Based on how severe a person’s hearing loss is, hearing impairments are classified as a disability. This is significant because it is associated with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Social Security Regulations. Under this act and these regulations, an individual may be given some protections depending on their hearing loss or disabilities. Under Social Security Regulations, a person under these circumstances can be provided with certain benefits for their disability.
Laws over the classification of disabilities appear to be insufficient. This can lead to uncertainty as to whether wearing hearing aids is considered a disability under U.S. law. We’ll discuss this concern, along with other frequently asked questions regarding hearing disability or impairment.
Is a Hearing Impairment a Disability?
For each organization, disabilities are classified accordingly. For the World Health Organization (WHO), any definition of a disability can be separated into three categories:
Hearing impairment can be added to these three categories. Some organizations characterize a disability by breaking down the severity of the loss. The precise classification of a person’s hearing disability depends on their diagnosis. Hearing loss might be categorized as mild, moderate, profound, or severe.
Hearing Loss: A Range of Disability
When can hearing loss be identified as a disability? Without a hearing test and treatment, hearing loss can worsen. There are specific levels of hearing loss that people who wear hearing aids need to arrive at. These include:
When a person reaches any of these thresholds or stages, they might be eligible for disability grants for their hearing loss.
Is Wearing Hearing Aids Considered a Disability?
We mentioned the different stages or thresholds that someone with a hearing impairment needs to have to have access to disability grants. The test to confirm a person’s level of disability is performed without the person wearing their hearing aid. The Social Security Regulations and Americans with Disabilities Act states that wearing a hearing aid would not be categorized as a disability.
In many cases, hearing aids are worn in order to improve minor hearing loss that are below the thresholds in the Act and Regulations for hearing disabilities. Wearing hearing aids assists in hearing loss, thus to some level, eliminates the disability. You cannot be classified as having a disability if you wear a hearing aid.
Disabilities are not easily defined. In many cases, any type of disability that is not immediately visible usually gets ignored or is deemed invisible. This has impacted the form of protection that is available to people with hearing loss.
It’s important to address and take care of your hearing loss. Proper care for your hearing aids is also vital. Immediately seek treatment if you experience hearing loss. If you already have a hearing impairment, it’s important to get your hearing tested regularly so that your hearing healthcare provider can detect any changes and provide the proper treatment or modifications to your devices.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound for a hearing test and consultation.