Is deafness a disability?

Is Deafness a Disability?

As a deaf person, you may not define being deaf as a “disability”.

The word disability in itself has fairly negative connotations, but it shouldn’t.

Having a disability is not a choice, of course, but it is an impairment that has an affect on your ability to perform normal daily activities. This can be a mental disability that has no physical visible manifestations, or it can be a physical disability.

Many deaf people can perform normal daily activities without any hindrance, but others may be unable to perform those daily tasks – such as going to work.


Help Available

The ESA (Employement Support Allowance) provides support to those who are limited by disability or ill health. Deafness included.

So if your hearing loss is hindering you from going to work, finding a job, or normal day to day activities – The ESA could help you.

The payments are there to help you with your living costs and can also help support you getting back into work (say you needed specialist equipment for use in a job)

You are eligible for the ESA support if:

  • Employed, Self-Employed, Unemployed or a Student
  • Under the state pension age
  • Not receiving job seekers allowance
  • Not getting sick pay or maternity pay
  • You haven’t gone back to work


Work Capability Assessment (WAC)

When you apply for the ESA, you will need to have a WAC – a Work Capability Assessment. This is to assess how your hearing loss may impact your job or day to day life.
If found to qualify, you are entitled to the ESA.

Rates of ESA vary depending on circumstances, but vary usually between £50 and £110 per week.

You can find out more information about applying for ESA here.