If you have Meniere Disease and are finding it hard to work, you may qualify for Meniere Disease Disability Benefits.
In fact, depending on the severity of your symptoms and if you meet the SSA requirements, you may automatically qualify.
What Meniere Disease is
Meniere Disease is a disorder of the inner ear (vestibular labyrinth) which is the area that controls your balance and positional awareness. If you have Meniere Disease, you do not constantly have symptoms, but rather attacks that come on quickly and without warning. These attacks include extreme vertigo, hearing loss, and a full feeling in your ear. Because of vertigo, you are at risk of falling and causing injuries. With hearing loss, you may be unable to use the phone or verbally communicate because you cannot hear what is being said to you. These attacks may happen in a short period of time, or they may be isolated incidents that happen every few years. Most attacks are very debilitating and take several hours to recover from.
How to Automatically Qualify for Meniere Disease Disability Benefits
Meniere Disease is listed in the SSA blue book under SSA listing 2.07– disturbance of labyrinthine-vestibular function as a disability that automatically qualifies you for Social Security disability benefits. However, to automatically qualify you must:
- Have both, disturbed function of vestibular labyrinth demonstrated by caloric or other vestibular tests; and hearing loss established by audiometry.
- Be earning less than $1180 per month (unable to engage in Substantial Gainful Activity)
- Have symptoms that last or are expected to last at least 12 consecutive months. Because Meniere Disease’s symptoms come and go, it is important to provide medical records from each time your symptoms occur from your primary doctor (or any other doctor that has treated your Meniere Disease) and your audiologist.
What to do if You Do Not Meet the Automatic Qualifications
Even if you do not meet the qualifications to receive Meniere Disease Benefits automatically, you should still apply for Social Security Disability.
SSA will create a residual capacity assessment (RFC) that will detail your ability to perform certain work-related activities. Additionally, SSA will use the medical evidence that you submit and possibly ask you to see a doctor or audiologist hired by the SSA.
The RFC will look at your ability to perform basic work activities such as:
- Walking, standing, sitting, lifting, pushing, pulling, reaching, carrying or handling
- Seeing, hearing and speaking
- Understanding/carrying out and remembering simple instructions
- Responding appropriately to supervision, co-workers and usual work situations
- Dealing with changes in a routine work setting
SSA should take into consideration side effects caused by the medications you take for your Meniere Disease.
For example, your medications may cause sleepiness and fatigue. This could impact your ability to work around or with heavy machinery. It may also affect your reliability and productivity. If you can prove that your productivity is ~20% less than what it was before your Meniere Disease diagnosis, then you may be found disabled.
After your RFC is created, the SSA will use a formula to decide whether your RFC and your vocational factors put you in the disabled category.
You Can Get Help!
If you have been denied a claim for Meniere Disease, you should file an appeal, asap. We will show you how.