Hearing Aids For US Veterans Under Veterans Affairs (Things You NEED To Know)

Ranjeet KumarReviewed by Mr. Ranjeet Kumar Sr. Audiologist, Speech Therapist & Cochlear Implant Specialist, BASLP on May 5th, 2020 written by Editorial Team

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs(VA) is the government agency formed in 1930 to ensure that the veterans who served in US Army have proper resources to look after their health care needs to eligible veterans VA medical centers and clinics.

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The criteria for VA hearing aids depends on meeting certain conditions. Do visit the official website of The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to check these conditions needed to be met. Once fulfilled, veterans can avail benefits for Hearing Tests, Hearing Aids, and other associated examinations.

US Veteran: VA Hearing Aids

As far as recommendations are concerned, both audiologists will consider hearing issues, lifestyles, and preferences and suggest veteran hearing aids.

VA also provides extra accessories like batteries, wax guards, remote microphones, remote controls, domes, etc based on their requirements.


Veterans Eligibility For VA Hearing Healthcare

There are some criteria to receive a hearing aids device, at first you must qualify for VA Health Benefits. Get registered for hearing tests and examination, you will get licensed from the audiologist. Once you approved for health care benefits, all veterans shall receive hearing machines.

However, not every veteran is eligible to receive hearing aids. So, let’s talk that who are eligible and can get the benefit of it.

Veterans are provided with Medical benefits once they are eligible for it. Eligibility criteria include-

  • Former Prisoners of War(POWs).
  • Recipient of Purple Heart.
  • Veterans with compensable service-connected disabilities.
  • Veterans with hearing loss as a result of any disease or other medical conditions.
  • Those who are permanently housebound or in need of regular aid and assistance.
  • Veterans receiving benefits under Title 38 United States Code 1151.
  • Individuals with a functional or cognitive impairment that affects daily living.
  • Veterans with a service-connected hearing disability which contributes to a decrease in the ability to communicate.
  • Veterans with a hearing disability which interferes with their ability to participate in their own medical treatment.

These are the few requirements lists for the Veterans. Where you can take benefits of it and
you can get free of cost hearing health care services like hearing examination or checkup, hearing devices, etc. so, it is very helpful for those veterans.

So these veterans can get their free of cost hearing aids as per eligibility norms.


How To Receive VA Hearing Aids?

  • You must first register at the health Administration/enrollment section of the VA Medical Center of your choice.
  • The documents are needed at the time of the registration are-
    • A copy of the Veteran’s DD214
    • Driver’s license
    • Health insurance (if available).

 Different Ways to Enroll

  • In-person at any VA Medical Center or Clinic.
  • Online by filling out the VA Form 10-10EZ.
  • By mailing completed Form 10-10EZ to the Medical Center of your choice (please ensure that you have signed your application or it cannot be processed for enrollment).
  • After registration, you can schedule an appointment at the Audiology and Speech Pathology Clinic for an evaluation of your hearing.
  • If Hearing Devices are recommended, the hearing aids, repairs, and future batteries will all be at no charge to you, as long as you maintain VA eligibility for care.

Benefits Provided By The VA

VA Health Benefits

Family members or dependents of a service member who had died or is seriously injured in the line of duty are eligible for many kinds of VA benefits.

1. The Blind Rehabilitation Centers of VA provide services for the increment of the quality of life of blind and visually impaired veterans. This is done through the development of the skills and capabilities needed for emotional stability, personal independence, successful integration into the community and family environment.

2. The Veterans Readjustment Counseling Centers provide quality readjustment services for the veterans returned from the war so that they can assist them and their family members toward a successful post-war adjustment in or near their respective communities.

3. A Vocational Rehabilitation Program provides temporary and permanent staffing for information technology, warehousing, manufacturing, construction, office support, retail, and the services delivery industry.

4. Many programs sponsored by VA for specific illnesses and conditions.


Hearing Aids Offered By VA

VA has tied-up with the following six major manufacturers: Phonak, ReSound, Oticon, Starkey, Siemens, and Widex. Given below is a list of models provided by respective manufacturers under the VA contract:

Phonak

 Audéo V-10, Audéo V-312, Audéo V-13, Bolero V-M, Bolero V-P, Bolero V-SP, CROS II-312, CROS II-13, CROS II-312 Custom, CROS II-13 Custom, Virto V-nano, Virto V-10 NW O, Virto V-10 O, Virto V-10, Virto V-312, Virto V-13.

GN Resound

 LiNX 3D, ENZO 3D.

Oticon

Alta2 designRITE, Alta2 miniRITE, Alta2 RITE, Alta2 miniBTE, Alta2 BTE, Alta2 BTE Plus Power, Alta2 IIC, Alta2 CIC, Alta2 ITC, Alta2 Half Shell, Alta2 Full Shell, Dynamo BTE13 SP, Opn miniRITE, Opn miniRITE-T, Opn BTE13 Plus Power.

Siemens

EasyTek, Comfort Digisystem, Nitro Customs

Note: All hearing-aids models mentioned above are for informative purposes. Please cross-check with a respective manufacturer for current updates.


What Is The Maximum VA Rating For Hearing Loss?

It’s easy to get a claim for a VA as it depends on the numbers from the audiological testing. Although, there are various steps in examining a VA hearing loss claim properly.

For most veterans, dealing with deafness and tinnitus is very normal. The VA noticed that about 1.3 million people suffering from tinnitus and 933,000 people arise deafness in 2014. That data or statistics are shocking and being high timely.

The VA will determine the actual rating using a numerical formula using a VA disability calculator. Deafness or tinnitus basic rating are 0% or 10%, however extreme or significant deafness impairment have to fulfill all requirements for a higher rating. according to the rating help in curing your hearing impairment.

How to fill out the form for compensation?

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) gives hearing loss pay to veterans.  The veterans are those who developed hearing misfortune during service in armed forces. The VA administration program gives welfare to previous service members who experience the ill effects of hearing misfortune or tinnitus.

For hearing loss compensation a military veteran needs to fill up VA Form 21-526. Veterans Application for Compensation as well as Pension, or apply on the internet utilizing VONAPP.

People generally ask “Do I require a specific kind of VA Hearing Loss Test to Support my Claim?

The answer is YES, but for the claim, you need to take a medical examination first. The medical examination should include two types of tests which are –

In case you claim hearing impairment in your one ear, then also your both ears will be tested. The examination will be provided with the usage of any kind of hearing aid.

Hearing Loss does not occur Until You Are Aged

If people have left their service and don’t suffer from deafness does not mean that they will not get benefits from your age-related hearing loss. If you prove that you were work in the noise-related environment during your service you may still able to develop a service connection for your deafness impairment.

Deafness is most common with people who were working in an environment where the level of noise is over 80dBA. Working in such a noisy environment for a long period of time can cause permanent hearing impairment.

How much you can claim for hearing loss?

The amount of compensation you will get totally depends on the seriousness and long-lasting hearing impairment. When they will calculate the overall damage for noise-induced hearing loss, the court will include:

You can claim the compensation for the physical injury which has been constant as well as financial expenses and losses which are special damages.

The evaluation of general damages is by reference to the Judicial Guidelines. The guidelines are set for tinnitus and other deafness impairments, whether the hearing loss is partial or complete.

You can get VA disability for hearing loss but, Compensation claim must be brought within three years of:

  • The date of the noise exposure that caused the deafness impairment
  • The date of discovering a deafness impairment linked to noise exposure. This is known as the date of knowledge.

Disability Compensation

The compensation depends on the VA hearing loss disability. For the year 2019 the compensation is as follows:

VA Hearing Loss DisabilityMonthly VA Disability Compensation
0%$0 per month
10%$140 per month
20%$277 per month
30%$429 per month
40%$618 per month
50%$879 per month
60%$1,114 per month
70%$1,404 per month
80%$1,632 per month
90%$1,834 per month
100%$3,057 per month

Tinnitus is also rated under VA disability rating

Most of the VA claim for tinnitus also. Tinnitus is a noise like buzzing and ringing which you hear in your ear continuously. Tinnitus’s maximum rating is 10%. A 10% rating will be assigned whether you have buzzing sound in both ear or one ear. It can’t assign 20% for both ears.

At the time for application of compensation, Tinnitus is the most claimed disease and deafness is the second most claimed disease. Annual Benefits 2015 Report says that 9.6 % of veterans claimed Tinnitus and 5.2 % of veterans claimed hearing impairment for compensation.


How Much Does VA Pays For Hearing Aids?

If you are an American veteran and worried that you may have a hearing loss. You are not the only one who suffers.

Annually, there are about two million Veterans Affairs (VA) people who get disability compensation for hearing loss.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) says that loss of hearing is due to loud noise and other on the job activities. Hearing impairment is the most prevalent injury that disables veterans. It is the most common occurrence among all military persons.

According to the U.S Department of VA, presently there are 2.7 million veterans who are disabled from hearing loss and they receive benefits of it.

Injuries do not appear to affect the quality of a person’s life. That’s the reason why our military veterans need proper care and support from hearing loss. The U.S department support for this cause and provide hearing aid for those who need it. The VA does not sell hearing devices. If you purchase them privately, it may cost $1,000 or more for each aid.

However, veterans who don’t have a service connection for hearing impairment are not eligible for hearing aids. A primary care provider will refer other veterans eligible to receive hearing aids to an audiologist.

Will VA replace lost hearing aids?

This is a very big reason that if your hearing aids have become impaired, or you have been lost. Then you have to apply for another one but at first, you have to report it and wait for the approval. So this is the question will the public affairs office approve your approval? Then keep calm and follow the steps to get back to hearing well as quickly as possible. First of all, you have to report it to the VA office with a genuine reason and follow up on the process till Approve.


How to Prevent Hearing Loss in the military?

VA hearing loss
  • Avoid prolonged exposure to a noisy environment: Military personnel can try to avoid exposure to loud sounds outside the force as it is not possible to choose their level of sound on duty.
  • Avoid drugs that can harm hearing: Medicines like ototoxic drugs, are known to cause Hearing Loss and tinnitus. So, they should consult their doctors about hearing concerns and learn about drug side effects.
  • Wear Hearing Protection: Soldiers should use protective measures to protect their ears.
  • Protect head from any injury or trauma: Head injury can also lead to hearing impairment. Protecting your head can reduce the chance of injuries that can lead to hearing loss.
  • Regular check-ups: Soldiers should have their hearing checked every year so that doctors can determine and treat it earlier.

Consult Audiologist

Contact your local VA facility to set up a consultation with an audiologist (+91-9899437202) if you think you may have hearing loss. He will determine your hearing needs and hence will guide and help you get your hearing back on track. You may face some challenging health issues after returning from combat, don’t let hearing loss be one of them.

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