Qualifying for Veterans Disability Benefits with Hearing Loss

Veterans disability benefits with hearing loss

Veterans who’ve experienced hearing loss due to active military service may qualify for veterans disability benefits. The eligibility process for veterans with hearing loss can be complicated and often requires auditory testing to get an accurate reading of the level of hearing loss you’ve experienced. Below we have mapped out the process of filing for veterans disability benefits with hearing loss, and the credentials qualified individuals must have before they can apply.

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Eligibility for Veterans Disability Benefits

Before you apply for veterans disability benefits, it’s crucial that you have a good understanding of what the eligibility requirements are. According to the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs, qualified applicants must have received an honorable discharge and have a diagnosed mental or physical disability that directly connects to active military duty.

For veterans who are looking to file a disability claim based on a hearing impairment, an examination will likely be required by the VA from a licensed audiologist. The audiologist will then perform a series of tests in both ears to determine your disability rating. Disability ratings range from 0%-100% and are used by the VA to determine your what your occupational earning capacity is based on your service-related medical condition.

Determining a VA Rating for Hearing Loss

In order to determine what your disability rating will be for your hearing impairment, a controlled speech discrimination test and a puretone audiometry test will likely be performed in both ears. Both tests will be used to determine a single disability percentage rating. Here’s a quick overview of each test’s function and the potential results can help to determine your disability rating.

  • Controlled Speech Discrimination Test – This test is used to determine how well you understand words. During this test, the administrator will have you listen to a variety of one-syllable words and ask you to repeat them. Your results from the test will be given to you in the form of a percentage. This percentage may be used in determining your disability rating.
  • Puretone Audiometry Test – This test is used to identify hearing thresholds by measuring the decibels and frequencies you can hear sound at. You will be tested at four different frequencies and scored 0-110. The higher the score the worse your hearing may be. After the scores at each frequency are determined, they will be divided by 4. The end result will give you a puretone threshold average that will be used in determining your disability rating.

Once you have a percentage from your controlled speech discrimination test and an average from your puretone audiometry test the VA will then use these numbers to determine your disability rating. It’s important to note that not all audiologist will conduct the controlled speech discrimination test on all applicants. If this test is not performed on you, only your puretone audiometry test results will be used to find your disability rating. There is no limit on the disability rating percentage for a hearing impairment. Meaning applicants may receive a rating from 0%-100% based on severity.

How to Appeal a Denied Veterans Disability Claim

The process of appealing a veterans disability benefits claim with hearing loss can be complex. For this reason, many applicants will rely on help from an accredited VA attorney. Attorneys are fully aware of what the benefits application process will entail and can offer tailored support along the way. The best part is that most attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning there are no out-of-pocket costs for you.

If you are interested in connecting with a veterans benefits attorney in your area, simply fill out our free benefits evaluation below to check your eligibility.

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