Meniere's Disease Disability Claims
1)This is what the Social Security Administration uses as
a guide to determine your level of disability for Meniere's disease under THEIR
Disability Evaluation Under Social Security
(Also known as the "Blue Book")
Listing of Impairments - Part A
Vertigo associated with disturbances of labyrinthine
-vestibular function, including Meniere's disease. These
disturbances of balance are characterized by an hallucination of
motion or a loss of position sense and a sensation of
which may be constant or may occur in paroxysmal attacks.
Nausea, vomiting, ataxia, and incapacitation are frequently
observed, particularly during the acute attack. It is important
to differentiate the report of rotary vertigo from that of
"dizziness" which is described as light- headedness,
unsteadiness, confusion, or syncope.
Meniere's disease is characterized by paroxysmal attacks of
vertigo, tinnitus, and
fluctuating hearing loss. Remissions are
unpredictable and irregular, but may be long- lasting; hence,
the severity of impairment is best determined after prolonged
observation and serial reexaminations. The diagnosis of a
vestibular disorder requires a comprehensive neuro-otolaryngologic examination with a detailed description of the
vertiginous episodes, including notation of
frequency, severity, and duration of the attacks. Pure tone and
speech audiometry with the appropriate special examinations,
such as Bekesy audiometry, are necessary. Vestibular function is
accessed by positional and caloric testing, preferably by
When polytomograms, contrast radiography, or other special tests
have been performed, copies of the reports of these tests should
be obtained, in addition to reports of skull and temporal bone
2.07 Disturbance of Labyrinthine- Vestibular Function (Including
Meniere's disease), characterized by 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;
B. Hearing loss established by audiometry.
2)Info and Links
Disability Info., ADA, Dept. of Education and
Dept. of Labor information
Legal advice should be obtained only from a licensed attorney,
preferably one that specializes in Social Security Disability.
1. U.S. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Note that the ADA does not guarantee jobs to people who are
disabled or who become disabled. Rather, the ADA requires
covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations to those
employees (or applicants) who are disabled, or who are perceived
to be disabled, to enable them to perform jobs that they could
not otherwise perform. An employer is under no obligation
under the ADA to employ a person in a job that the person cannot
perform with reasonable accommodations, nor is an employer
required to provide extraordinary accommodations to a disabled
Enforcement. The ADA is enforced either by the U.S. Department
of Justice (DOJ) or by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (EEOC), depending on the circumstances.
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Enforcement Guidance Under the ADA.
U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
According to the DOJ website, the DOJ enforces the ADA in these
Title I: Employment practices by units of State and local
Title II: Programs, services and activities of State and local
Title III: Public accommodations and commercial facilities
(private businesses and non-profit service providers).
ADA Document Center. Very comprehensive.
Meniere's Disease and the ADA.
By S. Weiss, United Cerebral Palsy Associations
2. U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA).
Note that SSA has two disability programs: SSDI (Social
Security Disability Insurance) for folks who are covered by
social security and SSI (Supplemental Security Income) for folks
who are *not* covered by social security.
The "Blue Book" (the cover is blue) ("Disability Evaluation
Under Social Security") is the official SSA publication that
lists diseases and conditions for which SSA disability is
available. Meniere's Disease is listed as a disabling
You can find general information on social security disability
You can find the Blue Book at
We have extracted the section on Meniere's Disease (and other
useful information) from the 1/2001 edition of the "Blue Book"
3. U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
FMLA "Home Page" at U.S. DOL.
4. U.S. Department of Education (DOE)
Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.
The DOE, through the Rehabilitation Services Administration
(RSA), Office of Program Operations (OPO), is responsible for
administering the Rehabilitation Act through state vocational
rehabilitation (VR) agencies. There is a specialized branch for
deafness and communicative disorders. Services offered under
the Rehabilitation act are varied and range from training to
grants for the purchase of equipment. You might inquire whether
you qualify for exotic hearing aids or other equipment to help
to keep you employed. At least one, unconfirmed, anecdotal
report suggests that exotic hearing aids are possible, without
regard to income or wealth, if necessary and appropriate to keep
you employed. We suggest that you contact your state vocational
rehabilitation (VR) agency to get the official word.
5. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Court Case from
If you would like to know more about the system we talk about throughout the
use this link to go to the Meniere's Disease System Information page.
If you have not signed up for our Meniere's Disease Health Information
Newsletter you can learn more about it, or sign up for it, by
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