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Acoustic Neuroma and Social Security Disability Benefits

Acoustic Neuroma and Social Security Disability Benefits

An acoustic neuroma is a benign (non-cancerous) tumor that forms on the nerve connecting the brain to the ear. This type of tumor is typically slow-growing and doesn’t often show any signs or symptoms until it has grown big enough to press against the nerves that regulate hearing and balance.

Acoustic Neuroma Symptoms

The symptoms of acoustic neuroma vary from case to case and depend on the severity of the condition. The symptoms that are most commonly associated with acoustic neuroma include:

  • Hearing loss
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Vertigo
  • Trouble balancing
  • Pressure in the ears and/or head
  • Facial numbness
  • Facial weakness
  • Changes in taste
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Headaches
  • Clumsiness
  • Confusion

Acoustic Neuroma and Qualifying Criteria

To qualify for disability benefits, you must meet the criteria of a condition listed in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book—a guide to disabling conditions and the qualifying criteria.

While the SSA’s Blue Book does not specifically list acoustic neuroma, it does mention “disturbance of labyrinthine-vestibular function” under Section 2.07 of the Blue Book. This means that while the condition is not mentioned in the Blue Book by name, it is described in detail under a separate listing.

If you meet the criteria of Section 2.07 of the Blue Book and can furnish medical evidence of this, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. According to Section 2.07 you must be able to prove that:

  • You suffer from a disturbance of the labyrinthine-vestibular function that is characterized by a history of frequent attacks of balance disturbance, tinnitus and progressive loss of hearing; and
  • You suffer from disturbed function of the vestibular labyrinth that can be demonstrated by caloric or other vestibular tests; and
  • Your hearing loss has been detected by audiometry.
  • If you cannot prove that you meet the above-mentioned Blue Book guidelines, you must be able to prove that your condition prevents you from performing any type of gainful activity through the use of the SSA’s Residual Functional Capacity form. By proving, beyond doubt, that you cannot perform work activity, your application may be approved based on a vocational allowance. You will, however, have to provide the SSA with extensive medical evidence to prove that you cannot work and that you will not be able to work for a total of 12 months.
  • The Services of a Social Security Disability Attorney

    The Social Security Disability claim process can be complex and overwhelming. It is in your best interest to have a Social Security Disability attorney or advocate represent you through each step of the application process. Statistics have shown that applicants who go into the process with legal representation are more likely to be awarded benefits than those who try to represent themselves.

    To learn more about retaining a Social Security attorney and to receive a free evaluation of your Social Security Disability claim, click here.

    Submitted by: Molly Clarke