Qualifying for Veterans Disability Benefits with Tinnitus

veterans disability benefits with tinnitus

According to research conducted by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, tinnitus is the number one disability among veterans and affects at least 1 in 10 American adults. Tinnitus is an auditory disease in which patients hear buzzing, ringing, or hissing when there is no related external sound. This condition can cause veterans to have a difficult time concentrating and completing day-to-day tasks. Veterans who have been diagnosed with tinnitus have usually been exposed to loud noise during active military duty. For military veterans who have been diagnosed with tinnitus, it’s important to know your rights when it comes to filing or appealing a veterans disability benefits claim.

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Who’s Eligible to File a Veterans Disability Claim?

Before filing a veterans disability claim, it’s important to know if you may be eligible to apply. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans who are eligible for benefits must have been discharged or separated from service under honorable conditions. In addition, your disability must be related to an injury or illness that was obtained during active military duty.

For military veterans who are looking to apply for benefits due to a tinnitus diagnosis, they must be prepared to prove that their diagnosis is directly related to their service. One way to start the process is by collecting medical evidence related to your tinnitus diagnosis and by having the support of a doctor who can vouch for your disability as it relates to your service.

VA Rating for Tinnitus

To better understand how tinnitus is rated by the VA, you must first understand the Veterans Affairs Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD). This rating system is designed to help establish what the occupational earning capacity may be for a veteran affected by a service related disability. Ratings are given to most physical and mental disabilities and range from 0%-100%. If your medical condition is not  listed, the VA will use a similar condition that is listed to determine your rating.

The VA has listed tinnitus under Section 4.87 Schedule of Rating–Ear. Tinnitus that is classified as recurrent has been given a rating of 10%. According to the diagnostic code for tinnitus, the following information has been noted by the VA and is used when determining benefits eligibility for the disease:

  • A separate evaluation for tinnitus may be combined with an evaluation under diagnostic codes 6100, 6200, 6204, or other diagnostic code, except when tinnitus supports an evaluation under one of those diagnosed codes.
  • Assign only a single evaluation for recurrent tinnitus, whether the sound is perceived in one ear, both ears, or in the head.
  • Objective tinnitus is not evaluated under this diagnosis code, but may be evaluated under an underlying condition.

Knowing the VA’s standard when it comes to receiving disability benefits for tinnitus is important, especially since the rating for tinnitus is only 10%. Being able to prove that tinnitus accompanies another disability can increase your disability rating and help you potentially qualify for more compensation.

How to Appeal a Denied Veterans Disability Claim

When appealing a veterans disability benefits claim for tinnitus, assistance from a VA-accredited attorney can be beneficial. Attorneys who have received accreditation from the VA  know the ins-and-outs of the program and are dedicated to helping you get the benefits you’ve rightfully earned. Attorneys can help you collect proper medical evidence, check the status of your claim, and help you appeal an unfavorable decision.

If you’re ready to connect to a veterans disability attorney in your area, click on our free benefits evaluation below to see if you may be eligible.

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