Q I have vertigo from Meniere’s disease. Are Social Security disability benefits available for Meniere’s disease?
Meniere’s disease is a medical condition that affects the inner ear. It occurs when the pressure of the fluid in the canals of the inner ear gets too high. The four main symptoms are:
- Loss of hearing
- Pressure in the ear
- Tinnitus (ringing or other sound in the ear)
The Social Security Administration includes Meniere’s disease under category 2.07, Disturbance of Labyrinthine-vestibular Function. To qualify for SSDI benefits for Meniere's disease, one must have frequent attacks of vertigo, tinnitus, and progressive loss of hearing as established by audiometry. You must show the results of a comprehensive neuro-otolaryngologic (ear/nose/throat) examination that includes caloric or other vestibular tests of the inner ear and hearing tests. If you meet the criteria of the SSA’s vestibular balance disability listing, you will automatically be granted disability benefits, as long as you meet the other requirements for approval for SSDI.
- You do not earn more than $1,040 per month from employment.
- Your condition interferes with your ability to hold a job.
- You can no longer do the jobs you did in the past.
- You cannot do any other type of work.
If you don’t meet the requirements for SSDI for Meniere’s disease, you may still qualify with a “medical-vocational allowance.” A medical-vocational allowance is used when a disability does not meet the SSA’s criteria for approval, but is still serious enough to prevent the applicant from engaging in substantial gainful employment (earning more than $1,040 per month). Any other disabilities or symptoms can be included in your evaluation.
Learn more about the SSDI application process in Boston disability attorney John Keefe’s book, Unlocking the Mystery: The Essential Guide for Navigating the Social Security Disability Claims Process. To discuss your claim with one of our New England SSDI lawyers, contact Keefe Disability Law at 888-904-6847.