Veterans VA Disability Benefits
Hearing Impairment & Tinnitus
It is our experience that your claim for tinnitus and hearing loss will be denied.
We receive many emails from frustrated veterans on this topic.
Vets who have Purple Hearts or CIB's are often denied a hearing loss or
tinnitus claim because they have no record of combat. We often read that
the VA audiologist who conducted the exam reports that the veteran was
We recommend that you plan to appeal as it is more likely than not going
to be required. The majority of appeals are handily won at the DRO
We also recommend that you seek a reputable civilian audiologist to
perform an examination. You will probably have to pay for the exam out
of pocket. This is an investment that is well worth the fee.
Hearing aids are expensive. If your hearing was damaged because of your
service to our country, don't accept a denial or a low rating.
loss affects many veterans. From the first day of
basic training we were subjected to noises that most civilians will
The Veterans Administration has strict regulations governing hearing
loss and disability compensation. The veteran who wants to see a
benefits award must be prepared to fight and appeal.
The results of the tests are then calculated according to a system of
tables to arrive at a percentage of the disability attributed to hearing
The veteran who is applying for a hearing loss benefit should consider
the degree of tinnitus that he or she may have that often accompanies
acoustic trauma and hearing loss.
Also to be considered are any psychological or mental health and safety
considerations that sometimes result from hearing loss. If the veteran
believes that hearing loss and tinnitus have caused or aggravated
anxiety, anger, depression, PTSD or otherwise contributed to a loss in
the quality of the veteran's activities of daily living, those facts
should be recorded for consideration.
Here's a very good web page that will explain a lot about hearing loss.
As with most discussions of hearing loss, it's complex and technical. Be
prepared to spend some time studying. Click the link below;
loss, tinnitus, and other auditory complaints among military veterans
are common and costly, with more than 75,000 cases of auditory
impairment among new recipients of VA compensation in 2003, and
estimated payments at an annual rate of $850 million at the end of 2004
to veterans with hearing loss and tinnitus as their major disability.
Institute of Medicine carried out a study mandated by Congress and
sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide an assessment
of several issues related to noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus
associated with service in the Armed Forces since World War II.
resulting report, titled Noise and Military Service: Implications for
Hearing Loss and Tinnitus, provides findings regarding the presence of
hazardous noise in military settings, levels of noise exposure necessary
to cause hearing loss or tinnitus, risk factors and timing of the
effects of noise exposure, and the adequacy of military hearing
conservation programs and audiometric testing. The report recommends
steps to improve prevention of and surveillance for hearing loss and
tinnitus, and stresses the importance of conducting hearing tests
(audiograms) at the beginning and end of military service for all
military personnel. The report also outlines areas where additional
research is needed, including topics specifically related to military
Tinnitus is a frequent companion to hearing loss.
Acoustic trauma can cause many types of damage to your inner ear. Tinnitus is a separate condition from hearing loss.
This is a good page that describes what tinnitus is. Click the link below;
Does your hearing loss make you eligible to claim a secondary disability for mental health conditions? Maybe.
Service connection may be established on a secondary basis for a
disability that is proximately due to, the result of, or aggravated by a
service-connected disease or injury. 38 C.F.R. § 3.310(a). Establishing
service connection on a secondary basis requires (1) competent evidence
(a medical diagnosis) of current chronic disability; (2) evidence of a
service-connected disability; and (3) competent evidence that the
current disability was either (a) caused by or (b) aggravated by a
service-connected disability. 38 C.F.R. § 3.310(a); see also Allen v.
Brown, 7 Vet. App. 439 (1995) (en banc). The determination as to whether
these requirements are met is based on an analysis of all the evidence
of record and the evaluation of its credibility and probative value.
Baldwin v. West, 13 Vet. App. 1 (1999); 38 C.F.R. § 3.303(a).