SSDI Eligibility Guidelines: Meniere’s Disease
Determine if an individual is working (engaging in substantial gainful activity) according to the SSA definition. Earning more than $1,170 a month as an employee is enough to be disqualified from receiving Social Security disability benefits.
Conclude the Meniere’s disease disability must be severe enough to significantly limit one’s ability to perform basic work activities needed to do most jobs. For example:
- 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
Meniere’s disease is listed under the category of impairments known as the Special Senses and Speech – Medical Listing 2.07. The following criteria have been established indicative of the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity, i.e., if one has a diagnosis of disturbance of labyrinth-vestibular function (including Meniere’s disease), characterized by a history of frequent attacks of balance disturbance, tinnitus, and progressive loss of hearing and both of the following, a finding of disabled under the Social Security Act is warranted:
- Disturbed function of vestibular labyrinth demonstrated by caloric or other vestibular tests
- Hearing loss established by audiometry.
Explore the ability of an individual to perform work they have done in the past despite the Meniere’s disease. If the SSA finds that a person can do his past work, benefits are denied. If the person cannot, then the process proceeds to the fifth and final step.
Review age, education, work experience and physical/mental condition to determine what other work, if any, the person can perform. To determine Meniere’s disease disability, the SSA enlists medical-vocational rules, which vary according to age.
For example, if a person is:
Under age 50 and, as a result of the symptoms of Meniere’s disease, unable to perform what the SSA calls sedentary work, then the SSA will reach a determination of disabled. Sedentary work requires the ability to lift a maximum of 10 pounds at a time, sit six hours and occasionally walk and stand two hours per eight-hour day.
Age 50 or older and, due to the Meniere’s disease, limited to performing sedentary work, but has no work-related skills that allow him to do so, the SSA will reach a determination of disabled.
Age 55 or older and, due to the disability, limited to performing light work, but has no work-related skills that allow him to do so, the SSA will reach a determination of disabled.
Over age 60 and, due to the Meniere’s disease, unable to perform any of the jobs he performed in the last 15 years, the SSA will likely reach a determination of disabled.
Any age and, because of Meniere’s disease, has a psychological impairment that prevents even simple, unskilled work, the SSA will reach a determination of disabled.
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