Bartolic Law has worked with clients experiencing Hearing Loss and helped them recover long-term disability benefits. Like any illness or injury, Hearing Loss may impair one’s ability to perform an occupation more so than it would impair another person’s performance of a different occupation. The more the occupation in question requires hearing, or interacting with other people, the more impairing the Hearing Loss can be.
In one case, a client suffered an injury that resulted in a sudden loss of hearing completely in one ear, and mostly in another ear. The client worked in education, and needed to interact with students, often while not directly facing them, due to the number of students an education must pay attention to at one time. We demonstrated that the client’s field of hearing was limited because the client could not even rely on using only one ear, as students are positioned at various angles, and some farther away than others. As educators are on their feet, they frequently turn in different directions, requiring the ability to hear from both sides. With these demonstrations, we were able to get the client’s disability benefits in pay status.
Hearing loss has three main forms: conductive, involving the middle or outer ear; sensorineural, affecting the inner ear; or a combination of the two. A person with impaired hearing loss can’t hear obviously clear sounds or what other people say. They still have difficulties even after amplifying the sound they’re listening to. This condition affects approximately 15 percent of American adults, however, it’s more prevalent among adults over the age of 60 years. Adults over age 60 and excessive earwax are some of the risk factors that expose one to hearing loss. Other risk factors include Lyme disease, meningitis, arthritis, teenage exposure to secondary smoking, mumps, cancer, and diabetes.
A patient may display various clinical signs like muffling in their speech or other sounds, challenges understanding words, particularly in crowds or noisy backgrounds, constant requests for others to speak slowly or loudly, and turning up the TV or radio volumes beyond safe limits. Additionally, most hearing loss is irreversible. Therefore, contacting a hearing expert right away is critical to possibly save you from additional permanent hearing loss. Otherwise, it could degenerate and cause complications like feelings of isolation, low quality of life, depression, and cognitive impairment.
Ferrin v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., 336 F. Supp. 3d 910 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 28, 2018) (holding insurance policy’s grant of discretionary authority is void under Texas law due to certificate being issued after effective date of regulation, and policy renewing after effective date, and holding Plaintiff was disabled from Any Reasonable Occupation where treating doctors certify she can sit at the occasional level, and insurer’s consultants opine Plaintiff can sit frequently, as weighing all evidence together would make capacity likely at low end of frequent range at best).
Sadowski v. Tuckpointers Local 52 Health & Welfare Trust, 281 F. Supp. 3d 710 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 20, 2017) (holding plan was arbitrary and capricious in denying medical benefits for removal of spinal cord stimulator following a fall down the stairs and infection where plan argued the expenses were caused by the same injury as the car accident necessitating implantation of the stimulator years earlier)
Tassone v. United of Omaha Life Ins. Co., 264 F. Supp. 3d 867 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 30, 2017) (awarding client long term disability benefits denied by United of Omaha despite insurer’s doctor opining there was no objective evidence of functional impairment)
Suson v. PNC Fin. Servs. Grp., Inc., No. 15-CV-10817, 2017 WL 3234809 (N.D. Ill. July 31, 2017) (holding Liberty Mutual’s denial of client’s long term disability benefits was arbitrary and capricious where Liberty Mutual disregarded client’s carpal tunnel syndrome and relied on a vocational opinion to which client never had an opportunity to address before litigation)
Hearing loss shouldn’t automatically translate into financial loss. You can talk to a disability insurance benefits lawyer from Bartolic Law. We will help you evaluate your case and see if you qualify for disability benefits. Contact us today for a free consultation.