Wednesday, June 19, 2024

How To Apply For Va Disability For Hearing Loss

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Hearing Loss Testing Requirements

Unlock the Key to More VA Disability Hearing Loss Compensation…

Hearing loss as a result of loud noises that veterans were exposed to during service, such as airplane engines or gunfire, are quite common. To be deemed service-connected, hearing problems must be diagnosed by a licensed audiologist and must include two tests:

  • a Maryland CNC test , and
  • a puretone audiometric test .

Make sure to tell your audiologist that you must have both tests in order to satisfy the VA’s requirements for service connection. And be sure to remove any hearing aids you may have before being tested.

The VA takes the auditory test results and, using a numerical formula, determines the actual rating to assign. This formula is laid out in Section 4.85 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Typical ratings for hearing loss are 0% or 10%, but severe or profound hearing loss can qualify for a higher rating.

Hearing Loss And Va Care

Older Veterans with hearing and vision loss receive the same level of care as those without sensory loss, according to a 2020 study conducted by researchers at the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center in Philadelphia.

The team looked at data on more than 42,000 deceased Veterans at 145 VA medical centers and found that end-of-life care quality indicators were similar between patients with and without sensory loss. They measured three indicators of high quality, end-of-life carepalliative consultation in the last 90 days of life, death in a non-acute setting, and contact with a chaplain. They also used VAs Bereaved Family Survey to evaluate quality of care, pain, and PTSD management perceptions of communication emotional and spiritual support and information about death benefits in the last month of life.

Patients with hearing loss had slightly lower pain management scores and less satisfaction with communication, while those with vision loss were less likely to have received a palliative care consult or contact with a chaplain.

Va Maximum Compensation Rules

There are some medical conditions that are assigned a specific percentage of disability. In many cases that percentage cannot be increased. If you are rated at a certain percentage for a given condition, you may not be eligible for more compensation even if the problem gets worse.

If you are already at the maximum amount of VA compensation for that medical issue, a review of the condition will not give you the opportunity for additional payment.

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Of 10 Common Va Disability Claims: Paralysis Of The Sciatic Nerve

Based on the latest 2018-2019 VA data, Paralysis of the Sciatic Nerve, also known as Sciatica, was the #7 most common VA disability claims for all Veterans, across all demographics.

92.2% of Veterans are rated between 0% and 20%.

Musculoskeletal system conditions include issues with joints and muscles and must involve limitation of range of motion and/or painful motion.

Back injuries and various musculoskeletal injuries, which can lead to Sciatica, or severe radiating pain, are quite common for veterans.

Sciatica is the pain that one experiences when the sciatic nerve is irritated.

Sciatica is not an actual diagnosis of a problem, but rather, an accurate way of describing the location of the pain.

What is Sciatica?

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body.

This nerve runs from the lower back through the hips and buttocks all the way down to the leg.

Sciatica is extreme pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg.

According to the Mayo Clinic, Sciatica most commonly occurs when a herniated disk, bone spur on the spine or narrowing of the spine compresses part of the nerve. This causes inflammation, pain and often some numbness in the affected leg.

Sciatica develops when the pressure on the spinal nerve causes pain to develop on the lower back, buttocks, and legs.

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Symptoms Of Hearing Loss

Va Disability Rating Chart for Hearing Loss Disabled ...

Chronic exposure to loud noises and aging both contribute to hearing loss which is common in most adults 65 or older.

There are other factors that can contribute to temporary hearing loss such as excessive earwax.

If you are having problems with your ears and hearing, you should schedule an appointment with a medical professional or ear specialist.

There are several signs and symptoms attributed to hearing loss:

  • Muffling of speech/sounds
  • Frequently asking others to speak louder or more slowly.
  • Needing to turn the volume up high on electronic devices.

Hearing loss is detrimental enough that it can cause victims to want to withdraw from social settings and conversations to avoid the inconvenience.

As a result, hearing loss can start to negatively alter other functions of your lifestyle which makes finding treatment important.

Once again, you should speak with a medical professional if you are having issues with your hearing.

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How Does The Va Define Hearing Loss

Hearing loss, deafness, or impairment refers tothe complete or partial inability to hear sounds.

Hearing loss may be slight, moderate, severe orprofound.

Someone that is suffering from slight hearingloss may only have issues understanding speech, particularly when there is alot of noise.

If youre suffering from moderate hearing loss,you may need assistance in the form of hearing aids.

However, if your hearing loss is severe orprofound, you may have an extremely difficult time communicating with otherpeople as you may not be able to discern most noises that you are exposed to.

Contact An Attorney About Your Ptsd Claim

If you or a loved one have been denied service connection for PTSD, the VA has assigned you a PTSD rating that you think is too low, or you are interested in filing a new claim for PTSD, please do not hesitate to contact our office via phone or submitting a contact form through this website. The Veterans Law Office is a nationside veterans disability law firm. Our attorneys will provide you with a free evaluation of your claim for veterans disability benefits.

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How Much Money Can I Receive In Va Disability For My Hearing Loss

The amount you receive in VA benefits depends on your disability rating. VA assigns this rating based on its opinion of the severity of your condition. The more your hearing loss limits you, the higher disability rating the VA assigns. The higher your disability rating, the more you receive in monthly benefits.

There Are 2 Types Of Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss and VA Disability Benefits

Hearing loss affects about a third of U.S. citizens between the ages of 65 and 75. About half of adults over 75 have some form of hearing loss. People with hearing loss may notice that speech seems more muffled, they have trouble hearing consonants, they have trouble understanding words, and they have to turn up the volume on the television or radio.

There are two main types of hearing loss: conductive and sensorineural. Conductive hearing loss involves your outer and/or middle ear and may be caused by everything from excessive earwax to abnormal bone growths. Sensorineural hearing loss involves damage to the inner ear, and mixed hearing loss involves a combination of the two.

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Was Your Hearing Damaged Or Lost In The Military

One of the inherent risks of military service is to a soldiers hearing. Whether from the deafening sounds of frontline combat, the noise of engines and other loud machinery, or accidents like misfires and explosions, there are constant threats to a soldiers ability to hear while he or she is serving on active duty. Even with consistent use of ear protection, many soldiers retire from the military sustaining permanent hearing loss. Some former members of the military even require hearing aids, and others may have gone deaf completely.

Whether you are partially deaf, have damaged hearing, or have lost the ability to hear completely, you may be able to qualify for significant disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs for your condition.

In order to receive disability benefits for hearing loss from the VA, you simply need to prove that an injury or experience caused your hearing loss during your time in the military. Otherwise, you will not be able to receive benefits. Without a service connection often called a nexus in VA language the VA cannot approve a Veteran to receive disability compensation.

If you can establish that your hearing loss is service-related, the VA will rate your disability based on the severity of your hearing damage. Your disability rating can also be influenced by the impact that your hearing loss has on your ability to work, maintain relationships with friends and family, and function in everyday life.

Veterans Hearing Loss And Tinnitus Claims

Hearing loss is a common lasting effect of active service in the military, as at minimum all active duty personnel must undergo basic training that exposes soldiers, sailors, and airmen to live fire. Veterans who have spent time on active duty may have also endured loud explosions, wounds that affect the ear canals, or trauma resulting from violent blows to the head.

As a result, many veterans now suffer from hearing loss or tinnitus that is traceable to their time on active duty. Fortunately, you can pursue a physical condition claim for veterans compensation benefits if you currently have hearing loss or tinnitus because of your service even if you do not have an official diagnosis. A knowledgeable member of our team could help you pursue your veterans hearing loss and tinnitus claim or appeal by explaining the qualifying criteria for the program, helping you file a claim, and pursuing an appeal if you have already received a denial.

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How To Receive Va Disability Benefits For Hearing Loss

In order to receive VA disability benefits for hearing loss, veterans must prove to VA that their hearing loss is the result of their time in service. For direct service connection, they must establish the following three elements: a current diagnosis of hearing loss an in-service event that may have caused or contributed to their hearing loss and a medical opinion definitively linking the in-service event to their hearing loss.

What Is The Tower Of Babel Effect

Understanding My Bi

Thats where you say one thing, and the VA understands it to mean something completely different.

This recently happened to a Veteran in his claim for an extra-schedular rating he thought that his VA disability hearing loss payments were not enough.

What I like about this case is that even though its a single judge decision by the Veterans Court it clearly demonstrates that the Court is becoming as frustrated as Veterans.

So, lets jump in Im not going to try not to give you a bunch of legalese.but I have to warn you, this is a complex area of the law. When in doubt get help

Im going to tell you what happened in this case, how it turned out, and most important how you can USE the logic of this Court decision in your own VA Claim.

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The National Center For Rehabilitative Auditory Research

In 1997, VA established NCRAR to study hearing problems in Veterans, and to develop effective treatments. Researchers work to alleviate communication, social, and economic problems in Veterans resulting from hearing loss and tinnitus.

Among the topics studied at the center are methods of early detection of hearing loss the effects of certain diseases or conditions, such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis, on auditory functioning and the impact of auditory problems on speech perception.

NCRAR researchers are also looking for ways to improve speech recognition in noisy areas for people with hearing impairments and are studying the combined effects of aging and noise exposure on hearing.

Who Va Form 21

VA instructions on this form advise those submitting a claim for increased disability compensation or for those who disagree with an evaluation decided more than one year ago to complete and submit VA Form 21-526EZ, Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits. But not all can use this form.

Those who disagree with a VA evaluation decided within the past year and have new and relevant evidence OR for those who need to file a supplemental claim, will need to file VA Form 20-0995, Decision Review Request: Supplemental Claim.

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Departmental Reviews Vs First Applications For Pension Act Claims

  • For awards under the Pension Act, the entitlement effective date for Hearing Loss cannot predate the establishment of a hearing loss disability.
  • Absence of Hearing Loss Disability at the Time of First Application
  • Cases where a Veteran/member was denied entitlement for hearing loss due to the absence of a hearing loss disability and subsequently applies for a Departmental Review with an audiogram, or other credible evidence, demonstrating that a hearing loss disability has developed after the initial decision are treated as First Applications.
  • In these circumstances, the effective date is determined in accordance with subsection 39 of the Pension Act. The new date of application is the date the Veteran/member approached the Department, requesting the Departmental Review.
  • It should be noted that although the period of service being applied for may now be a service period eligible under the Veterans Well-being Act the new application is ruled on under the Pension Act, as per the provisions set out in sections 42 and 56.5 of the VWA.
  • Cases where a Veteran/member was denied entitlement for hearing loss due to the absence of a hearing loss disability and subsequently applies for a Departmental Review with an audiogram, or other credible evidence, demonstrating that a hearing loss disability has existed since before the initial decision are treated as Departmental Reviews.
  • Presence of a Hearing Loss Disability at the Time of First Application but only Hearing Loss on Discharge
  • Establishing Direct Service Connection For Hearing Or Vision Problems


    To qualify for disability benefits for a visual or auditory problem caused by service on the basis of direct service connection, you need to prove the condition was caused by your military duty. The following must be established to prove the disability is service-connected:

    • a current diagnosis of a hearing or vision condition
    • evidence of an event in service that caused the condition, and
    • a medical opinion linking the current vision or hearing condition to the event in service.

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    Veterans Tinnitus Vs Hearing Loss

    Tinnitus is a noise that you hear in your ears, such as a buzzing or ringing that happens again and again, or consistently. The only disability rating available for tinnitus is 10% disability/eligibility rating. A 10% disability rating will be assigned whether you have ringing in one ear or in both ears, you cannot receive a 20% rating due to tinnitus in both ears. However, there can be a higher percentage available for those whose condition is so severe that it is debilitating or prevents you from working. You may be able to seek an extra schedular rating for your tinnitus in excess of the 10 percent limit in the Schedule of Impairment Ratings.

    Va Approved Diagnosis For Hearing Loss

    One step to getting service-connected disability payments from the VA is to get a qualifying medical diagnosis. The VA is strict that the diagnosis for hearing loss must be based on two hearing tests administered by a licensed audiologist .

    One of the hearing tests measures speech recognition: how many words, out of 50, can a veteran hear and recognize.

    The other hearing test measures overall hearing capabilities: testing the faintest tone that the veteran can hear.

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    Other Forms Of Hearing Loss

    Most people are able to understand a distinct voice in a crowded, noisy room. This experience is commonly known as the cocktail party effect. This skill requires the brain to focus in on a single voice, while screening out other sounds. However, people with hearing impairment are unable to separate individual voices in a noisy environment. For them, multiple sounds blend together, making it hard to understand speakers.

    According to a 2021 study by researchers at the VA Portland Health Care System and the Oregon Health & Science University, this difficulty may be caused by an auditory processing problem. The brain normally blends the sounds it hears from each ear into a single signala process called binaural pitch fusion. For people who have an overly broad binaural pitch fusion, their brain blends sounds together in a way that makes speech unintelligibleeven when separate voices have different pitches.

    Researchers suggest it will now be possible to develop new therapies to improve speech perception for people with this type of hearing impairment.

    Of 10 Common Va Disability Claims: Limitation Of Flexion Knee

    The Ultimate Guide to Hearing Loss VA Disability Benefits

    Based on the latest 2018-2019 VA data, Limitation of Flexion of the Knee was the #5 most common VA disability claims for all Veterans, across all demographics.

    92.2% of Veterans are rated between 0% and 20%.

    Musculoskeletal system conditions include issues with joints and muscles and must involve limitation of range of motion and/or painful motion.

    Symptoms associated with musculoskeletal system conditions include limitation of range of motion , painful motion, arthritis, weakness, easily fatigued, loss of power, lack of coordination and decreased movement control.

    Musculoskeletal disabilities can also be filed as secondary VA disability claims, and can be caused or made worse any of the following conditions: medication side effects, depression and anxiety, PTSD, TBI, Temporomandibular Joint Disorder , right side of body injuries affect left side of body and spine, neck, back, hips, arms, legs, and feet, among others.

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