How Does The Va Rate Tinnitus
The standard VA disability rating for tinnitus is 10%. If you experience tinnitus symptoms in both ears, its still a maximum rating of 10% . If you have hearing loss along with tinnitus, which is the case for many disabled veterans, the VA will compensate for both. If you have both tinnitus and hearing loss, be sure to claim them both.
What if you experience hearing loss years after your active duty discharge? You can still claim hearing loss. Youll need to submit evidence that you were frequently exposed to high levels of noise during military operations. This can come in the form of lay evidence, sometimes referred to as buddy letters, that attest to the fact that your military duties included excessive noise exposure such as munition ranges, equipment maintenance, or aviation assignments.
Tinnitus can be hard to diagnose. The VA will conduct a C& P exam to verify your tinnitus diagnosis. You will take at least two tests at this exam, a speech recognition test, and a pure tone audiogram. Together, these test results are analyzed to come up with a tinnitus diagnosis.
The Initial Causes Va Claim Sleep Apnea Secondary To Tinnitus
There are many causes of hearing loss. These include loss of hair cells , damage done to the brain stem due to disease or an infection, and a buildup of wax in the ears. Any combination of these can cause the brain to send wrong signals to the ears causing them to lose hearing. Oftentimes, there is no way to know whether or not you are suffering from hearing loss without having your ears checked. The only way to make sure is to undergo a hearing test.
Many people believe that they are going crazy or having a break out when they have a constant ringing, buzzing, screaming, or hissing sound in their ears. They think it is going to come and go. But, the truth is that it can take weeks or even months to go away depending on the underlying medical condition causing it. Once you know for sure what is causing your hearing loss, you can find a good treatment to fix it so you can once again enjoy great quality hearing.
Tinnitus isnt actually a disorder in and of itself its more of a symptom for another underlying condition. In many instances, tinnitus simply is a sensory reaction in the inner ear and hearing system to damage to these systems. While tinnitus can be caused by hearing loss alone, there are about 200 other health conditions which can produce tinnitus as a result. This condition is different for each person, although common symptoms include high-pitched ringing, pulsing noises, or continuous clicking or whirring.
S Required By The Va To Help Prove Veteran Tinnitus
Contact Cochran, Kroll & Associates P.C. is no longer accepting new cases for 3M Earplug Lawsuits. If you have any other questions about our other legal practice services please call us toll-free at to begin to receive a free case evaluation. Remember, you dont pay a dime unless we win compensation for you. Were here to help you seek justice!
If you are a veteran and think you may be suffering from tinnitus, there are a certain number of steps that must be taken to prove to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs that your tinnitus originated due to your time serving in the military and for job-related reasons. Many plaintiffs in the 3M earplug lawsuit are contacting the VA and asking for assistance, support, and compensation.
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Medical Testimony From An Audiologist
Proving entitlement to VA disability benefits involves providing a diagnosis from a medical professional which indicates that the applicant is suffering from hearing loss or tinnitus. A hearing loss claim generally requires an examination by an audiologist to determine whether the former servicemembers ear can no longer pick up certain frequencies. There are specific tests required by the VA to reach this diagnosis.
Why Is Va Revising The Regulation For Tinnitus
The VA continuously revises the rating schedule to be consistent with up-to-date medical knowledge.
VA stated it is making this change for tinnitus because current medicine reflects that tinnitus likely results from abnormal neural activity at some point or points in the auditory pathway, which is incorrectly interpreted by the brain as an actual sound and as a result, it is a symptom associated with an underlying condition, such as hearing loss, Menieres disease, traumatic brain injury and cerebral atherosclerosis, not an independent disease. Its interesting to note that VA cites to a study from 1990 for this conclusion hardly currently medicine.
Proving Tinnitus To The Va
Claims of tinnitus are one of the most common VA claims. There are several steps to take when attempting to prove that your tinnitus is due to your time spent in the United States military.
It used to be much easier to prove a tinnitus claim to the VA. You only had to show the four pillars to have your claim recognized: veteran status, service-connection , impairment rating, and an effective date of when you started to feel the effects of tinnitus.
However, it is now harder to prove a nexus or service connection. In the past, veterans only had to show what was known as the continuity of symptomatology, or continuous symptoms of the tinnitus since their medical discharge. Since the case of Fountain v. McDonald in 2015, this continuity of symptomatology is no longer as valid in court as it used to be.
Collecting Va Disability Benefits For Tinnitus
If you have a diagnosis of tinnitus or recurrent tinnitus, you are eligible to apply for and receive a grant of VA disability benefits. The VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities, which lists various medical conditions and their respective criteria for different ratings, features an entry for tinnitus. Veterans benefits attorneys help you gather evidence and submit a compelling appeal showing your tinnitus meets VAs criteria to receive a grant of benefits.
Tinnitus counts as a valid disability by VAs standards. On its own, however, it receives a very low impairment rating, making you eligible for only a small benefit amount. This is because VA does not consider ringing in the ears to be substantially disabling unless it is a byproduct of a more severe condition.
Conditions often associated with tinnitus and eligible for higher monthly compensation include:
- Hearing loss, full or partial
- Chronic suppurative otitis media, mastoiditis, or cholesteatoma
- Peripheral vestibular disorders
If you have been diagnosed with tinnitus or any other condition affecting the ears, a disability lawyer can help you appeal for a grant of VA disability benefits.
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Maximum Va Rating For Tinnitus
The maximum VA rating for tinnitus is 10%. Yet, dont let this stop you from pursuing a VA disability claim for tinnitus. If you wore 3M military earplugs between 2003 and 2015, you may be eligible for compensation. In 2000, 3M tested their dual-ended earplugs and found them to be faulty. Yet, they still issued these earplugs to active duty service members for over a decade.
Our VA disability lawyers can help you prove the connection between wearing these faulty earplugs and developing tinnitus. That way, youll be able to receive the compensation you deserve for service-connected tinnitus. Our veterans attorneys are here to help!
About Va Claims Insider
VA Claims insider is an education-based coaching/consulting company. Were here for disabled veterans exploring eligibility for increased VA disability benefits and who wish to learn more about that process. We also connect veterans with independent medical professionals in our referral network for medical examinations, disability evaluations, and credible independent medical opinions and nexus statements for a wide range of disability conditions.
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What Should You Do If You Suffer From Tinnitus
If your tinnitus was caused by your military service, you should file a claim for VA disability benefits. You will need to prove that this medical condition was directly connected to your military service to be eligible for benefits. Some of the evidence you will need to establish this includes:
- Current diagnosis of tinnitus by your doctor
- Nexus letter that links your tinnitus diagnosis to your service in the military
- Evidence of how your tinnitus was caused, how it affects you and your quality of life, and whether it has worsened over time
Va Disability Attorneys Help You Receive The Highest Benefit Amount For Your Condition
A diagnosis of tinnitus on its own receives a 10 percent disability rating, which corresponds to a monthly compensation amount of $142.29. But in many cases, other conditions cause tinnitus, and these conditions may warrant higher impairment ratings and thus greater compensation.
According to the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities, VA considers the following when assigning Code of Federal Regulations impairment ratings for tinnitus and related conditions:
- A separate evaluation for tinnitus may be combined with an evaluation under diagnostic codes 6100 , 6200 , 6204 , or other diagnostic code, except when tinnitus supports an evaluation under one of those diagnostic codes.
- The VA will only assign a single evaluation for recurrent tinnitus, whether the sound is perceived in one ear, both ears, or in the head.
- The VA will not evaluate objective tinnitus under this diagnostic code but evaluate it as part of any underlying condition causing it.
The third paragraph means VA may not approve or rate your condition under the Tinnitus Diagnostic Code if the ringing in your ears is audible to other people. If you were declined compensation for this reason, a lawyer can help you challenge VAs decision on appeal.
As of December 2019, the VA disability compensation rates scale for a single veteran with no dependents is:
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How Easy Is It To Get Tinnitus Va Disability
You have to explain why you think your tinnitus is service-connected and how military noise caused your tinnitus. This can be done by establishing a medical nexus between military noise and the onset of tinnitus, but this will take some research and an arsenal of supporting evidence.
The military noise exposure list is a good place to start because it will provide you with military-specific information on military service problems, but keep in mind the military noise exposure list does not contain every possible source of military noise.
After you have established the type of military noise, you will need to gather evidence on tinnitus onset. This information can come from your own informal observations or formal tinnitus diagnosis by a doctor.
The tinnitus evidence you need to win your tinnitus VA claim will vary depending on the information thats available. If you have no tinnitus diagnosis, informal tinnitus observations that show how tinnitus changed after exposure to noise produced by military activities are very important.
00:00 Introduction00:55 Why your VA tinnitus claim was denied3:05 VA rating for tinnitus4:38 My tinnitus claim was denied!6:43 How to prove tinnitus is service-connected8:19 Sworn declaration explanation9:57 disability benefits questionnaire for tinnitus11:00 examination questions for tinnitus13:57 What is the Duty MOS Noise Exposure Listing?15:55 Military noise exposure list
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What You Need To Know About Tinnitus
There are many different types of hearing loss. Sensorineural hearing loss commonly comes with tinnitus. Some researchers think that only subjective tinnitus can exist without some sort of physical damage to the hearing nerve. The underlying deafness might be due to:
Noise-induced hearing loss can also be unidirectional and usually makes patients lose hearing just around the frequency of the offending sound. This type of disorder is called conductive hearing loss. Patients suffering from this type of disorder have difficulty remembering information. For example, if a patient hears a phone ringing on a train, but hears nothing else, he may begin to worry that someone is being hurt. In this way, his brain is trying to take action, so he starts to memory function. This all depends upon his state of mind, which is affected by his anxiety levels.
There are many symptoms associated with tinnitus, but only a few are really serious. Generally, patients notice decreased hearing functions as indicated by the reduction in the quality of their audible signal. They also experience nausea, fatigue, dizziness, headaches, depression, and anxiety. These symptoms vary from person to person, but there is one common thing in most cases: the brain is trying to take care of its own problems. The auditory system is getting overloaded and it can not deal with all the information coming through.
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Hearing Loss Testing Requirements
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.
Evidence For Your Tinnitus Va Claim
To show exposure, you can use service records or lay statements. Service records can be your owncoming from your service jacket. These records would show helpful items like your MOS and active duty stations. But you could also use service records of your unit or ship or base. Lay statements are statements from friends or service members that knew you during military service. These statements can speak to specific incidents that happened and help obtain service connections. The statements can also discuss long-term exposure that the witness saw you subjected to.
Also, and this is so important to the VA that they put it in their regulations, the ringing must only be heard by the claimant. Yes, that is true, the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities actually states that tinnitus cannot be rated if anyone else can hear the ringing. Hmmmmm.
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Qualifying For A Tinnitus Va Claim
While many veterans can benefit from the National Health Service’s equipment and treatments, others require a more specialized professional approach.
If you’ve been medically discharged from the military, Veterans UK may automatically assess the sickness or injury that caused your medical discharge, as well as any consequences, without you having to fill out a claim form. In all other cases, you must fill out Claim Form AFCS/WPS001 and send it to Veterans UK to begin your VA tinnitus claim.
Veterans seeking VA compensation for hearing loss or tinnitus must meet two basic requirements. The first is to show that the incident that caused the hearing loss happened while they were on active service. Second, they must either acquire a doctor’s diagnosis indicating hearing loss. This data should also show how the illnesses affect their lives.
Any supporting evidence you can provide, such as reports from your Medical Officer, could help expedite the process.
The tariff level for your injury will determine the amount you get. The AFCS Tariff is divided into 15 levels, ranging from 1 to 15 .
There is a lump sum payment level for each tariff level. If your VA rating for tinnitus is classified as level 111, you’ll be given Guaranteed Income Payments .
Tinnitus compensation is included in all hearing loss settlements, including blast injury to the ears and acoustic trauma.
How To Win A Tinnitus Va Claim
Hearing loss and tinnitus are typical long-term side effects of military duty. Soldiers, sailors, and airmen must all go through basic training that exposes them to the deafening effects of live ammunition. Veterans who served in the military may have also been exposed to loud explosions, ear canal wounds, or head trauma due to hard strikes to the head. All of which can lead to tinnitus.
Tinnitus is a momentary annoyance for some people that goes away with time or when another ailment is treated. Others suffer from persistent tinnitus, which can range from moderate to devastating in severity.
There is currently no solution for tinnitus, but various treatment options can help veterans manage their symptoms.
Filing a tinnitus VA claim can help military veterans get disability payments. However, knowing how to win a VA claim for tinnitus is part of the battle. Keep reading to learn more about how to prove you have tinnitus to get the benefits you deserve.
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Hearing loss or tinnitus can be a symptom of an ear or sinus problem. Sometimes, the problem goes away by itself, other times it requires medical intervention. Tinnitus is often times a sign of an ear or sinus infection, which means you need to see your doctor as soon as you can. A bacterial infection in the ear can go away by itself, but if it doesnt and keeps coming back, it can cause hearing loss, which is why you need to get your doctors advice right away.
Many people who suffer from a mental health issue, may also experience hearing loss. When a person has serious depression, he is at risk to low self-esteem. Low self-esteem and anxiety can lead to more social problems and depression, which can lead to more hearing loss. If a person continues to have ongoing issues with depression and anxiety, his hearing will continue to deteriorate.