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Is Wearing A Hearing Aid Classed as A Disability?

elderly patient being fitted with hearing aids

If you have recently found that you are experiencing hearing loss, then you might be curious whether wearing a hearing aid is classed as having a disability. Indeed, it’s true that if you are experiencing hearing loss, it is generally considered that you do have a disability. However, in some cases this will depend on how severe or significant the hearing loss might be. 

It’s important to know whether you are classed as having a disability because this could connect with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as well as Social Security regulations. 

Through the ADA, you will be provided with certain forms of support and assistance if you are experiencing a certain level of hearing loss. This could protect you in your job and you might also be entitled to claim benefits related to your disability. 

Is Hearing Loss Considered a Disability?

While hearing loss is considered a disability if it impacts your quality of life, it is worth noting that it is often completely overlooked. Why is this? The main reason is that hearing loss is what is referred to as an invisible disability. It’s something that people can’t easily recognize and won’t automatically see when they look at you. This is different from being in a wheelchair where it is instantly apparent that you do have a disability. 

The problem here is that it can prevent you from getting the support that you want and that you might be entitled to. This is why you need to make sure that you do take the time to understand your hearing loss and what it could mean for you. The first step will always be to speak to an audiologist. They will be able to complete a hearing test to check your level of hearing loss, determining whether it is mild, moderate or severe. 

How Many People with Hearing Loss Are Recognized as Having A Disability?

As you might now realize, the question of whether hearing counts as a disability is not quite as clear as it first seems. Often, hearing loss is degenerative. This means that it changes over time and, with the right hearing loss treatment, it is possible to slow it down. As such, while it might not be recognized as a disability at first, your hearing could change enough that it is in the future. Furthermore, the measures used to determine whether hearing loss is classed as a disability is impacted by the organization that you are referring to. 

For instance, the government will accept that you have a disability if you have a hearing rate below 90dB. To put this in perspective, the average individual can hear anything below 60dB. There are other measurements that can be used too. For instance, you would qualify if you can’t repeat 40% of the words spoken to you back during a hearing test. 

At this point, then you will qualify for things such as disability benefits. 

Does Wearing a Hearing Aid Mean That You Have a Disability?

You might think that if you need a hearing aid, then this automatically means that you are classed as having a disability. However, this is not the case. To qualify for a disability, you will need to complete several hearing tests that will demonstrate you are experiencing hearing loss. These will be completed without the use of a hearing aid. You will only be considered to have a disability if you meet the required thresholds of different organizations. 

Part of the reason for this is that hearing aids aren’t just for people with moderate or severe levels of hearing loss. Instead, you might use hearing aids if you have mild levels of hearing loss. While this isn’t enough to mean that you are classed as having a disability it could still change the way that you experience your life. 

Hearing aids will always help improve your quality of life, regardless of what level of hearing loss you are experiencing. So, wearing hearing aids will never automatically mean that you are officially recognized by the government as having a disability. This is more about your specific level of hearing loss and how it affects your everyday life. 

We hope this helps you understand everything that you need to know about whether wearing a hearing aid is classed as a disability. If you think that you are experiencing any type of hearing loss, make sure that you do speak to an audiologist. They will be able to provide you with more support and any questions you may have. You can learn more by contacting Rocky Mountain Hearing & Balance at 801-268-3277.