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Most of the mechanical loss of speech the Social Security Administration deals with is due to the use of tobacco. In order to qualify, the claimant must show an inability to produce useful speech in any way. In order to be "useful," the claimant's speech must be loud enough, able to be understood and able to carry on an extended communication.
In evaluating loss of speech, the ability to produce speech by any means includes the use of mechanical or electronic devices that improve voice or articulation. Impairments of speech may also be evaluated under the body system for the underlying disorder, such as neurological disorders.
Social Security also defines loss of speech as loss due to any cause, with the inability to produce, by any means, speech that can be heard, understood or maintained.
Many different disorders have the ability to cause a loss of speech or some form of speech disorder. Loss of speech due to the nervous system and mental disorders are reserved in a separate regulation. The loss of speech discussed below is due to some form of mechanical loss.
Glossectomy or laryngectomy or cicatricial laryngeal stenosis due to injury or infection results in loss of voice production by normal means.
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