Maybe. Tinnitus is not listed on its own in the Social Security Administration’s Listing of Impairments. However, that does not prevent all tinnitus sufferers from receiving Social Security disability benefits.

How You May Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits

Generally, you may qualify for benefits in one of three ways. Your application for Social Security disability benefits may be approved if:

  • Your tinnitus is equal in severity to a listing in the Listing of Impairments. If your tinnitus has the same effect on you as hearing loss or another condition in the Listing of Impairments, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits.
  • Your tinnitus is part of a condition that qualifies you for benefits pursuant to a specific listing in the Listing of Impairments. According to the Mayo Clinic, tinnitus is not an independent condition. Rather, tinnitus occurs because you have another condition such as Meniere’s disease, abnormal bone growth, TMJ, a head or neck injury, an acoustic neuroma, or a blood vessel disorder. If you qualify for Social Security disability pursuant to a specific listing in the Listing of Impairments and you have tinnitus, then you would be eligible for benefits.
  • Your condition is permanent and totally disabling. The symptoms of tinnitus can be completely disabling and may last for the rest of your life. Symptoms such as hearing a loud ringing, buzzing, roaring, or other noise can interfere with your ability to hear and your ability to concentrate which may make it impossible for you to work enough to engage in substantial gainful activity.

Getting the Social Security disability benefits you deserve is not always easy. The medical documentation and other evidence that you provide with your application must be complete. If you cannot prove your eligibility then the Social Security Administration will deny your application which will prevent or delay your receipt of the benefits you’ve earned. It is therefore important to complete your application correctly the first time. You can learn more about protecting your rights before you apply by reading our FREE book, Social Security Disability: What You Need to Know, and by contacting us via this website to schedule a confidential consultation.

by Carl M. Weisbrod
Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law


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