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 US Military Veteran Forum - Vietnam
 Hearing loss
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freddbear4
Junior Member

114 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2012 :  5:11:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a loss of hearing do to loud noises. I passed the hearing test to get into the USMC but after 9 months of Viatnam in the grunts I was seperated from active duty without an exit exam. I said "no problems" that I knew of. Within 4 months I knew I did not hear things like birds and crickets chirping, but did not file a claim on service related disability. Now, 46 years later, I'd like to be approved for a set of hearing aids but have too much income to have VA approve them unless I can prove service connected. So now, the question ??? What and how much documentation will I have to provide ?? Any advise will be appreciated.

us55840
Advanced Member

USA
29500 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2012 :  8:55:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If it's not in your VA Health records, you will not qualify for a service connected 'disability'.

In the past couple of years, the VA has been providing hearing aids for those who are in the VA health care system and pay a co-pay for Dr. visits and Rx. Anyone that has been in the military qualifies for VA health care regardless of income although higher income individuals must pay a co-pay. It's like $15 for a Dr. visit & $7.00 for a 30 day Rx. There may be a co-pay for hearing aids from the VA.

Go to your VA health clinic or hospital and ask.

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All comments posted here are my opinion as expressed via the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution.

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perry shooter
Advanced Member

17214 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2012 :  9:48:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Got hearing aids year and 1/2 ago no co pay. and batteries for life. some other things Like physical I do pay a small co pay. I Don't take any Meds so don't know about RX co pay. . I had never bothered with VA until 2 years ago I wanted to get military ID so could get 10% discount at LOWES and HOME DEPOT . was discharged 1966 . so far I am impressed on the + side.
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CapnMidnight
Advanced Member

USA
7630 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2012 :  10:21:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The VA pays for mine, updates every couple of years, life time batteries.
W.D.
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Bergtreffer
Member

USA
598 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2012 :  12:40:43 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Freddbear4, go after the V.A. They are pretty liberal on the hearing stuff. I was a Army Morse code intercept guy 1962-65 and blew my ears out doing that stuff. I applied to the V.A. just two years ago (I am 68 now). It took about a year of fooling around with them but they finally brought me in for a hearing test. Don't worry about your income level. The military's responsibility for your hearing loss has absolutely nothing to do with your present income level. I had to divulge my retirement income also, according to the one dumb azz that I delt with. When I was finally brought in to have my picture taken for an I.D. card, a different person said that I didn't have to fill in that information about income. So, don't worry about it. If a dumb azz insists you fill it in, just do it. I is meaningless and won't disqualify you from the V.A. having to address your hearing loss problem.

Yep, my hearing is definitely shot. I have constant tinitus (ringing in the ears), and sometimes they make chirp noises, and odd pinging noises. Naturally, I have difficulty discriminating what people are saying in a crowed room, or the wife saying something from across the other end of the house, and so on. Finally on the 3rd of August, 2012 they brought me in to the audiologist for consultation. He reviewed the results of my hearing test and said that the best hearing aids they have ($5000) will bring my hearing up to 40 percent below normal. So, that is how bad my hearing is. The audiologist made molds of both ear canals and then gave me a piece of paper that says I can expect my new hearing aids in 10 to 11 months. So I am looking at May or June of next year for the hearing aids. My hearing aids will be behind the ear, with a little tube that going into the ear canal. The molds of my canals are to make a rubber-sort of insert that the little tubes from the hearing aid fit into. If it wasn't for the V.A. I would just have to live with bad hearing the rest of my life, because I don't have the money to spend on expensive hearing aids.

What is important is that you get the paperwork, fill it out with the complaint about hearing troubles, and send it in. When the V.A. finally gets around to accepting you on the V.A. medical roles, you will be paid a disability retroactive to the date you filed your paperwork. In my case, my disability is $127 per month, and that is tax free. So when they accepted me into the VA system, my first disability check was a "catch up" of the retroactive part, before the monthly disability payments started. So, I encourage you to go for it.

When I was interviewed by a technition before they administed my hearing test, I was asked questions about being exposed to loud noises. Yes, I shot the M-1 Garand and the M-14 rifles. "Did you wear hearing protection?" (Pretty ignorant question and it about made me laugh. Hearing protection when firing rifles? Forget about it.) And I was asked questions about my job, being a Morse code intercept operator. "Did I wear hearing protection." Ugh -- no -- I wore headphones clamped on my ears. You can't wear hearing protection while you're wearing headphones on your ears. Yeesh. They don't know, their ignorant and they just fill in blank spaces on a form.

Go for it and don't overlook any source of loud noises you were subjected to. Shooting rifles and handguns, hand grenades, being close to explosions, jet aircraft, and so on. Don't overlook any source of loud noise that could have damage your hearing.

Good luck.
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elubsme
Senior Member

USA
1202 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2012 :  2:39:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Fred, I agree with everything Berg says. But first you have to submit a request to the V.A. Due this through your local V.A. officer. He/she will guide you through it. In my case she actually filled out the form for me. A few months later I took a hearing test. Be prepared to wait over a year for a judgement on your claim. But it is retroactive to the date you first file. You WILL be approved for a 10% disability because you qualified on the range with your weapon, was exposed to explosions of all types while in country. Your DD-214 will probably be all the proof you need. With a service related disability you will have a priority group 3 classification which will greatly improve your medical coverage through the V.A. I believe there are currently over 17 uncontested illnesses directly attributed exposure to agent orange. If you have or contract any of these, you will also be covered with medical help.
But, you have to file a request before any of this can happen. Run to your nearest V.A. office and get this thing rolling. I believe you will also be amazed at what you qualify for, being a Nam Vet. Feel free to contact me with any questions. Eddie

Edited by - elubsme on 12/19/2012 2:41:40 PM
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freddbear4
Junior Member

114 Posts

Posted - 12/20/2012 :  11:47:46 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks fellas. To bring you all up to date. In July I went to my American Legion post for advise. They referred me to the local DAV rep. He filled out the claim form and subitted it to VA. In Nov VA sent me a questionaire and told me a hearing test would be scheduled. In Dec I took the test at the Regional VA. This was for service related disability only. I know I flunked. The Dr advised I submit a form for VA health care just in case my application was denied. According to the worksheet on income, I have too much income (SS and work place retirement) and my savings are too much to qualify. (means test ??) I am in the process of getting eye witness documentation from former Officers who witnessed the fire fights and battles I was involved in. My DD214 and my SRB document my service in Vietnam and the major operations I was involved in. I don't know what else I can do, so Thanks again.
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elubsme
Senior Member

USA
1202 Posts

Posted - 12/21/2012 :  2:15:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I suggest that you reread Berg's and my reply to your post. Your income has absolutely nothing to do with a service connected disability. Ed
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nc huntr
Starting Member

13 Posts

Posted - 01/11/2013 :  3:05:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I just received hearing aids thru the VA. I had to showed proof that my hearing disablity was from combat.The CIB and other awards was a big help
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MIKE WISKEY
Advanced Member

USA
8644 Posts

Posted - 01/23/2013 :  12:17:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"I just received hearing aids thru the VA. I had to showed proof that my hearing disablity was from combat.The CIB and other awards was a big help".............DID THEY TELL YOU WHAT YOUR DISABILITY RATING IS, THEY SHOULD
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freddbear4
Junior Member

114 Posts

Posted - 02/14/2013 :  2:24:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Update: The VA approved service related hearing loss and 30% disability. I was fitted for hearing aids today, they will arrive in about three weeks. Did not have to file any additional proof. Thanks for your advise, I thougt for sure they would deny me. I thanked the DVA service officer and became a life member. I would advise any Vet to go through a service organization and let them be your advocate when dealing with the VA. Thanks again.
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acdodd
Senior Member

USA
1346 Posts

Posted - 10/25/2015 :  6:42:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Tinnitus is an additional 10%.
Don't forget to claim it if you have it.
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Grunt2
Senior Member

1246 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2017 :  5:42:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Same...Same...

quote:
Originally posted by CapnMidnight

The VA pays for mine, updates every couple of years, life time batteries.
W.D.


The difference between 'involvement' and 'commitment' is like an ham-and-eggs breakfast: the chicken was 'involved' - but the pig was 'committed'."
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Jim Rau
Advanced Member

USA
4275 Posts

Posted - 06/17/2017 :  11:09:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If you were a RVN vet you need to go file a claim. You will probably be denied as their official policy for us OLD vets is 'DELAY AND DENY UNTIL THEY DIE" but don't stop if you are denied, keep appealing it. I have been on appeal since 2012 for VERIFIED LOD on my knees. You should look into your STATE VA rep, as they can be a great help.
Welcome home and thanks for your service!

Self defence is an absolute and natural right. An armed society is not always polite, but it is A FREE AND SAFE SOCIETY! Keep your head down and your powder dry! J. Rau, Alabama
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