Disabling Condition: Special Senses & Speech

by Editorial Board on September 6, 2010 · 0 comments

in Senses & Speech

Special senses and speech can be disabling, conditions covered include loss of visual acuity (acuteness or clearness of vision) contraction of the visual fields (when the eye is fixed on a central point or loss of vision away from the center), loss of visual efficiency (problems with gathering information, i.e. tracking, focus, teaming) disturbance of labyrinthine-vestibular function (Meniere’s disease) loss of hearing, loss of speech.


  1. Have you had your vision tested?
  2. Have you had laser surgery?


  1. Have you had a hearing test?
  2. Do you wear hearing aids and if not, should you and if so why don’t you have them?
  3. Do you have dizziness/balance problems and if so have you been referred for Meniere’s disease testing?
  4. Do you have ringing in your ears (tinnitus)?


  1. Is your voice hard to hear?
  2. Is your voice audible but not understandable to others?
  3. Are you able to communicate but not for very long?

Vision, hearing and speech loss are easily measured with noninvasive and relatively inexpensive tests.  Social Security will pay for these and we often request them to help establish a level of severity.  But the caloric testing for Meniere’s disease is not a test that Social Security will purchase.  Meniere’s is usually diagnosed by a specialist upon review of testing as well as documentation of attacks.  As such, the medical record often establishes frequency.  Unfortunately, Social Security does not indicate what frequency is disabling.

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