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Hearing loss

freddbear4freddbear4 Member Posts: 154 ✭✭
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.

Comments

  • us55840us55840 Member Posts: 31,281 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    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. [:)]
    "This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it." Abraham Lincoln
  • perry shooterperry shooter Member Posts: 17,390
    edited November -1
    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.
  • CapnMidnightCapnMidnight Member Posts: 8,520
    edited November -1
    The VA pays for mine, updates every couple of years, life time batteries.
    W.D.
  • BergtrefferBergtreffer Member Posts: 629 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    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 * 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 * 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.
  • elubsmeelubsme Member Posts: 1,162 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    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
  • freddbear4freddbear4 Member Posts: 154 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    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.
  • elubsmeelubsme Member Posts: 1,162 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    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
  • nc huntrnc huntr Member Posts: 11 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    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
  • MIKE WISKEYMIKE WISKEY Member Posts: 9,254 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    "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
  • freddbear4freddbear4 Member Posts: 154 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    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.
  • acdoddacdodd Member Posts: 1,314 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Tinnitus is an additional 10%.
    Don't forget to claim it if you have it.
  • Grunt2Grunt2 Member Posts: 1,505 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Same...Same...

    quote:Originally posted by CapnMidnight
    The VA pays for mine, updates every couple of years, life time batteries.
    W.D.
    Retired LEO
    Combat Vet VN
  • Jim RauJim Rau Member Posts: 3,550
    edited November -1
    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![:D]
  • kissgoodnightkissgoodnight Member Posts: 4,067 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    VA gave me a hearing aid for one ear. It was useless.
  • us55840us55840 Member Posts: 31,281 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    VA provided hearing aids about 3 years ago along with batteries, wax guards, etc. for free.....no copay.

    Next spring they will be replaced with new aids..as the VA replaces them about every 4 years per the VA audiologist as the technology changes so fast.


    [^]
    "This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it." Abraham Lincoln
  • newflorencenewflorence Member Posts: 2
    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.
    I say ...  Do not waste your time and money on hearing aids if you have "Tinnitus".    (the roaring or ringing sound that you hear constantly).     I Payed $5,000 for Hearing Aid and it simply raised the volume of what I was already hearing.   Did not bring back the birds . . or the crickets . . or the door bell..... or the telephone ring . . . or the dinner table conversation.
  • newflorencenewflorence Member Posts: 2
    I say ...  Do not waste your time and money on hearing aids if you have "Tinnitus".    (the roaring or ringing sound that you hear constantly).     I Payed $5,000 for Hearing Aid and it simply raised the volume of what I was already hearing.   Did not bring back the birds . . or the crickets . . or the door bell..... or the telephone ring . . . or the dinner table conversation.
  • us55840us55840 Member Posts: 31,281 ✭✭✭✭
    Got my new ....2nd pair of aids from the VA recently.
    These are rechargeable so don't need replace batteries anymore.  Just pop them in the charger every night when going to bed.
    "This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it." Abraham Lincoln
  • bustedkneebustedknee Member Posts: 1,527 ✭✭✭

    Years ago,I was screwed big time by the VA.

    I am now so gunshy I want nothing to do with them. I pay dearly for my health coverage and have done so my entire career.

    My hearing is extremely bad and started declining in the Air Force.(Aircraft noise).

    I'm retired now! Why do I need hearing aids at this point in my life? 'CAUSE THEY ARE FREE?


    It sounds like a lot of people have the attitude that the VA owes me something and if it is "free" I want it!

    I would like for the VA to help vets that need help, can't afford help, can't get help!

    Am I right?



    If I sound bitter, it is only because I am.

    I can't believe they misspelled "Pork and Beans!"
  • us55840us55840 Member Posts: 31,281 ✭✭✭✭
    I know a number of vets that are unable to obtain care via the VA because they missed the 'open enrollment' dates. 
    One, BIL, about 2 years ago tried to get VA medical care and was denied as missed the'open enrollment' date ... BUT had been treated in a VA hospital some 18 -21 years previously.  He was told if could prove had been treated previously by the VA, he could get VA care.  Naturally, the VA would NOT contact the VA hospital...he had to do it himself.  He wrote/called several times but no longer had any paperwork from his several day stay at the hospital so unable to give an exact date.  He was told he could make a personal visit and possibly get assistance.  We did go to the hospital, some 300 miles away ... the person he had to see "was not in that day' so a wasted trip.
    I told him to write his congressperson to get something done but he said "screw it" ... when discharged no one said to get signed up right away so he never did.  Now he is retired, turned 65 and qualifies for Medicare & gave up on the VA.
    "This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it." Abraham Lincoln
  • us55840us55840 Member Posts: 31,281 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 28


    I'm retired now! Why do I need hearing aids at this point in my life? 'CAUSE THEY ARE FREE?


    It sounds like a lot of people have the attitude that the VA owes me something and if it is "free" I want it!

    I would like for the VA to help vets that need help, can't afford help, can't get help!

    Am I right?



    If I sound bitter, it is only because I am.

    No ... I believe you are wrong, wrong, wrong.
    When in the military, part of the "contract with the government" for serving was not only the pay when on active duty but for the VA benefits after service .... the GI Bill for education, medical care, burial in a VA cemetery, etc.
    Utilizing VA medical care is simply obtaining what was promised in the contract for serving since you wrote the United States government a check for your life.
    Get it?
    "This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it." Abraham Lincoln
  • bustedkneebustedknee Member Posts: 1,527 ✭✭✭
    edited August 29
    us55840
    I understand what you are saying but I'm afraid the VA does not honor the "contract" you describe.
    VA incompetence cost me thousands of dollars that I did not have, forcing me to raid my retirement program.  Luckily for me it was early enough in my career to recover... somewhat.

    I served, because it was my duty.  The military took care of me and mine while on active duty.  I am grateful for the experiences, training and relationships that have carried me through life.
    If the VA had simply failed to to supply healthcare, that is one thing.  But to actually "ruin" a young vet's future with their incompetence is unforgivable for me.  Not even a, "Sorry."  Just a "You were lied to and he is not longer employed here."
    I do not, can not and will not trust them.

    However, the last debt I will incur on this earth is my burying.  I have it in my will to bury me in the local VA cemetery.  I contacted the VA about this and it is not allowed to pre-plan a vet's interment with the VA.  Only after my death, may someone present my DD-214 and death certificate to the VA and beg them to plant my stinking corpse!  Whether they will actually uphold this tiny detail of the "contract" will be immaterial to me at that point.

    I laugh heartily, HaHaHa.

    I am happy that some vets are satisfied with the level of care they receive from our government, but my advice is beware.


    I can't believe they misspelled "Pork and Beans!"
  • us55840us55840 Member Posts: 31,281 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 29
    And to you sir, one must be aware of any medical care given by any medical caregiver .. be it the practicing within the VA or as a private civilian.  
    Every doctor I knew in the military had graduated from a civilian medical school.  :o 
    As I'm sure you are aware .... doctors kill more people than firearms!  Even the person who graduates LAST in their class is still called DOCTOR.
     ;) 
    As an attorney once said  " Anyone can sue anyone for anything"   B) 

    I cannot think of a profession that does not have some bad apples from police, to dentists, to doctors, to store clerks to politicians and all between.  Take your pick.
    To suffer due to medical malpractice is most unfortunate ... although be thankful they didn't kill you. 
    "This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it." Abraham Lincoln
  • bustedkneebustedknee Member Posts: 1,527 ✭✭✭
    edited August 31
    You are correct.  I no longer trust any doctor and I'm blessed to still be alive. (Almost 4 years ago I was told I had only 2 weeks to live?  I hate to be lied to by someone I trust!  Consequently, I gave up doctors and prescriptions and I feel better now than I have felt in my entire adult life.  If I don't wake up in the morning, the joke is on me.)

    I always wondered why a doctor would work for the VA when they could make money hand-over-fist as a civilian doctor (which is why most doctors become doctors, IMO).
    Sure, a few will "serve" because it is their duty, a few will do it for the experience, and maybe a few to stay busy after retirement, but the couple of dr's I'm aware of personally, were failures in the business world.  They may, or may not, have been competent doctors once VA took care of the billing.  I'm guessing, still incompetent.
    I can't believe they misspelled "Pork and Beans!"
  • us55840us55840 Member Posts: 31,281 ✭✭✭✭
    Years ago, doctors had private practices or maybe joined with 1 or 2 other doctors for cost sharing.  
    Today, most doctors are associated with large clinics or hospitals - including the VA - because the cost of equipment, staffing, federal/state regulations/reporting, etc. make private practice prohibitive. 
    Also, most hospitals refuse 'non-affiliated doctors' the use their operating rooms/testing facilities so have no choice but to join/become an employee of the hospital or, for that matter, the VA.

    "This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it." Abraham Lincoln
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