Meniere's Disease can be a frustrating and debilitating condition. Those who suffer from it may find themselves unable to work due to the episodes and symptoms caused by the disorder. Because of this, severe financial difficulties may become an issue and it may be impossible to provide for one's basic living expenses.
Fortunately, Social Security Disability benefits can help those who are suffering from Meniere's Disease. If you or someone you know has developed Meniere's Disease and you are wondering if the condition qualifies for disability benefits, the information below can help you understand how the Social Security Administration (SSA) views the condition and what you can expect during the Social Security Disability application process.
Meniere's Disease - Condition and Symptoms
Meniere's Disease is caused by a disorder in the inner ear. This disorder can cause ringing in the ears, episodes of hearing loss, vertigo, nausea and vomiting. These symptoms usually come in “attacks” that are signaled by a ringing in the ears and a sudden loss of hearing. When an attack occurs the person suffering from Meniere's Disease may experience a spinning sensation, nausea and vomiting and a feeling of imbalance. An attack of Meniere's Disease can last anywhere from two to four hours. Once the episode has ended the person suffering from Meniere's Disease may experience severe fatigue for several hours.
One of the more drastic symptoms of Meniere's Disease is sudden falls. A person who suffers from this condition may, without warning, lose balance and fall down to the ground. Sometimes a surgery known as a labyrinthectomy maybe required to address this symptom as sudden falls can be dangerous and may result in serious injury.
In most cases, Meniere's Disease will result in gradual permanent hearing loss. Currently there is no cure for the condition, although there are treatment options that can help control the symptoms of Meniere's Disease. In many cases the condition is so severe that it interferes with a person's ability to work. In these situations the person suffering from Meniere's Disease should consider applying for Social Security Disability benefits.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Meniere's Disease
Meniere's Disease is listed under the SSA's Listing of Impairments. This particular condition falls under Medical Listing 2.07 of the Impairment Listings. However, a diagnosis of Meniere's Disease will not necessarily qualify you for Social Security Disability benefits. In order to qualify, the SSA will require you to prove that your Meniere's Disease has resulted in disturbed function of the vestibular labyrinth. This can be proven with various vestibular tests. You will also be required to provide proof of hearing loss, which can be obtained with a hearing test performed by an audiologist.
In addition to the above, in order to qualify for disability as a result of Meniere's Disease you must also be able to prove that you suffer frequent attacks related to the condition and that you are developing a progressive loss of hearing. All of these things combined must also be proven to interfere with your ability to perform gainful work activity.
If all of these above criteria can be proven during your Social Security Disability application process you will likely be approved.
Meniere's Disease and Your Social Security Disability Case
If your case of Meniere's Disease is severe enough and you meet all of the guidelines set forth by the SSA, your claim for Social Security Disability benefits will likely be approved during the initial application process. For this to happen however, you must have significant evidence proving that all of the above-mentioned criteria have been met. If you are unable to provide the SSA with adequate proof, you may be asked to undergo a consultative exam. If, after the consultative exam is complete, there is still not enough evidence to warrant your entitlement to benefits your initial claim may be denied.
If your initial claim is denied there is still hope that you can overturn the decision by filing an appeal. It is important to remember that only about 30 percent of applicants for Social Security Disability are approved at the initial level of the application process. If your application for disability benefits is denied, then it is in your best interests to go on to file an appeal within 60 days of the decision.
If you do need to file an appeal disability benefits based on your claim of Meniere's Disease it may be in your best interest to hire a qualified Social Security Disability attorney. Your attorney can ensure that your interests are represented and protected during your appeal, increasing your chances of appealing your denied disability claim successfully.