The relation between degree of sensorineural hearing loss and maximum speech identification scores (PBmax) is commonly used in audiological diagnosis and rehabilitation. It is important to consider the relation between the degree of hearing loss and the lower boundary of PBmax, as the PBmax varies largely between subjects at a given degree of hearing loss. The present study determines the lower boundary by estimating the lower limit of the one-tailed 95% confidence limit (CL) for a Dantale I, word list, in a large group of young and older subjects with primarily sensorineural hearing loss. PBmax scores were measured using Dantale I, at 30 dB above the speech reception threshold or at the most comfortable level from 1,961 subjects with a wide range of pure-tone averages. A nonlinear quantile regression approach was applied to determine the lower boundary (95% CL) of PBmax scores. At a specific pure-tone average, if the measured PBmax is poorer than the lower boundary (95% CL) of PBmax, it may be considered disproportionately poor.