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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Hearing Loss

Suggestions regarding changes

1. 2.10B1a,c & 102.10B1a,c: Request additional wording to specify that there must be otological exam findings comments by the Audiologist before performing the actual audiological retesting. 2. 2.10 & 102.10: Request reconsideration about the use of aided testing for evaluation under 2.10 & 102.10 to better establish Claimant’s best functioning. 3. 102.10B1: Suggest changing this listing to requirements that are the ...more »

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Hearing Loss

Hint Test

The HINT test is obsolete and we need an alternative to this test to evaluate those who have had Cochlear Implants. Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary uses the Quick Sync Test which is also a test with competing noise. The test starts with no noise present and then the noise is set louder to assess how the patient can hear in noise. It is similar to the Hint test. We have used this test with patients who are filing ...more »

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Hearing Loss

Some implants have 11 different freqencies and some have 121

Depending on what type of cochlear implant and individual hearing loss the person may or may not be able to understand the speech through cochlear implant. Depends on how brain interprets sound and if brain can then improve hearing. It is not just about how loud the sounds are but how the different frequencies put together to be able to understand speech. Each person and case could be totally different if cochlear ...more »

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Hearing Loss

Medical Consultant

In my opinion, it is still appropriate to consider pre lingually deafened children who receive an implant disabled automatically until age 5. The HINT is an obsolete test that is no longer used by most inplant centers and is no longer available to be purchased by our CE providers. Most centers in the SE are using the AZ BIO . Survey of top CI centers should be made to determine which test should be used and is easily ...more »

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Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss/Speech Therapy

My granddaughter has cochlear implants and one of the problems I see is speech definition. I cannot always understand her. Part of that problem is possibly needing more speech therapy to help with pronunciation of words and a better understanding on her part of what words mean. She can't always pronounce them correctly because she doesn't always know what they mean. Speech therapy should be aggressive in people who ...more »

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