Close Menu

MENIERE’S DISEASE & DISABILITY BENEFITS

WHAT IS MENIERE’S DISEASE?

Meniere’s disease is a rare disorder of the inner ear. The inner ear controls your balance and hearing. If you have a disorder of your inner ear, then it is likely you will suffer hearing loss. Along with hearing loss, Ménière’s disease also causes dizziness and loss of balance. If you have Ménière’s disease, you should hire Cannon Disability Law to prove the SSA should pay you benefits.

The exact cause of Ménière’s disease is unknown. However, there are some known factors that contribute to the condition. For example, some of these factors are a history of allergies and viral infections. Also, you can have a genetic predisposition to the disease, if you have another family member with Ménière’s disease.

Unfortunately, Ménière’s disease can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are different from patient to patient. Additionally, there are other inner ear disorders that have similar symptoms. Therefore, no standard test that can definitely prove that you have the disorder.

You can have symptoms of Meniere’s disease at any age. However, Ménière’s disease occurs most often in people who are between the ages of 40 and 60. Also, women are more likely to get the disease than men. Fortunately, Meniere’s disease is rare. Also, it does not limit your life expectancy. Although it can impact the quality of your life. There are approximately 615,000 people in the United States who have the disorder. Worldwide, Ménière’s disease impacts 12 in 1000 people. Most cases of Ménière’s disease affect only one ear, not both. But 15 to 40 percent of patients do have symptoms in both ears. It is possible for the disease to progress to both ears over time.

menieres disease concept represented by wooden letter tiles on a wooden table with glasses and a book

IS MENIERE’S DISEASE A DISABILITY?

The Social Security Administration awards both Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for Ménière’s disease. The reason that Ménière’s disease is disabling is that the attacks of vertigo you experience are not predictable. Therefore, the attacks interfere with your ability to sustain a 40 hour work week. For example, if you have a vertigo attack twice a week during the work day, you might miss two to three hours of work twice a week. If that is the case, you would lose your job for absenteeism.

Ménière’s disease is not simply an issue of hearing loss. Obviously, if you have hearing loss, you may still be able to work a full time job. The problem with Ménière’s disease are the complications that occur when you have a vertigo attack. You may experience nausea and severe fatigue. This may require you to lay down for hours after a vertigo attack. Therefore, hearing loss is only one symptom of the condition. If you have questions about other forms of hearing loss and disability benefits, read here.

TWO TYPES OF DISABILITY BENEFITS

When you apply for benefits for Ménière’s disease, you should apply for both SSD and SSI benefits. To apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits you must have two things. First, you need to have a disabling condition to obtain benefits. Second, you must have a lengthy work history during which you paid taxes. You need to pay taxes for the government to set aside your monthly disability benefits. SSD benefits come with Medicare benefits, which pays for most healthcare needs. Learn about Medicare benefits here. Medicare is a benefit that you also receive when SSA pays you monthly retirement benefits.

Supplemental Security Income benefits (SSI) are different from Social Security Disability benefits.  SSI benefits are a supplement to a low monthly SSD benefit. SSI is also for people who have not worked enough to be covered under the quarters of coverage rules to obtain SSD benefits. Also, SSI benefits are for children.

In order win SSI benefits, you must meet SSA’s rules. However, you must also meet SSA’s income and asset rules. If you need to know more about SSI benefits, read our blog “SSI Benefits – What You Need to Know.” SSI benefits also come with Medicaid benefits to pay for healthcare costs. Medicaid is a health insurance benefit that pays for your visits to the doctor and other medical needs. Find more information about Medicaid here.

Typically, you will need an attorney to help you prove you should be paid benefits. Those who hire an SSD attorney are 3 times more likely to win benefits.

THE SYMPTOMS OF MENIERE’S DISEASE

One of the most common symptoms of Ménière’s disease is vertigo. Episodes of spinning can last for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. Typically, vertigo comes on suddenly and without warning. Vertigo can also cause nausea and fatigue.

Hearing loss is another common symptoms of Ménière’s disease. Hearing loss usually comes and goes when you first start feeling having bouts of vertigo. Eventually, hearing loss can be permanent. But most people can avoid hearing loss if they seek early treatment.

Tinnitus or ringing of the ears is another common symptom of Ménière’s disease. The sounds that most people hear are ringing, whistling, hissing or buzzing. These types of sounds come and go with vertigo attacks.

VERTIGO

The most obvious Ménière’s disease symptom is vertigo. It can involve:

  • spinning sensations
  • dizziness
  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • irregular heartbeat
  • sweating

Vertigo symptoms may interfere with several activities, including:

  • driving
  • operating heavy machinery
  • climbing ladders or scaffolds

HEARING LOSS

If you have Méniére’s disease, then your levels of hearing loss may fluctuate. This is especially true early on in the disease. You may also be more sensitive to loud sounds. Eventually, most people with Ménière’s disease develop some degree of long-term hearing loss.

THE THREE STAGES OF MENIERE’S DISEASE?

EARLY STAGE

In its early stages, Ménière’s disease causes sudden and unpredictable episodes of vertigo. During these episodes, there will be some loss of hearing,. Hearing can return to normal once the vertigo subsides. After a vertigo attack due to Ménière’s disease, a person often has extreme exhaustion and needs to sleep for hours.

People may also experience the following during the early stages of the disease:

  • diarrhea
  • blurry vision
  • jerking eye movements
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • rapid pulse
  • trembling

INTERMEDIATE STAGE

During the intermediate stage of Ménière’s disease, the symptoms of vertigo, tinnitus and hearing loss get worse. Vertigo attacks occur more often than in the early stage.

LATE STAGE

In the late stage of the disease, vertigo episodes do not occur as often as they did before. However, balance and hearing problems continue. Hearing and tinnitus also usually get worse. Unfortunately, at the late stages of the disease, you might experience attacks where you fall down but remain conscious.

HOW DOES THE DOCTOR DIAGNOSIS MENIERE’S DISEASE?

No single test allows your doctor to diagnose Ménière’s disease. However, your doctor will interview you and perform a physical exam. Your doctor may ask you about the following:

  • the severity of your vertigo symptoms
  • how often symptoms occur
  • what medications you are taking
  • any previous problems with the ears
  • history of infectious diseases or allergies
  • any family history of inner ear problems

HEARING LOSS

To figure out the extent of your hearing loss, a doctor will perform an audiogram. At this hearing test, you will listen with headphones to tones of different loudness and pitch. The doctor keeps track of when you hear or don’t hear a sound. From the results, the doctor can determine if you have hearing loss.

ASSESSMENT OF YOUR BALANCE

Many people with Ménière’s disease experience balance problems. The doctor will assess your balance using a variety of tests. One of the main tests doctors use is the rotary chair test. In this test, you sit on a chair in a dark booth. The doctor places electrodes near your eyes and a computer-guided chair gently rotates back and forth at different speeds. This rotating movement stimulates the inner ear balance system.

TREATMENT FOR MENIERE’S DISEASE

There is no cure for Meniere’s disease. However, modern medicine can help those with Ménière’s disease to have less severe symptoms. For example, your doctor can prescribe motion sickness medication to help with vertigo.  These medications can reduce dizziness. You doctor might also give you anti-nausea medications to prevent the nausea that comes with vertigo.

Some doctors also recommend a certain diet to help with Ménière’s disease. For example, a doctor might put you on a low salt diet to limit your salt intake. A low salt diet can help reduct fluid retention inside the ear. Vestibular rehabilitation is another treatment that can help with balance problems. In this treatment, a Meniatte pulse generator applies pressure to the middle ear. The purpose of using the pulse generator is to lower fluid buildup in the ear. Treatments like this can reduce the severity of Meniere’s symptoms. However, there is still no cure for the disease.

MEDICATIONS FOR VERTIGO

Doctors recommend different types of drugs for vertigo. These include:

  • Motion sickness drugs: These medications can help with vertigo.
  • Nausea drugs: These medication treat nausea during an episode of vertigo.
  • Diuretics: These drugs reduce fluid retention in the body. Reducing the amount of fluid in the body might improve the pressure in the inner ear.

MIDDLE EAR INJECTIONS

Doctors can inject medications into the middle ear to improve symptoms of vertigo.

SURGERY

Surgery may be an option for people with Ménière’s disease if other treatments do not work. Surgical options include:

  • Endolymphatic sac decompression: A surgeon removes a small portion of bone from around the endolymphatic sac. This membrane in the inner ear helps control water pressure in the ear. If it is not working, this can cause vertigo.
  • Labyrinthectomy: A surgeon removes a portion of the inner ear.
  • Vestibular nerve section: A surgeon cuts the vestibular nerve.
  • Vestibular therapy: A therapist provides exercises that help the body and brain regain control over balance.

LISTING 2.07 AWARDS SSD & SSI BENEFITS FOR MENIERE’S DISEASE 

In order to meet SSA’s rules and obtain monthly benefits, you must have all of the elements listed under 2.07. First, you can see that your balance problems, tinnitus (which is ringing of the ears) and hearing loss must be chronic. In other words, when the SSA states you need “frequent” attacks to qualify for benefits, they don’t mean once or twice a year. They mean enough attacks that the disease interferes with your ability to perform a full time job.

2.07 Disturbance of labyrinthine-vestibular function (Including Ménière’s disease), with a history of frequent attacks of balance disturbance, tinnitus, and progressive loss of hearing.  With both A and B:

A.  Disturbed function of vestibular labyrinth demonstrated by caloric or other vestibular tests; and

B.  Hearing loss established by audiometry.

As you can see, the SSA does require you to have the proper medical tests to prove you have Ménière’s disease. For example, you will need a vestibular test and you will also need to prove you have hearing loss.

WHAT CAN YOU DO IF YOUR MENIERE’S DISEASE DOESN’T MEET LISTING 2.07?

You can still win benefits if your Ménière’s disease does not meet listing 2.07. You can win your SSD case by using your residual functional capacity. Your residual Functional Capacity (RFC) is one of the most important concepts in your disability case. The RFC is the medical assessment of what you can physically and mentally do in a work setting, considering your Ménière’s disease. If you can prove your RFC is limited, then it can make the difference between winning or losing your SSD case.

In order to figure out your physical RFC when you have Ménière’s disease, the SSA will examine your medical records. They will take into account what your doctor states in your medical records about your symptoms. Also, the SSA will review any statements from your doctors about your Ménière’s disease. They will also review records from the SSA consultative examiners.

The SSA will also consider descriptions about your vertigo and other symptoms from your family, neighbors and friends. For example, your family or friends could write a statement about how often you experience vertigo. Or, they could write about how many hours you need to lie down after a vertigo attack. Find out more here about RFC and how it combines with age to eliminate work. Also, find out more about SSA’s Medical Vocational Guidelines here.

WHAT WE DO TO HELP YOU WITH YOUR MENIERE’S DISABILITY CASE

There is some good news. You do not need to obtain SSD benefits for Ménière’s disease on your own. Cannon Disability Law can help file your disability application. Also, we can help you file an appeal at each stage of the process. That way, you can focus on your health. Our attorneys and staff can:

If you file your application for disability benefits online at Social Security’s website, then you have 6 months to complete the application. Once you submit your application online, the SSA sends you an application summary in the mail. In order for your application to be complete, you must sign the summary and mail it back. Additionally, once you receive a denial from the SSA, you have 60 days to file an appeal of SSA’s decision. You must not fail to meet the time frame set by the SSA. If you do, then you will have to start the process over again. That means you will lose any benefits you could receive on the old application.

HIRE CANNON DISABILITY FOR OUR YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

In the past 30 years, we have won millions of dollars in ongoing and past due due benefits for our clients. If you want to win benefits for Ménière’s disease, then you need to hire an attorney with the experience to win your case. Also, you need a lawyer to prove to the SSA that you deserve SSD benefits for your Ménière’s disease. Contact us today.

If you want to learn more about Cannon Disability’s representatives, then read our About Us page. For instance, Andria Summers is an amazing advocate. She can help you with your Medicare plan. She has also won thousands of SSDI cases. Dianna Cannon has been representing claimants for thirty years. Brett Bunkall also has significant experience helping people obtain their SSI and SSD benefits. We are experts. You can trust us to help you win SSD benefits for Meniere’s disease.

In the past 30 years, we have won over 20,000 SSDI and SSI cases for our clients. Also, we help our clients get everything they can from their Medicare benefits. Which includes coverage with your current doctor and coverage for your medications.

Additionally, our lawyers and staff can help you apply for SSDI and SSI benefits using the SSA’s website. Likewise, if you need an appeal, we can help you do that too. There are also many forms you will need to fill out. But, don’t worry. If you have questions about these forms, then we will answer them. You can learn more about SSA’s appeal forms here. Call us for free today.

WE WORK FOR A CONTINGENCY FEE IN YOUR MENIERE’S DISABILITY CASE

If you have Ménière’s disease, you should hire an attorney to help you win your benefits. Why? Because you need to provide for your family. A lawyer can help you win your SSD benefits. You are three times more likely to win your benefits if you hire an attorney. In order to hire Cannon Disability, all you need to do is contact us. We offer a free review of your case over the phone. Furthermore, it doesn’t cost you any upfront money to hire us. Why?

Because you only pay us an attorney fee if we win your case. This is a contingency fee. It means if we win your SSD case, you pay the attorney fee out of your back benefits. If you do not win, there is no attorney fee to pay.

Additionally, the attorney fee has a cap or a limit. The SSA sets the limit of the attorney fee at 25% of the back benefit or the maximum attorney fee cap. Whatever is less.

If there are costs in your case, then you pay those. But usually those costs are less than $100. Once we win your case, the attorney fee comes from your back benefit. In order to hire most lawyers you have to pay upfront. We don’t work like that. You don’t have a job. So, the only way to pay us, is for us to win your case. That is our goal. Call and see what we can do for you. Put our experience to work for you and let us represent you in your Ménière’s disease case.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Contact Form Tab

Quick Contact Form