Many of us take our ability to communicate for granted. Unfortunately, for some individuals, the ability to speak is lost for one of many reasons. Fortunately, for some of the individuals who suffer from a complete loss of speech, Social Security Disability benefits may be able to help.
Loss of Speech Condition and Symptoms
There are many reasons why an individual might suffer from a complete loss of speech. Stroke, larynx nerve injury, chest tumors, lung tumors, head injury and neck injury are just some of the causes of speech loss. Regardless of the reason, a loss of speech can have a significant impact on one's quality of life and ability to maintain employment in the workforce.
Not all cases of speech loss are of the same caliber of severity. Some individuals will only have a slight loss of speech, resulting in hoarseness or limited ability to communicate. Others, however, will experience a complete loss of speech and will be unable to communicate with the world around them in any way whatsoever. These are the individuals who should apply for Social Security Disability benefits.
Filing for Social Security Disability with a Loss of Speech
When an individual is no longer able to communicate with the world around them due to a loss of speech, maintaining employment is nearly impossible. In rare cases an individual may be able to make special accommodations with their employer to arrange for other means of communication, but in most cases a complete loss of speech will result in an inability to perform any type of work activity. These individuals will often apply for Social Security Disability benefits.
Fortunately, a loss of the ability to speak is covered under the SSA's published disability guidelines under Section 2.09. In order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits under this section, your loss of speech must result in the inability to produce any means of speech that can be heard, understood or sustained. This means you must not be able to produce speech by any means, including the use of mechanical or electronic devices.
When filing for Social Security Disability benefits due to a complete loss of speech, you will need to prove to the SSA that you are unable to produce speech by any means. This means providing the Social Security Administration with a complete copy of your medical records along with written statements from your treating physicians when submitting your application paperwork. In many cases the Social Security Administration will ask you to undergo a consultative exam in order to evaluate your disabling condition and your ability to communicate.
The challenge in being awarded your Social Security Disability benefits will be in proving that your loss of speech is permanent (or at least expected to last twelve months or more) and that it completely prevents you communicating by any means. This is where medical records, test results and surgical treatment histories will be crucial to your disability claim.
Loss of Speech and Your Social Security Disability Case
If your initial claim for Social Security Disability benefits is denied by the Social Security Administration, do not lose hope. The truth is that the majority of Social Security Disability claims are not approved during the initial application stage. In fact, nearly 70 percent of Social Security Disability applicants must undergo the disability appeal process in order to obtain the disability benefits they are entitled to.
The key in winning your disability appeal is in understanding why your claim was denied and proving the extent of your disability to the Social Security Administration. This may mean retaining the services of a qualified Social Security Disability attorney or advocate. These professionals can help you understand why your initial claim was not approved and can help you gather the medical evidence necessary to prove your disability to the Social Security Administration. For example, if the SSA denied your claim because they determined that your loss of speech was not significant enough to completely prevent you from communicating with the world around you, your attorney could gather medical evidence to the contrary and could call in medical experts to testify on your behalf at your disability hearing. It is a proven fact that your chances of winning your disability case are significantly increased with proper legal representation.
To learn more about filing for SSD benefits due to a loss of speech or to learn more about working with a Social Security Disability lawyer, fill out the form for a free evaluation of your Social Security Disability case.