Individuals in West Virginia or any other state who have hearing loss may be able to qualify for disability benefits. However, the facts of the case will determine the grounds for which they qualify for them. In some cases, hearing loss will be used as part of a justification for allowing a medical vocational allowance. In others, the fact that a person has trouble hearing will be enough to obtain them.
Applicants may be granted benefits because of hearing loss if they score less than 40% on a speech discrimination test. They could also qualify if they have a hearing sensitivity of 90 decibels or higher as determined by an air conduction test. The test will be conducted using frequencies of 500, 1,000 and 2,000 hertz. Ideally, applicants will visit with an audiologist prior to requesting benefits as an examiner will need medical evidence to make a decision.
If there is no medical evidence, it may be necessary to make an appointment for a consultative examination. The exam is paid for by the government, but it may not necessarily bolster a person’s claim that he or she is impaired. It is important to note that individuals must meet the hearing loss threshold in both ears if they hope to qualify for benefits based on this impairment alone.
Individuals who meet the requirements to qualify for disability benefits may want to apply for them as soon as possible. Doing so may help an individual obtain compensation to help pay bills and other expenses. An attorney may be able to help a person file a claim or go through the appeal process. Generally speaking, most disability benefit cases are won at the administrative hearing appeal level. Legal professionals may help their clients thoroughly prepare for those hearings.