to strengthen your case and represent you at hearings or tribunals.

Furthermore, a disability lawyer will protect your rights and ensure you are not taken advantage of by insurance companies or other parties involved. Waiting too long to seek legal advice can result in missed deadlines, incomplete applications, or insufficient evidence, all of which jeopardize your eligibility for benefits.

Our long-term disability lawyers have years of experience handling cases like these and can help you achieve the most optimal outcome possible. Our consultations are always free, and you don’t pay us anything unless we win your case! Please don’t hesitate to reach out; it’s never too early to get legal advice.

Own Occupation vs. Any Occupation: Disability Benefits for Hearing Loss

When applying for disability benefits due to hearing loss, it’s essential to understand what “own occupation” and “any occupation” mean. These terms define the scope of your coverage and determine the criteria for receiving benefits.

There are some key differences you should understand:

The “own occupation” period will consider you disabled if your hearing loss prevents you from doing the main duties of your regular job, even if you can still work in another capacity. For example, if you work as a music teacher and your hearing loss hinders your ability to differentiate pitches and tones accurately, you may qualify for benefits under your own occupation policy, even if you could theoretically perform other types of work.

Some other examples to illustrate one’s own occupation:

  • An office worker who suffers from severe back pain and can’t sit at a desk all day would be eligible for benefits under the “own occupation” period even if they could work in a less sedentary job.
  • Someone with a mentally taxing job who can’t focus on their tasks due to struggling with cancer and the associated brain fog and impaired concentration is easily eligible for “own occupation” benefits.
  • A daycare worker with bipolar disorder who struggles to manage even with treatment.
  • Anyone with a mental illness who cannot perform their job due to chronic symptoms.

The “own occupation” period usually lasts two years.

After two years, the definition of disabled for insurance purposes switches to “any occupation.” This means that your hearing loss must prevent you from working at any job for which you are suited due to education, training, or experience.

Take the music teacher from our earlier example. While even mild hearing loss would prevent them from effectively teaching music, insurance may argue that they could work in an office or do clerical work. After the “own occupation” period ends, they would need to get a job in a different field as their benefits would end.

However, if the hearing loss is severe and they cannot reasonably do another job, they are eligible for continued long-term disability benefits under the “any occupation” definition.

Other examples of this include:

  • An engineer who suffers a severe brain injury and can’t reasonably do their complex duties but could potentially hold a less intensive position may not be considered disabled under the “any occupation” definition.
  • A factory worker who sustains a permanent back injury and cannot perform any type of physical labour or sedentary work would likely continue to qualify for benefits under the “any occupation” definition.

To protect your rights and benefits into the “any occupation” period, it’s crucial to have strong medical evidence supporting your ongoing disability.

Does “own” and “any” occupation apply to both short-term and long-term disability benefits?

Once you surpass the elimination period required for short-term disability benefits, most, if not all, benefit periods last between 3-6 months. During this time, you only need to prove that you can’t perform the duties and responsibilities of your specific job or your “own occupation.”

Although the exact length of your short-term disability may vary, such a case would never reach the two-year mark where “any occupation” would start. Therefore, you’ll never need to prove you meet the eligibility criteria for short-term disability further.

With that said, it’s still important to carefully review the terms and conditions of your disability insurance policy to understand the specifics of short and long-term coverage. This can help ensure you’re prepared if you need to file a disability claim.

Have You Been Denied Long-Term Disability Benefits for Hearing Loss? Contact Our Long-Term Disability Lawyers Today for a Free Consultation

Due to the varied nature and severity of hearing loss, many insurance companies try to deny claimants the long-term disability benefits they deserve. Hearing is an important sense and can easily prevent you from continuing the job you’ve trained long and hard for and spent years honing your skills at.

If you or a loved one can no longer perform your job due to any degree of hearing loss, you should receive the financial support you deserve for yourself and your family. If you’re unsure how to secure long-term disability benefits for hearing loss or if your claim has been denied, please reach out to us and let us help you fight for what you deserve.

We offer free consultations to Ontario residents or anyone else in Canada. Reach out to us at 1-844-4-DISABILITY or confidentially via our website for no-cost advice about your rights and options for the duration of your disability.

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Article FAQ

Does hearing loss qualify for long-term disability?

Hearing loss may qualify for long-term disability benefits in Canada if it significantly restricts one’s ability to perform their job effectively. This generally includes cases where hearing impairment prevents normal workplace communication and auditory tasks despite the use of hearing aids or other corrective devices. Eligibility often depends on detailed medical assessments and the specific criteria set by the disability insurance policy.

Can I claim disability benefits for partial hearing loss in Canada?

Yes, you can claim disability benefits for partial hearing loss if it affects your job performance, particularly in roles requiring precise communication or auditory functions. Each case is assessed based on the impact of the hearing loss on your ability to work.

What types of hearing loss are covered under long-term disability benefits?

Long-term disability benefits can cover various types of hearing loss, including sensorineural, conductive, and mixed hearing loss, depending on how they affect your ability to work and perform daily functions.

How do I prove my hearing loss for disability benefits?

It depends – if you are within the first 24 months of benefits, you need to prove that your hearing loss interferes with your ability to do the substantial duties of your own job. After 24 months, you need to prove that your hearing loss prevents you from performing the substantial duties of any job for which you are reasonably suited by way of education, training or experience.

What are the steps to apply for disability benefits for hearing loss?

To apply for disability benefits for hearing loss, you must submit a detailed application including medical evidence of your hearing loss, its severity, and how it impairs your ability to work, along with any previous employment records and personal statements.

Can wearing hearing aids affect my eligibility for disability benefits?

Wearing hearing aids does not automatically disqualify you from receiving disability benefits. Benefits are based on the residual functional capacity and whether your hearing loss, even with aids, limits your ability to work.

What should I do if my disability claim for hearing loss is denied?

If your disability claim is denied, it is advisable to consult with a disability lawyer who can review your case, advise on the necessary documentation, and assist in the appeals process to challenge the denial effectively.

How long does it take to process a disability claim for hearing loss?

The processing time for a disability claim can vary but generally takes several months. It depends on the completeness of your application, the speed of medical evidence collection, and the specific policies of the insurance or disability benefits provider.

Are there specific jobs that qualify more readily for hearing loss disability claims?

Jobs that heavily depend on auditory capabilities, such as music teachers, sound engineers, or call center operators, might qualify more readily for disability claims if the individuals suffer from significant hearing loss.

What role does a disability lawyer play in securing benefits for hearing loss?

A disability lawyer can play a crucial role in securing benefits for hearing loss by ensuring that your application is robust, represents all relevant medical information, and meets the legal criteria for disability. They also represent you in appeals against any denials.

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