Meniere’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear that primarily affects balance and hearing – and it affects hundreds of thousands in the United States alone. In fact, approximately 45,500 new cases of Meniere’s are diagnosed every single year.
It is characterized by a mixture of symptoms, including vertigo, hearing loss and tinnitus. While the exact cause of Meniere’s disease remains unknown, it might be related to fluid buildup in the inner ear caused by any combination of poor drainage, various autoimmune disorders, genetic factors or viral infections – and it can definitely be disabling.
How can you convince the Social Security Administration (SSA) that you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits based on your condition if you have Meniere’s? Since the attacks can vary in intensity, frequency and duration from person to person, a lot rides on how well your condition is documented.
Persistence is the route to an approved SSDI claim
This is one of those situations where it pays to be persistent. Since the diagnosis may be made primarily on your self-reported symptoms, a lot is riding on your credibility as a patient. To improve your odds of approval:
- Follow the doctor’s orders: If your doctor prescribes a low-salt diet or tells you to quit smoking or cut out caffeine to see if your condition improves, do it. The more compliant you are with your doctor’s recommendations, the more clearly that shows how distressing your condition is to you.
- Ask for testing: Since gradual hearing loss is a major component of Meniere’s disease over time, make sure that your hearing is tested regularly and the changes are documented. The progression can help establish the severity of your condition.
- Document your attacks: Make sure that you keep track of the frequency and duration of your attacks, including any obvious or potential triggers that set them off. Keep a journal and take it with you to your doctor’s appointments so that your notes become part of your medical file.
SSDI claims are unfairly denied all the time, often simply because the majority of the information in a file comes from the patient instead of an x-ray, MRI or lab test. If that’s happened to you, it may be time to find out how seeking experienced legal guidance can help you to get the benefits you need and deserve.