A sensory impairment is a disease or injury that affects a person’s speech, hearing or vision. When a sensory impairment prevents an individual from working, it can be devastating both physically and financially. In Texas, people who suffer from a debilitating sensory impairment may qualify to receive financial assistance in the form of Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI.
Social Security Disability benefits – like Social Security Retirement Benefits – are paid from a trust to which all workers in the United States have contributed over the course of their work careers. When a worker who suffers from a sensory impairment qualifies, SSD benefits can help offset the financial pressures and lost wages a person experiences from being out of work.
In order to receive SSDI benefits for illness or injury that has resulted in sensory impairment, the malady must fall within certain government guidelines set forth by the Social Security Administration. These guidelines establish thresholds of severity or impairment that must be reached before a claimant can receive benefits. As an example, for blindness to qualify, the SSA dictates that a person’s vision must be 20/200 or worse in the strongest eye, as corrected by glasses or contact lenses.
Other visual impairments that interfere with a person’s ability to read may also qualify for SSD benefits. Hearing loss – with or without cochlear implants – may fall within SSA guidelines, as well, if demonstrated by auditory tests or the inability to discern words. Labyrinthine-vestibular impairments that inhibit hearing or affect balance or loss of the ability to speak may also fall within guidelines. All SSD applicants must support their claims with medical evidence.
Source: SSA.gov, “2.00 Special Senses and Speech – Adult,” accessed Feb. 27, 2018