What Other Va Benefits Come With Aid And Attendance Pension
Not all veterans are eligible for VA health care. The good news is once a veteran qualifies for Pension, whether or not a rating for aid and attendance or housebound is granted, that veteran can enroll in VA health care.
A great majority of veterans who do not meet the specific entitlement requirements are not entitled to veterans health care. Many of our veterans could benefit greatly from receiving free health care from the Department of Veterans Affairs as well as all of the services that go along with that care. The good news is that once a veteran qualifies for Pension, that veteran can enroll in VA health care regardless of household income.
Once in the system, there is no need for expensive Medicare supplement plans. There is also no need for buying a Medicare prescription drug plan. VA charges no monthly insurance premiums for its healthcare. The only charges are co-pays for certain veterans in the system for office visits and hospital stays and co-pays for prescription drugs. Prescription drugs are available at inexpensive tiered co-pays for each prescription for a 30-day supply. VA will also honor prescriptions from private sector doctors under certain conditions. Veterans with hearing loss are also provided hearing aids free of charge as well as a lifetime of batteries free of charge. Likewise, veterans with vision problems are fitted with eyeglasses at no charge.
Types Of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can have multiple origins as well, which can influence the degree that a person is affected. Hearing loss itself is one of the most prevalent disabilities meaning that there are millions of people who experience it at multiple degrees.;
This means that the number of people who experience hearing loss in a way that doesnt qualify them for social security can be substantial. There are generally considered three kinds of hearing loss, conductive, sensorineural, and mixed.;;
Children With Hearing Loss
If your child has an Individualized Education Program that specifies they need hearing aid accessories, they can receive the accessories at no cost. This is a right protected by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act .
If you are in university you also have a right to the hearing technology that you need. According to the The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 Section 504 of Rehabilitation Act of 1973, all students with an impairment that limits one or more major life activities, is applicable for appropriate educational services designed to meet the individual needs of such students to the same extent as the needs of students without disabilities are met.
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Other Evidence For Hearing Loss Claims
Other evidence for hearing loss claims may include anything that shows that the condition has been chronic.; For example, if you have years of treatment notes from doctors demonstrating complaints of hearing loss shortly after service through the present day, you may want to consider submitting them to VA.; Additionally, it may be beneficial to provide documentation of any accommodations you require, such as hearing aids or an amplification system for your home phone.; VA must consider all of this evidence when adjudicating your claim for hearing loss.
Are Hearing Aids Covered By Insurance
Hearing aids can greatly enhance your quality of living and independence. Unfortunately, many individuals who have a hearing loss shy away from treatment for a variety of reasons. Among those, I often encounter have to do with the cost of hearing aids and insurance coverage. Are hearing aids covered by insurance? I can offer no simple answer to that question, but I can provide you with some help for navigating through the complicated world of insurance coverage for hearing aids.
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Va Disability Ratings And Compensation Levels
VA;rates your disability between 0 and 100 percent in increments of 10. At a rating of 0 percent, you do not receive monthly compensation, but you might be eligible for other benefits from the VA, such as health care.
As of December 1st, 2020 the VA disability rate benefit amounts are as follows:
- 0 percent disability rating: $0.00 per month
- 10 percent disability rating: $144.14 per month
- 20 percent disability rating: $284.93 per month
- 30 percent disability rating: $441.35 per month
- 40 percent disability rating: $635.77 per month
- 50 percent disability rating: $905.04 per month
- 60 percent disability rating: $1,146.39 per month
- 70 percent disability rating: $1,444.71 per month
- 80 percent disability rating: $1,679.35 per month
- 90 percent disability rating: $1,887.18 per month
- 100 percent disability rating: $3,146.42 per month
A rating of 30 percent or higher qualifies you to receive additional benefits for qualifying dependents.
Medicare Legislation & Hearing
Because Hearing issues are common among seniors. Many groups continue to put forward legislation to expand Medicare benefits to include hearing aids and testing. Recent legislation includes the:
- The Medicare Hearing Aid Coverage Act of 2017
- Seniors Have Eyes, Ears, and Teeth Act
- The Medicare Hearing Act, introduced in late 2019
The Medicare Hearing Act has yet to be approved by the House and Senate. Under this piece of legislation, hearing aids for severe hearing loss would be covered. However, over-the-counter hearing aids would not be covered, and only one prescribed pair of hearing aids would be covered every 5 years.
The 2019 legislation proposed allowing Medicare to cover hearing aids for people with severe to profound hearing loss. The legislation is very similar to the 2017 proposal.
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Vac Pastoral Outreach Program
Similar to the pastoral care Military Chaplains provide to those who are serving in uniform, this program assists retired CAF personnel and their immediate family, when a pastoral need arises. This service is not intended to replace the ministry of civilian parish clergy. When, however, an individual is without the immediate ministry of a member of the clergy, this program may provide assistance. While it is primarily designed for situations when former members are dealing with end of life ;issues it is not necessarily restricted to this area alone. An important feature of the program is its capacity to provide a swift response with a very high quality of pastoral care.
The clergy are carefully selected and specifically mandated for this ministry. Many of them are retired CAF Padres, or Royal Canadian Legion Reserve Chaplains, who have personal familiarity with the military way of life. Also available are Emergency Medical Services chaplains, Police and Firefighter chaplains. Clergy are paid a standard honorarium for their services and are also reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred. Former CAF members, both Regular and Reserve Force and their immediate family members may request services by calling 1-800-504-4156. For additional information, visit VAC web site at:;www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/services/pastoral-outreach
What Determines Hearing Loss
A person who suffers from hearing loss is affected by what is known as a raised decibel threshold. This manifests itself at different levels, which can cause various degrees of hearing loss. Those degrees range from slight and mild hearing loss to severe and profound hearing loss.;
In contrast, a person who has normal hearing can have a negative decibel threshold. As they lose their hearing, the force, or decibel, at which a frequency is recognized goes up. Social security is not eligible for many degrees of hearing loss, including mild and moderate. Moderately severe hearing loss is categorized as a decibel threshold of 51 to 70 decibels, which does not make an individual eligible.;
The entry decibel threshold that makes a person eligible for social security for a hearing loss disability is a 90 degree plus threshold. That translates to the fact that only individuals with severe to profound hearing loss can be eligible for this kind of financial assistance.;
The unfortunate part of this is that many people will have a legitimate need for hearing assistance far before their decibel threshold is high enough for them to be eligible for medicare.;
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Home And Community Based Services
IVA offers a variety of community-based non-institutional long-term services and supports these services either directly or by contract with community-based agencies. Home and community based services are expected to be person centered and serve Veterans of all ages. Veterans receiving these services may be subject to a copay.
Hearing Aid Brand Reviews
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How To Get Hearing Aids From The Va
Dr. Cliff Olson, Military Veteran and Audiologist from Anthem Arizona, discusses how to get hearing aids from the VA .
Clinic Website: https://www.AppliedHearingAZ.com
The process of getting hearing aids from the VA can be confusing. Especially because there are two separate departments, the VHA and VBA that do hearing tests. However, only one of these departments can get you hearing aids.
Here are the 6 things you need to know about getting hearing aids from the VA:
1. Find out if you are Eligible for Hearing Aids To be eligible, you must NOT be Dishonorably Discharged, Must have been activated during your time in the Reserves or National Guard, or on Active Duty for 24 months. Your hearing loss does not have to be caused by the military to get hearing aids from the VA. Note: there are exceptions to these criteria so I recommend applying for Health Benefits Regardless.
2. Apply for VA Health Benefits To apply for health benefits, you need to either Call Veterans Health Administration – 1-877-222-Vets .Go Online https://www.vets.gov/health-care/apply/.Or, print out the Form 10-10 EZ https://www.va.gov/vaforms/medical/pdf/1010EZ-fillable.pdf and Mail it to: Health Eligibility Center2957 Clairmont Rd., Suite 200Atlanta, GA 30329, or take it into your closest VA facility.If you need help applying find a Veterans Service Officer to help FREE of charge at 777-4443.
Once You Are Approved
Once approved for VA health care benefits, all Veterans “shall receive a hearing evaluation by a state-licensed audiologist to determine the need for hearing aids,” according to the VA’s 2014 directive for eye and ear care. However, not every veteran will necessarily receive hearing aids. As the directive explains , the following veterans are most likely to receive hearing aid care are:
- “Those with any compensable service connected disability.
- Those who are former Prisoners of War.
- Those who were awarded a Purple Heart.;
- Those in receipt of benefits under 38 U.S.C. 1151.
- Those in receipt of an increased pension based on the need for regular aid and attendance or by reason of being permanently house-bound.
- Those who have a visual or hearing impairment resulting from the existence of another medical condition for which the Veteran is receiving VA care, or which resulted from treatment of that medical condition.
- Those with significant functional or cognitive impairment evidenced by deficiencies in activities of daily living, but not including normally occurring visual or hearing impairments.
- Those visually or hearing impaired so severely that the provision of sensori-neural aids is necessary to permit active participation in their own medical treatment.”
Page 3 of the directive further explains what levels of hearing loss meets the criteria for an audiologist to prescribe hearing aids in this group.
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Release Of Information For Sensitive Diagnosis
An ROI authorization form VAF 10-5345 is a VA standard form used to obtain authorization to release sensitive health information to an insurance company for purposes of reimbursement.
Veterans/patients who were treated or offered treatment for a sensitive condition of drug abuse, alcohol abuse or alcoholism, HIV testing or treatment, and sickle cell anemia or trait must provide written authorization to allow VA to release their sensitive information to a third party .
NOTE: Any non-service connected care provided by the VA that has a sensitive diagnosis cannot be billed to the Veterans third party health insurance without a signed release of information by the Veteran. The Veteran is either co-pay exempt or co-pay required based upon their means test and/or eligibility. If the Veteran does not sign the ROI form permitting VA to bill his/her insurance and is also in a required co-pay status, then the Veteran will be responsible for their entire co-pay amount because VA is not able to offset the Veterans account dollar for dollar based on what the insurance company would have reimbursed.
The Connection Between Military Service And Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is one of the most common service-connected medical conditions taking second place after tinnitus . This connection between military service and hearing loss can be seen in the following CDC statistics:
- 79.9% of male veterans have excellent or good hearing compared to 84% of male nonveterans.
- 23.2% of male veterans have a little or moderate trouble hearing compared to 13.6% of male nonveterans .;
- 3.9% of male veterans have a lot of hearing difficulty or are deaf compared to 2.4% of male nonveterans.
- 18% of male veterans between the ages of 18-44 have moderate hearing trouble compared to 5.3% of male nonveterans of the same ages.;
- Male veterans between the ages of 45-64 and 65-74 also showed an increased likelihood of suffering from moderate hearing trouble compared to male nonveterans.;
- A found that veterans with combat experience have a 63% increased risk of hearing loss.;
In addition to these figures, the former president of the Association of Veterans Administration Audiologists, Scott C. Forbes, calls hearing injury “the signature injury” among post 9-11 veterans. The tragedy of these statistics is that hearing loss goes hand-in-hand with military service. The light at the end of the tunnel is that some service members with hearing health challenges can qualify for free VA hearing aids.;
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What Devices And Brands Are Covered
Of course, quality is always a concern when it comes to medical care. Luckily, the VA works with several top-of-the-line companies to offer veterans the best possible support. In fact, the VA provides approximately 20% of the countrys hearing aids, and around 10% of the hearing aids worldwide. For this reason, they have significant purchasing power and can get top-of-the-line devices for incredible prices.
Fortunately, a veterans eligibility for hearing aids will not be based on the underlying reason for their hearing losswhether its the result of natural aging, a preexisting condition, or a service-related injury. However, going through the VA system can, unfortunately, be a timely and burdensome process. For this reason, its a good idea to investigate VA coverage as soon as youre aware that you may need hearing aids.
What Is Meant By Medically Necessary
Remember that patients who have coverage with Original Medicare generally must pay 100 per cent of hearing tests and hearing aids because they are routine care. If the healthcare provider suspects you may have a disorder that will require medical treatment, and a balance test or hearing exam is required for proper diagnosis, then Medicare Part B may cover up to 80 per cent of Medicare’s allowable rates after you pay any necessary deductible). To help you understand medical necessity, consider the case of a patient who presents to the doctor reporting at least two episodes of vertigo, each of which had a duration of between 20 minutes and 24 hours . The patient may have experienced vertigo or a full sensation in the ears and reported hearing loss. The hearing test would then be needed to confirm the hearing loss.
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How To Establish Service Connection For Your Hearing Loss
In order to receive VA disability benefits, you must prove to VA that your hearing loss is the result of your time in service. ;For direct service connection, you must establish the following three elements: a current diagnosis of hearing loss, an in-service event that may have caused or contributed to your hearing loss, and a medical opinion definitively linking the in-service event to your hearing loss.
How Much You Can Claim For Hearing Loss
The amount of compensation you will get totally depends on the seriousness and long-lasting hearing impairment. When they will calculate the overall damage for noise-induced hearing loss, the court will include:
- The amount of effect on the claimants life.
- The type of severity of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
You can claim the compensation for the physical injury which has been constant as well as financial expenses and losses which are special damages.
The evaluation of general damages is by reference to the Judicial Guidelines. The guidelines are set for tinnitus and other deafness impairments, whether the hearing loss is partial or complete.
You can get VA disability for hearing loss but, Compensation claim must be brought within three years of:
- The date of the noise exposure that caused the deafness impairment
- The date of discovering a deafness impairment linked to noise exposure. This is known as the date of knowledge.
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