Disabled And Unable To Get Your Benefits?

We Can Help. 765-668-7531

Claiming VA Disability for Hearing Loss and Tinnitus

For many veterans, the echoes of service linger not on battlefields but in the quiet moments where they can hear persistent ringing, or a muffled world replaces the vibrant sounds of everyday living. The truth is that hearing loss and tinnitus caused by exposure to loud noises during military service are pervasive issues affecting countless veterans. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recognizes these invisible wounds and provides disability benefits to compensate veterans for their struggles. However, navigating a general VA claims process, including hearing loss and tinnitus, can be complex for most individuals.

Given the complexities of claiming VA disability benefits, including hearing loss and tinnitus, it is best to seek the legal assistance and guidance of legal professionals specializing in this field. A good starting point in understanding when seeking a VA disability benefit, including hearing loss and tinnitus, is to know the eligibility requirements, the importance of evidence, the types of evidence to present to the VA, and how to file the claims.

Understanding Eligibility for VA Disability

The cornerstone of a successful VA disability claim, even for a specific disability, hinges on establishing a service connection. For the claim of hearing loss or tinnitus, the service connection term connotes that your disability must either be:

  • Developed during your military service: This could be due to direct exposure to loud noises like gunfire, explosions, or prolonged use of noisy machinery.
  • Worsened due to your service: Even if hearing loss or tinnitus existed before enlistment, military service may have exacerbated the condition.
  • Appeared after your service ended: A clear link must be established between the veteran’s service and the development of their hearing issues. The later the onset, the more critical the evidence demonstrating this connection.

Building Your Case: The Importance of Evidence

A robust claim rests on a solid foundation of evidence. Here are the essential documents a veteran can collect and present to support their claim:

  • Military Service Records document the veteran’s time in service and potential exposure to loud noises. Deployment records, training exercises involving loud machinery, or participation in firing ranges can be crucial evidence.
  • Medical Documentations: These would include diagnoses from doctors and medical professionals, including, but not limited to, audiology test results, any treatment history related to their hearing loss or tinnitus, or medication that alleviates the symptoms of the disability. If a veteran still needs treatment, they should schedule an appointment with a doctor or audiologist to establish a medical record.
  • Fellow Veterans’ Statements: These refer to written statements from fellow veterans who can corroborate the veteran claimant’s experiences with noise exposure or the challenges they faced due to hearing loss and tinnitus.

Where To File: The VA Claim Process

There are two main ways to file a claim for VA disability benefits:

  • Online: The VA website offers a user-friendly platform, e-Benefits, where veterans can submit their claims electronically. This method allows them to upload scanned copies of their supporting documents directly.
  • By mail: A veteran can also download and complete the necessary VA forms (VA Form 21-526 for initial disability claims) and mail them in with their supporting evidence.

Filing a VA disability claim for hearing loss and tinnitus is not just about securing financial compensation. Instead, it’s about acknowledging our veterans’ sacrifices while serving our country. They deserve the support and resources to live a life less burdened by the echoes of service. By understanding the requirements, gathering strong evidence, and seeking help when needed from highly skilled and experienced legal professionals, our veterans can successfully navigate the path to claiming the VA disability.

If you or a loved one is eligible to claim for hearing loss, you can count on us to assist you in filing your claim. At McKown and Myers, it’s our job to help Hoosiers like you get the compensation they need to get medical treatment and support their families. We’re here to answer your questions about your TDIU application – call 765-668-7531 or complete our contact form here. There’s no obligation – we’re here to help.