A person is considered to have a marked restriction in hearing if, even with the use of appropriate devices (for example, cochlear implant, hearing aid), they meet both of the following criteria:

  • They are unable or take an inordinate amount of time to hear so as to understand spoken conversation with a familiar person in a quiet setting.
  • This is the case all or substantially all of the time (at least 90% of the time).
Examples for hearing

Example 1

Elaine must rely on lip reading or sign language to understand a spoken conversation.

Example 2

In the doctor's office, John's doctor must raise their voice and repeat words and sentences several times for John to understand, despite the use of hearing aids.

Alternative formats and transcript


Alternative formats: MPG4, WEBM

For some people, it may be that hearing poses a significant challenge. For instance, the ability to hear so as to understand a familiar person, in a quiet setting, even with appropriate therapy, medication, and devices.

In this first example, we have a person consulting with a doctor because the person is having trouble hearing with one ear.

Doctor: "Hello. What can I do for you today?"

Patient: "My ear hurts and I can't hear very well on this side."

Doctor: "How long have you been having this problem?"

Patient: "On and off for about a month."

Doctor leans forward to examine the patient, puts an otoscope into the ear of the patient, and says: "Let me take a look in that ear. Yes, you have a wax blockage that will have to be cleared."

In the first example, while the individual is having some difficulty hearing, it is attributable to a short-term condition. The person would, therefore, not qualify for the disability tax credit.

In the second example, a person is having a follow-up appointment with the doctor after having recently had a hearing implant inserted.

Doctor: "Has your cochlear implant improved your condition?"

While pointing to the left ear, the patient replies: "Yes, I can hear more clearly with the implant."

The second example shows an individual with a severe and prolonged hearing impairment, but who is able to hear adequately with the use of a hearing device. The person would, therefore, not qualify for the disability tax credit.

In this third example, a person is consulting with the doctor to find out the results of a hearing test.

Doctor: "Your audiogram shows profound bilateral hearing loss."

Patient shakes head and replies: "What did you say? I can't hear you."

Doctor leans forward, to get closer to the patient, and in a loud voice says: "I have your results and they certainly indicate a problem."

Patient looks confused and says: "I still can't hear you even with this hearing aid."

Doctor: "I am going to write this down for you to read" and hands the patient the piece of paper.

The patient reads the paper and nods head to doctor, acknowledging what has been written.

In this third example, the individual is markedly restricted in hearing even with the use of a hearing device, and would therefore qualify for the disability tax credit.

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