Va Appeals For Hearing Loss
A Veteran reserves the right to appeal any VA decision, whether they are appealing a denial or appealing a disability rating that is too low. If you are not receiving the benefits from the VA that you feel you deserve, making an appeal is your best option.
During the appeals process, you may have an opportunity to present the VA with additional evidence that can contribute to getting a higher rating. One of the aspects of the appeals process that can be highly effective is presenting a private doctors report to the VA. If the VA has ruled that your hearing loss is not severe enough to warrant benefits, you can get an Independent Medical Examination and present the results of the examination to the VA. If a private, non-VA-affiliated doctor rules that your hearing loss is more severe than the VA had concluded, your rating may be increased.
If you are a deaf or hard of hearing Veteran struggling to get the benefits you deserve from the VA, Berry Law Firms team of dedicated, skilled attorneys can help you appeal the VAs decision to deny your claim. We can also help you get a higher disability rating if the VA has approved your claim but given you a rating that is too low. By helping you navigate the appeals process, one of our attorneys can be the teammate you need by your side when fighting to receive disability compensation. You shouldnt have to go through the appeals process alone were here to help.
How Is The Va Disability Rate For Hearing Loss Currently Decided
To understand whether you are getting the correct VA Disability rate for hearing loss,;we need to first take a step back and understand what the whole point of an impairment rating is in the first place.
As I teach in my 5+ hour training video, How to Prove the 4 Pillars of your VA;Service Connection Claim, the Impairment Rating is the 3rd Pillar. ;It is how the VA takes the frequency, chronicity and severity of your disability, considers how it affects you in your daily life with special focus on its impact on your ability to work, and converts that to a percentage for disability compensation purposes.
Over the years, I have noticed that a lot of Veterans put so a lot of;energy into;proving the 2nd Pillar proving that their current disability is related to service but lie exhausted on the field of battle and dont fight as hard when it comes to the ratings.
And VA disability ratings for hearing loss are no exception to this observation. ;I teach, in great detail, how to maximize your VA Disability Rating for any condition by using the right evidence to prove the right facts in the 4 Pillars Training Course, and wont repeat them all here.
The first thing I teach, though, is to look at the VA rating tables to determine;what symptoms or manifestations of your disability that you;need to prove for that condition.
If you go to the VA hearing loss rating table, you would find that the VA focuses in the rating table on 2 very mechanical;criteria.
How Is Hearing Loss Defined
Hearing loss is defined as any degree of hearing impairment of the ability to comprehend sound. If you are diagnosed with both hearing loss and tinnitus, you may be entitled to one separate rating for hearing loss and another separate rating for tinnitus.
The following is needed to establish service connection for VA disability:
Along with the list above, two types of hearing;tests are needed to prove a claim for hearing loss. These tests will include a controlled speech discrimination test and a pure tone audiometry test. The Maryland CNC test is a particular word list that is used to test your ability to hear spoken words. ;A pure tone audiometry test is different tones that must be detected at varying frequencies . ;Even if you only claim hearing loss in one ear, both ears should be tested. ;Examinations will be conducted without the use of hearing aids. This will prevent any biased results. These tests should be performed by a state licensed audiologist.
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Va Ratings For Hearing Loss Ear Loss And Diseases Of The Ear
What follows are descriptions of ear-related medical conditions, and their VA rating percentages where applicable. These ratings are subject to change depending on legislation, VA policy, presidential directives, or other factors.
Always consult a VA representative about your condition, the amount of compensation, and any special requirements in order to apply for or receive compensation or VA benefits related to these conditions. You may need to be updated on current policy or pending legislation.
Condition: Chronic suppurative otitis media, mastoiditis, or cholesteatoma in any combination
VA Disability Rating: 10%
Condition: Chronic nonsuppurative otitis media with effusion
VA Disability Rating: Dependent on the amount of hearing loss associated with the condition
VA Disability Rating: Dependent on the amount of hearing loss associated with the condition
Condition: Peripheral vestibular disorders
VA Disability Rating: Based on severity. When this condition causes occasional dizziness, 10%. When the condition causes dizziness and staggering, 30%. The Department of Veterans Affairs instructs its health care professionals, Objective findings supporting the diagnosis of vestibular disequilibrium are required, and a VA disability claim for this condition cannot be assigned until that is accomplished. Hearing impairment or suppuration shall be separately rated and combined, according to the VA official site.
Condition: Menieres syndrome
Condition: Loss of auricle
Va Disability Pay Chart Expectations For 2022
The announcement for the following years’ change in COLA doesn’t typically come out until October. However, based on the Consumer Price Index, VA disability pay could increase anywhere from 5 to 6 percent in 2022.
We will update our charts here accordingly when the numbers are finalized.
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Disabilityratings For Hearing Impairment
To receive disabilitycompensation for hearing loss, you must first prove that you are eligible for benefits. The VA requires that you:
- Served on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, and
- Have a disability rating for your service-connected condition
The VA calculates your disability rating, a percentage based on the severity of yourdisability, by looking at your medical history, including any test results ordoctor reports, as well as information from other sources, like federalagencies or a VA claim exam if youve undergone one.
The VA Schedule of Ratings Disabilities shows that mild or moderate hearing loss can range from 0% to 10%, while severe hearing loss may range from 30% to 50%.
The rating for tinnitus is 10%, which is assigned regardless of whether it affects one or both ears. However, you can receive individual ratings for hearing loss and tinnitus.;
Get Help With Your Application
The staff at any VAC office, CAF Transition Centre or Service Canada office can assist you or call us at 1-866-522-2122. Service Officers with The Royal Canadian Legion or The War Amps of Canada can also assist you with your application, including helping you get all of the information you need to support your application. Their assistance is free of charge.
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Hearing Aids Amount Va Will Pay
Jan 19, 2014#202014-01-20T01:36
Jan 19, 2014#212014-01-20T01:53
Jan 19, 2014#222014-01-20T02:42
gayle6972 wrote:I just received SC on 08-01-2013 and have a 0 rating at this time. Will the VA pay for my hearing aids?
Jan 20, 2014#242014-01-20T15:49
LeoP wrote:Hmm, When I had my appointment with Audiology, I had no service connection, there was no copay for either the exam or the aids.
Hearing Loss Va Rating
The VA disability rating for hearing loss is dependent on a grid chart that uses scores from the veterans pure tone threshold and speech discrimination tests. Both scores are rated one to eleven with Roman numerals on the X and Y axis of the table. The rating depends on where the two roman numerals intersect
;Table 1. VA disability rating for hearing loss based on pure tone threshold average and relative percent of speech discrimination .
The maximum VA rating for hearing loss is 100%, but this is very rare. 100% indicates the individual is not capable of living their regular life due to this disability and its as severe as it can possibly get. The most common VA rating for hearing loss is 10% because scores are given very literally based on grid scores.
Veterans rarely receive a disability rating higher than the one assigned based on their test scores. However, the VA allows veterans to submit additional evidence that may raise their level of compensation. This can include testimonies from family or friends detailing the hearing-related issues they have witnessed since the veterans time in service.
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What Is Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is fairly common in adults as they age.
According to the Mayo Clinic, approximately one-third of people in the United States between the ages of 65 75 have some degree of hearing loss.
Furthermore, nearly 1 in 2 adults past the age of 75 have permanent hearing loss.
Hearing loss is divided into three different types:
Mixed hearing loss is a combination of conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss.
Therefore, it involves hearing damage in the outer, middle, and inner ear.
Military personnel confronts additional dangers and concerns when it comes to hearing loss.
Service members generally perform job functions around loud machinery or explosions.
The repeated exposure to these types of loud sounds pays a price on your hearing as it slowly deteriorates over time.
Most types of hearing loss are irreversible which is why taking care of your ears and exposure to loud noise from an early age is so important.
Unfortunately, veterans often notice their hearing deteriorate at a much faster rate compared to the civilian population because of their job demands.
As a result, seeking VA compensation through a disability claim is often the best means of getting relief.
Whats The Right Rating For My Va Hearing Loss Claim
If you get confused with how VA rates most types of disabilities, your VA hearing loss claim will probably make your head spin. ;Nevertheless, we will try to tackle it here to explain as simply as possible how VA hearing loss claims are supposed to be rated.
On the one hand, these claims should be easy for VA to get right since it is all based on numbers from the audiological testing. ;On the other hand, though, there are several steps to evaluating a VA hearing loss claim properly.
We have seen several instances;where VA did not go through each of these steps. ;The result? ;You guessed it a lower VA hearing loss rating than the veteran deserved. ;Keep reading to see how to avoid this for your claim.
Do I Need a Certain Type of;;VA Hearing Loss Test to Support my Claim?
Yes. ;The test must include a controlled speech discrimination test and a puretone audiometry test. The Maryland CNC test is a particular word list that is used to test your ability to hear spoken words. ;A;puretone audiometry test is different tones that must be detected at varying frequencies . ;Even if you only claim hearing loss in one ear, both ears should be tested. ;Examinations will be conducted without the use of hearing aids.
Who Needs to Conduct My Test for VA Hearing Loss?
How Your Two Tests Are Used to Calculate Your VA Hearing Loss Disability Rating
You will then combine these two Roman numeral in Table VII to get the overall VA hearing loss rating.
An Example of a 60% VA Hearing Loss Disability Rating
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How Does The Va Qualify Eligibility For Hearing Loss
Hearing issues are very common in the United States, especially among older adults.
Tragically, retirees and veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces traditionally start dealing with hearing loss at a far younger age compared to civilians.
In fact, the VA recently described hearing problems like tinnitus as the most prevalent service-connected disability among American Veterans.
The goal of any VA disability claim is to link the medical condition with a service connection.
In other words, the patient struggling with hearing loss must prove to the VA that the medical condition started or worsen during their time in service in order to receive disability benefits.
Otherwise, the military is not considered at fault for your injuries and therefore you may not receive any form of VA disability.
While VA rating percentages are subject to change, here are some current examples of how you may qualify for VA disability coverage:
- Chronic Suppurative Otitis Media
- Chronic Otitis Externa
- Peripheral Vestibular Disorders
- Loss of Ear
- Menieres Syndrome
- Malignant Neoplasm
Sadly, the U.S. Armed Forces currently do not currently observe Tympanic Membrane Perforation, or a perforated ear, as a hearing impairment.
As a result, patients receive a 0% rating for this medical condition.
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Causesof Hearing Loss Or Tinnitus In Veterans
With veterans, hearing loss and tinnitus can be caused by noise exposure to gunfire, tanks, bombs or aircraft noise.
Hearing problems can also occur due to age, or a combination of both noise exposure and age. Veterans are 30 percent more likely than nonveterans to have severe hearing impairment as well.
Even though hearing protection is mandatory and standard issue for all active-duty service members, hearing loss can still occur.
The good news is, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs can help. Nearly 3 million veterans receive compensation for tinnitus or hearing loss.
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Abouthearing Loss And Tinnitus
Around 466 million people around the world have disabling hearing loss. Disabling hearing loss means hearing loss greater than 40 decibels in adults and 30 dB in children. Compare that to a person with normal hearing, who has hearing thresholds of 25 dB or better in both ears.;
Hearing problems can range from mild or moderate to severe or profound. It can affect one or both ears. Those who are hard of hearing experience hearing loss ranging from mild to severe.
People who are hard of hearing may use hearing aids, cochlear implants or other assistive devices. Those who are deaf typically have profound hearing loss, and often use sign language to communicate.
Depression Secondary To Tinnitus
Depression is a serious mental health condition that affects the way a person thinks, feels, and acts.; Symptoms of depression tend to vary amongst individuals; however, common symptoms include:
- Persistent feelings of sadness, worthlessness, and hopelessness
- Lack of motivation or interest in activities that usually derive pleasure
- Difficulty sleeping and concentrating
- Change in appetite resulting in weight loss or weight gain
Current research also points to a significant relationship between tinnitus and depression.; A 2015 study titled The Correlation of the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory with Depression and Anxiety in Veterans with Tinnitus looked at the percentage of veterans with tinnitus who also suffered from depression.; The results revealed that 58.2 percent of the sample had depression.; Overall, tinnitus may cause complications with sleep thereby leading to stress, fatigue, and ultimately, depression.
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Can You See A Local Provider
Thanks to the MISSION Act of 2018, veterans now have greater access to hearing care providers in their local community. VA Community Care, as its known, may be available to you if you live too far from a VA clinic, or if there is a long waiting time to get an appointment at the closest VA facility. This welcome kit provides more detailed information.; Increasingly, the VA is also offering teleaudiology;for veterans who can’t travel far.
How Common Is Tinnitus In Veterans
Tinnitus is one of the most claimed disabilities when it comes to applying for disability;compensation. Hearing loss comes in at a close second. This statistic comes from the 2015 Annual Benefits Report. The report shows that 9.6 percent of veterans claimed tinnitus and about 5.2 percent of veterans claimed hearing loss. Yet, these two disabilities will be denied time and time again to former service members.
The bottom line is that it is very important to have the three components mentioned earlier to establish service connection for hearing loss and/or tinnitus: a current diagnosis, evidence of an event that caused the condition, and a medical opinion linking the current hearing condition to the event in service or nexus. Any veteran struggling with tinnitus and/or hearing loss, should not give up or become discouraged if they are denied the first time or even the second time around. This is a real issue for many veterans. Hopefully, this information will help in the initial process when trying to establish service connection for tinnitus and/or hearing loss.
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