Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss


Background Information


The Listings of Impairments (listings) describes medical conditions that are severe enough for SSA to consider a person to be disabled. More information about the listings may be found at: http://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook


We issued the final rules for evaluating claims involving hearing loss on June 2, 2010 (with an effective date of August 2, 2010). The rules reflected our adjudicative experience, advances in medical knowledge, treatment, methods of evaluating hearing loss, and public comments we received in response to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). As part of those revisions, we introduced listings 2.11 and 102.11 to evaluate hearing loss in adults and children who are treated with cochlear implantation.


Since the publication of our final rules on hearing loss, there may have been advancements in medical knowledge, treatment, and methods of evaluating hearing loss. Therefore, we invite the medical community, adjudicators, and members of the public to comment on how we can improve our listings and request your engagement in providing input to the following questions involving cochlear implantation.

Issue for Comment


  1. It is our understanding that there may be a difference in how individuals adapt to cochlear implantation depending on when they receive the implant, either before speech and language skills have been developed (pre-lingual), or after speech and language skills are developed (post-lingual). How should we consider this difference in our listing criteria under 2.11 and 102.11?

  2. When we evaluate hearing loss treated with cochlear implantation under listing 2.11 or 102.11, should we require that the person’s pre-implantation hearing loss be bilateral?


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