Meniere’s Disease

Living with a disability is difficult without the financial strain that it can put on households that are losing a significant part of their income. The struggle with making ends meet often takes the focus off of managing symptoms and preventing complications when possible. When medical bills are piling up and the symptoms of a disability make it impossible for a person to work, social security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits may be able to help.

SSDI benefits are paid to qualified individuals who are expected to be disabled for at least one year. Paycheck deductions are used to fund SSDI, and the federal government manages these funds and determines whether applicants are eligible for benefits.

What is Meniere’s?

Meniere’s is a condition in which the fluid-filled tubes in the inner ear contain either more fluid than normal or a mixture of fluid that contains a different composition than the fluid found in a healthy ear. Researchers do not fully understand the causes of Meniere’s, but it is believed that the disease may be related to blockages in the tubes of the inner ear that do not allow it to drain properly, allergies, viral infections, improper immune response, migraines or head trauma.

One common symptom of Meniere’s is vertigo. Vertigo causes dizziness and can last from 20 minutes to 24 hours. Severe episodes may cause nausea and vomiting. Other symptoms of Meniere’s include loss of hearing that is eventually permanent, fullness in the ear and tinnitus. Tinnitus is a symptom defined by a constant ringing or roaring sound.

Most sufferers do not develop symptoms of Meniere’s until they are in their 40s. Many people who have the condition are able to control their symptoms in order to maintain a high quality of life by using medication. However, it is possible for severe cases of Meniere’s to require surgical intervention.

Getting Disability for Meniere’s

In order for a person to qualify for SSDI benefits with Meniere’s, complications must be severe enough to interfere with the individual’s ability to complete routine job tasks. Frequent vertigo, tinnitus, loss of hearing or severe damage in the inner ear that affects balance and hearing must be experienced by the sufferer.

To prove that one or more of the complications outlined above are present, the applicant must provide detailed medical records that include test results. When the diagnosis is Meniere’s, applicants will be expected to undergo vestibular tests that measure the damage inside of the ear. If the applicant is claiming a disability due to loss of hearing, an audiometry test must also be performed. This test is used to measure a person’s ability to hear.

All medical records that are provided to the Social Security Administration (SSA) as evidence of disability must be completed by a licensed medical provider. While paperwork must be filed in order for a claim to be considered, the medical evidence that is used to supplement the application is often the deciding factor in SSDI cases.

Getting Help from an Attorney

The process of applying for SSDI benefits can be a long and tedious one, and people who have not navigated the process before may feel frustrated and confused by the complex requirements. Many first-time applications are denied by the SSA due to a lack of medical evidence or errors on the required paperwork. The best option to ensure that an application is seriously considered by the SSA is to consult with an attorney before filing for benefits. Experienced SSDI lawyers are able to advise their clients on how to fill out paperwork, file the paperwork in a timely manner and request medical records from providers. I have ten years of experience in social security cases and appeals, and am ready to fight for your benefits. Contact me today to get started on your case.

Ruth F. Kolb, Esquire has been practicing social security disability law since 2003 handling all levels of representation from initial claims through all stages of appeal.