Acoustic neuroma, also known as vestibular schwannoma, is a tumor, normally benign, that grows on the nerve connecting your ear to your brain. This type of tumor does not cause cancer and is typically slow-growing. However, it can cause nerve damage as it gets larger.
Common symptoms of acoustic neuroma include:
- Gradual or sudden hearing loss, in some cases only on one side
- Ringing in the ear, commonly known as tinnitus
- Loss of balance
- Vertigo, commonly referred to as dizziness
- Facial numbness or weakness.
The Acoustic Neuroma Social Security Disability Application Process
The Social Security Administration doesn’t have a specific listing for acoustic neuroma. However, they list “disturbances of labyrinthine-vestibular function.” Acoustic Neuroma can be classified as a “disturbance of labyrinthine-vestibular function.”
To qualify for Social Security Disability, you must meet the requirements of a disability listing from the Social Security blue book or provide evidence that you cannot work.
Qualifying for Social Security Disability Benefits with Acoustic Neuroma
To show that you meet the qualifications to apply for disability benefits you must be able to provide medical evidence of your balance disturbance and/or hearing loss. This includes undergoing a neuro-otolaryngolgic examination that provides a very detailed description of how often, how severe, and how long these disabling episodes last. Additionally, you must provide medical evidence that your tumor exists.
You must also be able to show that you don’t have the ability to work. To do this you must provide details proving that your acoustic neuroma has affected your sensory, physical, and mental abilities:
- Sensory abilities include your sense of touch, taste, sight, and sound.
- Physical abilities refer to activities like sitting, standing, or walking. Physical abilities may also include pushing, pulling, carrying, or lifting an object.
- Mental ability considers the mental processes required to perform different types of work.
Evidentiary Requirements for Social Security Disability with Acoustic Neuroma
Throughout the application process, you will have to provide the SSA with extensive information about your medical background. This may include:
- Complete medical history of all doctor visits and/or hospitalizations
- Results of a hearing test by an audiologist
- Electronystagmography results that test your balance function by detecting abnormal eye movements often present with inner ear conditions
- MRI or CT scan results that confirm the presence of acoustic neuroma
- Records of any treatments you’ve undergone and the prognosis of your condition
Why You Need a Social Security Disability Attorney
Because so many Social Security Disability claims are denied each year, hiring an experienced Social Security Disability attorney to assist with your case could greatly increase your chances of being approved.