How Coronavirus Precautions Negatively Impact the Hearing-Impaired

Q: How have the hearing-impaired been impacted by COVID-19 face mask rules?

For those with hearing impairments and other disabling conditions, qualifying for Social Security disability benefits begins with meeting the Social Security Administration’s definition of being “disabled” and suffering from one or more of the mental and/or physical impairments listed in the Social Security Administration’s “Blue Book” of hundreds of qualifying conditions. 

Depending on their particular circumstances, those with profound hearing loss – whether with or without cochlear implants – may qualify for federal Social Security disability benefits. If you wonder if you qualify, a skilled California disability benefits attorney can help answer your questions and handle your application for benefits.

Because the majority of initial applications for disability benefits are denied, using an attorney to file the application or handle appealing a denial of benefits can expedite the process and may increase your chances of success. And there is no up-front cost to do so.

How has COVID-19 impacted the hearing-impaired?

Those who are hearing impaired are reportedly feeling “singled out” as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the requirement of wearing facemasks and social distancing when in public. The facemasks make it difficult for those who rely on lip-reading to communicate.

Some deaf people have taken to wearing cloth masks that say “hearing impaired” across the front. Others have found masks with a clear plastic panel that exposes their mouth and lips – but that only helps others read their lips – it doesn’t help the hearing-impaired to read the lips of those with standard facemasks. 

Facemasks without the clear panel are a literal barrier to the hearing-impaired being able to communicate. But even if everyone wore clear-paneled masks, the need to stay 6 feet away also makes lip-reading harder. This inability to communicate can make it harder for the hearing impaired to get needed services and may lead to some unfairly losing their jobs. 

If you have questions about applying for Social Security disability benefits, or appealing a denial of benefits, the disability attorneys of California at Roeschke Law can help you. Contact us today for a free consultation.

From our office in Los Angeles, we help clients throughout California get the Social Security disability benefits they need to go on with their lives. It’s all we do.