If you're a veteran dealing with hearing loss, ringing in your ears or other hearing issues, there are more ways to get help than simply forking over cash straight from your wallet. Veterans discounts can be helpful, but you may qualify for amazing Veterans Affairs benefits that could make your hearing problems--and many other medical issues--much more manageable. Take a look at what you may be eligible for and how a civilian hearing loss professional can help.
The VA's Support For Hearing Loss
Veterans are supported by the VA's many programs designed to help with civilian life transition, healthcare and general well-being. Unfortunately, many medical benefits requiring equipment, expensive medication or surgery. To get hearing aid assistance or any kind of medical procedures to help with your hearing loss, you'll need to qualify for VA disability.
VA disability is different from programs such as Social Security's disability system. Unlike Social Security, which has specific requirements for how much you can earn while on the program, the VA is more of a compensation system for your injuries and conditions. Aside from the most extreme cases where you can't work according to your injuries, you're simply compensated for specific forms of damage and inconvenience.
Along with the monetary compensation, you'll be eligible for medical care at no cost to you. Unfortunately, the VA's healthcare options aren't exactly robust. There are specific contractors that work with the VA to provide certain services, which may not work for your specific situation. Thankfully, the VA provides referrals for veterans to receive care at their provider of choice.
To qualify for VA disability, you must prove that your injury or condition is service-connected. For hearing loss, this means that you'll need to show how military service affected your hearing. You don't need to prove that an exact explosion or working at a specific engine room or alarm system caused the damage, just that you were exposed to hearing dangers and that your hearing loss took place during the course of your military service.
Hearing Loss Professional Assistance For Benefits
The VA provides a hearing test as part of their required compensation and pension (C&P) exam, but the hearing test results are not the final word. If you have hearing loss that is at odds with the VA's results, you'll need to visit a hearing loss professional.
The VA will take outside evidence for any claim that you file. Mistakes happen and long wait times means that it's not only acceptable, but expected of a veteran to seek a second opinion.
Contact a hearing loss professional and discuss your situation. Let the staff know that you're a veteran and that you believe your hearing loss was a result of military service. You'll need to discuss your work experience in the military thoroughly, from workplace and combat to your time on leave and even when you're at home off duty.
Many veterans in the Navy and Air Force have to sleep near aircraft maintenance hangers or under the flight decks of ships, which can be a hearing hazard over a tour of duty and especially an entire career. Go into detail and write down as much as you can to make recollection easier to get the benefits you deserve, and both you and the hearing loss professional can benefit from a VA-funded referral from you to the professional's business. Visit http://www.HearDenver.org for more information.