Many people in the Houston area know what it’s like to work in jobs like construction or manufacturing, where they are exposed to certain dangers on a daily basis. Dealing with, or trying to avoid, occupational hazards is a way of life for many workers. Ultimately, however, millions of people end up suffering injuries while on the job. Among these injuries, hearing loss is the most prevalent.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year, more than 20 million workers have exposure to dangerous noise levels while at work. Interestingly, however, not all of these work-related hearing injuries occur in jobs that involve high noise levels. Rather, a study by a professor at Stanford showed that people working in jobs with moderate noise levels were likely to suffer the most hearing loss. The professor concluded that the reason for this is that people who work in high noise-level jobs are more careful to wear ear protection. On the other hand, if the noise on the job is more moderate, employees are less likely to use protective equipment for their ears.
Hearing problems can become so severe that an employee is unable to continue working. But does hearing loss meet the benefits’ requirements for Social Security Disability? The Social Security Administration’s Listing of Impairments does recognize certain degrees of hearing loss in its section on Special Senses and Speech. The threshold levels of hearing loss that are related to SSD benefits for an injury are based on whether the person has an implant in their ear, as well as their word recognition score.
A hearing problem can impair a person’s ability to work, and workers who suffer from hearing loss should understand their options for getting benefits. Anyone who needs more information about trying to secure benefits to help cover lost wages and medical expenses may want to contact an experienced Social Security Disability attorney.
Source: The Bulletin, “CDC: Most common workplace injury is hearing loss,” Zhai Yun Tan, Sep. 25, 2016