Go to navigation Go to content
Toll-Free: 888-904-6847
Phone: 508-283-5500
Keefe Disability Law
Social Security Disability & Supplemental Security Income
Toll Free 888-904-6847
Call 508-283-5500
Fax 508-309-6954

SSA Rules for Vertigo Can Make Your Head spin

Writer Thomas Merton said, “Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.” While most of us struggle to balance work and family, those who suffer from vertigo struggle just to balance.

Vertigo is a sensation of spinning or tilting or a loss of balance when nothing is actually moving. As you can imagine, vertigo can make it hard to walk. It can be nearly impossible to read, cook, or work. Vertigo is often accompanied by sweating, vomiting, and nausea.

There are many causes of vertigo:

  • Meniere's disease: A dysfunction in the canals of the inner ear
  • Labyrinthitis: An inflammation in canals and cavities of the inner ear
  • Vestibular neuritis: An inflammation of the vestibular nerve
  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV): Crystals in the inner ear are dislodged; this is common in the elderly and victims of head trauma
  • Head injury: Vertigo can develop after a traumatic brain injury
  • Migraine: Some patients with persistent migraines experience vertigo with their headaches
  • Chronic otitis media: Long-term ear infections
  • Acoustic neuroma: A benign tumor of the inner ear
  • Dehydration: Temporary vertigo due to a drop in blood pressure

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes vertigo under its listing of conditions affecting special senses and speech. In order to receive Social Security disability benefits for vertigo, you must have a comprehensive exam with a neuro-otolaryngologist (ear, nose, throat specialist). The doctor should provide detailed information about your vertigo: how often you have attacks, how long they last, the severity of those attacks, and how the vertigo prevents you from working and participating in life activities. You may want to keep a diary of your symptoms over a six-month period.

In order to show that you have vertigo, you must present the results of certain hearing tests. These must include:

  • Pure tone audiometry: Tests hearing at certain pitches
  • Speech audiometry: Tests ability to hear speech and word recognition
  • Bekesy audiometry: A hearing test in which the subject controls the duration of the tones
  • Vestibular function testing: Testing of the inner ear

You should also provide SSA with the results of other medical tests including:

  • Polytomograms
  • Contrast radiography
  • X-rays
  • CT scans
  • MRI
  • Myelography 
  • Radionuclear bone scans 

The more evidence you have that your vertigo prevents you from working, the better your chances of winning your SSDI claim.

What if you are denied SSDI for vertigo? Most people are denied the first time they apply for SSDI. This doesn’t mean they aren’t eligible. If you are denied, you get a chance to appeal and provide further evidence of your disability. We can help.

The Boston SSDI attorneys at Keefe Disability Law help those who are denied SSDI get the benefits they have earned. To schedule an appointment, contact Keefe Disability Law at 888-904-6847.

Learn more about the mistakes that can cause your claim to be denied. Request a free copy of 7 Costly Mistakes that can Ruin Your Social Security Disability Claim.


Live Chat