How to Apply for Disability for Hard of Hearing

by Nancy Chen ; Updated July 27, 2017
If you have impaired hearing, you may qualify for disability insurance.

Depending on the severity of your hearing impairment, you may be eligible for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). If you wish to be considered for disability benefits specifically for impaired hearing, you must meet the requirement that your hearing cannot be restored with the use of a hearing aid and you cannot work at all because of your hearing loss. To find out if you can get disability for your condition, you will need to file a disability benefits application and submit a disability report along with documentation that includes medical test results showing your hearing loss.

Step 1

Talk to your doctor about your hearing loss and that you are planning on applying for disability benefits. She will either conduct hearing tests to evaluate your level of hearing loss or refer you to an audiologist for evaluation.

Step 2

Complete two types of hearing tests: an otologic exam and an audiometric test. The SSA requires these hearing tests to help determine whether your hearing impairment is "medically determinable" or there is medical evidence that supports your claim of hearing loss.

Step 3

Read through the Disability Benefits Checklist for Adults Applying on the Internet. Gather the items listed on the checklist when you are completing the disability application and disability report online.

Step 4

Navigate to the online Disability Benefit Application on SSA's website. Enter your personal information as you are prompted by each screen. Submit the application when you are done.

Step 5

Complete and submit the online Adult Disability Report on the SSA website. The report will ask you to provide information about your medical condition and employment history.

Step 6

Download, print out and complete the Authorization to Disclose Information to the Social Security Administration form from SSA's website. The form gives the SSA permission to access your medical records from anyone who has treated you for your hearing loss. For example, the SSA may request to have your hearing test results sent to them.

Step 7

Find your local Social Security office by using the local office search online. Mail or take the authorization form to that office.

Step 8

Submit paperwork to your local office, if requested. Your local office may contact you to provide them with additional paperwork and documentation. Some items you may have to submit to the SSA include your birth certificate, recent W-2 form or federal tax return, all the medications that you are taking, the contact information of your health care providers and any medical records you currently have.

Step 9

Wait for a decision concerning your eligibility for benefits. The Disability Determination Services (DDS) will send you a letter stating its decision about whether you qualify for disability benefits because of you hearing loss. You may appeal the decision if you do not agree with it; the letter will provide instructions on how to appeal.


  • For assistance with the application process, call Social Security at 800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., EST. If you require TTY, call 800-324-0778. If you are unable to complete any portion of the disability application or report online, you may do so in person at your local Social Security office. Consider consulting an attorney who specializes in Social Security disability as this will increase the chances of winning your disability claim.

About the Author

Nancy Chen is a professional writer and owner of a pet care business. She is also certified to teach English to middle and secondary school students. Chen holds a bachelor's degree in English and comparative religions from Tufts University, as well as a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/ Images