Subject: VA Compensation for Hearing Loss
compensation -- Gary, Fri, Oct 28 2005, 9:16:46 PDT
Is there anyone that can tell me why it is so hard to get compensated for hearing loss.They want you to tell them exact dates and others that knew you had a hearing loss.
My hearing loss is from stationed on flight lines and also firing ranges and no hearing protection.
Any clues will help. Pick up my hearing aids next week. Thanks in advance.
Hearing loss is nearly automatic in all people, most especially after the reach the mid 40’s. The military/naval services check hearing on the separation from active duty exam (including WW2). Often veterans deny hearing checks, but when we review the service medical records the exam is usually found.
A veteran has a one year presumptive period to file for a hearing loss. In other words one year from the date of separation, or the condition must be proved service related.
I'm posting a question regarding disability compensation, for hearing loss that is service related.
My Dad, who was a Signalman in the Navy is WWII, and his battle station was next to the big guns on one ship, has hearing aids which are provided by the VA. The latest proplem is that he now has been charged a $70 'office visit' fee from the VA Hospital in Shreveport, LA, to have his ears cleaned and checked.
To add insult to injury, the hospital is 150 miles away.
To my knowledge, none of his medications are provided by the VA, although he has multiple health problems. He is currently being treated by a Neurologist here in Houston (my home), for vertigo. The neurologist is treating him using the "Eply" manuever, to reposition the calcium in his ears. (Sorry, that's all I know about it.)
My Dad is 79 years old, and has had complete hearing loss in one hear, and major hearing loss in the other year since he separated from the service. The hearing loss was proven to be service related, but my Dad has never received a penny of compensation for the disability.
Now he sees many Vietnam Vets having no trouble receiving disability payments for PTSD. He tries so hard not to be bitter about anybody receiving benefits for their service, but he followed all the rules, and just finally gave up after many years.
In your opinion, would it be worth trying to encourage my Dad to try to go through the process again?
If so, could you give us a contact name for the VA Disability Office in the North Louisiana area? I'm looking for someone specifically in Bastrop, LA, or Monroe, LA.
Thanks again, for ALL you do.
just curious -- did he file a claim for disability compensation? because even though it has been found service connected, if a claim for disability compensation throught VA has not been filed, he wouldn't be receiving any money for it -- although he would be treated by the VA... just curious...
Also, if he has medicare, he should provide that information to the clerk at sign in for his appointments, and medicare will cover that office visit....
if I were you, I would definately get more info etc, and pursue this
Hearing loss claims are tough to win. It is much better to file any claim (especially hearing) within one year from separation from active duty. The hearing loss needs to be on the exit exam in order to have a very good claim. The rating specialists look for other conditions that affect hearing, such as employment noise, etcetera.
For service connected disability we need the following:
• a condition that manifested itself on active duty, or within the first year from separation
• the condition must currently exist and be diagnosed by competent medical authority
• a nexus, or link of the current condition and the condition from active duty.
My question is this -- she says this condition of hearing loss has been proven to be service-connected... if so, by who? If it is the VA that said yes this is service-connected, wouldn't her dad have been directed to eligibility office for enrollment status change? That's what they did for me, when I went from being a Humanitarian Enrollment, to my claim being rated 100% service-connection....
Seems like some of the issues with hearing loss claims parallel the same problems as PTSD...
But that was just my curiousity --
Thanks to both of you for your replies.
Yes, the hearing loss was determined by the VA to be service connected......thus the payment for the hearing aids.
Yes, he filed a claim when he was separated from the Navy because he had ruptured ear drums in both ears. After 2 or 3 years of fighting the red tape in 1945-48, he finally just gave up. I don't think he really expected any money for it, but he would have really liked to have had the help with the medical treatments.
Now, he REALLY needs the financial help if he's entitled to it. I haven't mentioned my efforts to him yet, I don't want to get his hopes up if there really isn't any way to help.
He does have income from a pension and social security, but it is fast becoming not enough to cover a medicare supplement policy, and medical co-pays, even for medications.
Is there a way the VA could help with other medications? Even that much would be a big help.
The VA will provide medications for a service connected veteran. There is no co-pay on the medication for a service connected disability. There is an $8 co-pay on medication for non service connected conditions. When a veteran is rated 50% or higher all co-payments are waived
I will pass the information along.
It still bothers me though, that he would be asked to pay a co-pay of $70 for a doctor's visit at the VA Clinic/Hospital (either/or). Is this common practice?
Yes, it was started January 8, 2003 as policy to reduce taxpayer liability to veterans.
I would definately speak to the eligibility office to get more info etc... since he is enrolled in the system -- and as I'm sure Dave here will tell you get with your Veteran's Service Officer for your dad, so you can get the ball rolling...
Since he's already in the system, I would think it would be a matter of re-evaluating his status for priority group, yes Dave???
Yes, that is true. Even Priority Group 8 remains eligibile at this time for VA Healthcare; they are to make co-payments. New enrollees who fall into Priority Group 8 (such as I) are not eligible for VA Healthcare.
When I left Active duty, I had an exit hearing test that showed hearing loss in both ears. Several years later, I joined the Army National Guard......they couldn't locate my medical file and somehow they tested my hearing as bad, but let me in anyway.
Later on, I joined the Air Force Reserve, had the same hearing problem show up, but somehow, I was still allowed to join. Each physical for the next 20 years showed the problem......but since it didn't seem to show it was worse......no actions taken. Finally, when I retired, the Doctor said it was good that I was retiring, because I wouldn't be allowed to reinlist. I said it's been like that since Active duty Army. She went back in the file and said.....how did they allow this?
She sent me to the VA to have it checked out......they somehow now, after all the years, they found my medical records in St. Louis. It seems they were warehoused for years, after they had a fire.
Anyway, they showed the hearing loss, my testing showed things were slightly worse and I had tinitis. As a result, I was awarded a disability.....beginning at that point....but not going back and I have a 10% hearing loss disability....which means they give me some money each month, $112. and take the same amount from my Reserve pension.
Last year, I went to the VA and now have a hearing aid....and if my other ear deteriorates any more, I'll get another. Both ears have a hearing range loss......that portion is just gone.
The good news is, that I was allowed to serve in the Reserves and retire with a pension.....for that, I am the most grateful. Sometimes, things can work out for the best.
That does sound encouraging. I am glad you can continue in your "job"...many can't...
Tinnitus (ringing, roaring sounds you hear) and hearing loss are two separate conditions affecting the same organ. It is important you continue to keep that condition well in check, so you do not end up like me severely hearing impaired. Since you are service connected, for tinnitus your primary care provider will refer you to audiology department every other year, or so, upon your request. As long as you advise them you feel the condition is increasing in severity.
You need to have the severity checked out.
If that is for hearing loss..not tinnitus...my sympathies..one must be nearly deaf to get compensated for hearing loss. My loss started at age 20..and was characterized as the "ears of a 65 year old man" by my civilian ENT. Do your ears ring? That is called tinnitus..and is noise trauma related usually.
Another important thing to remember when you are at a C&P exam for hearing loss or tinnunitis is that you will be asked if you used any issued hearing protection.
Make sure you tell them "Yes" and then point out that the most common issued hearing protection were/are the yellow foam plugs, which clearly say on the package "Not to be used for sporadic noises, such as engine or gunfire"...in other words, completely useless for the purpose they were issued.
Also, I pointed out during my exam that yes, I used hearing protection during training, but I did not use it in Iraq, since only a damn fool would muffle their hearing in a combat zone.
Ok here goes .........
My husband retired in 1996 from the Navy, he went through the whole DIC physical with VA and then was told later that he was going to get a whopping 10% for hearing loss, that they could only pay him for the right ear because it showed more of a loss than the left (even though both showed a loss). We found out in September of last year that 10% was not for hearing loss at all, that it was for sinus problems.
The County Veteran's dude requested his records for review and we have not heard of anything being found yet, he said that if in the DIC physical it was noted for a hearing loss, that they would have to change his rating % and back pay him for the past 10 years.
Any truth to this? And if so, what are your recommended steps?
I am also retired and have a 40% rating, he (the county dude) told me that because the VA has my back on thier "watch list" that I need civilian documentation of my treatments. I have been seeing a massage therapist for the past 4 years, its the only thing that keeps me upright and my migranes at bay. They are not doctors but they are liscensed massage therapists. What kind of documentation would I need form them?
DIC ......... C&P
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