Yes – It Is Hard
Most veterans are required to consult with several audiologists, conduct many tests, attend counseling sessions, document all symptoms (both current and in the past), participate in numerous medical appointments, provide supporting documentation from doctors and other medical professionals, and submit hundreds of pages worth of supporting documents – all while taking care not to jeopardize their finances or job security.
This process can take over two years and is extremely difficult for many family members due to the amount of time they have to dedicate themselves during a period where they might not even get paid if they are unemployed or retired.
What’s A Hearing Loss Disability Rating
A VA disability rating can range from 0% to 100%, and it determines the level of compensation you will receive. The number depends on a variety of factors, including the severity of your hearing loss and how much money you need to make up for the wages you have lost due to your disability.
A 0% rating means that you are unable to do any sort of work due to your condition, while a 100% rating indicates that you are completely incapacitated.
In some cases, it may be difficult to ascertain a specific percentage or VA rating for an individual’s hearing loss disability because the veteran could have other factors affecting their well-being and ability to work such as tinnitus or acoustic trauma.
In these instances, veterans will likely be given what is called an extraschedular rating because their disabling conditions stem from more than one cause.
An extraschedular rating is given outside the rating schedule because an unusual manifestation of a condition usually interferes with the individual’s ability to work or results in frequent hospitalization.
How Does The VA Rate My Hearing Loss
When the VA evaluates your hearing loss for a disability rating, they will look at each ear separately because hearing is considered to be two separate issues. The average of the two ears is taken and then your better ear is used to determine what percentage from the VA rating it falls under.
Hearing loss is rated in 10% increments. For example, if you have a 60% hearing loss in one ear but only 5% in the other, your overall rating would be 30%.
The VA looks at which category your better ear falls into when calculating how much compensation you get for your disability claim. They use a another standard called pure tone average (PTA) to determine this. This test takes an average of three pitches that are most sensitive to age-related hearing loss: 500 Hz (low), 1k Hz (mid) and 2k Hz (high).
What You Need To Prove Hearing Loss
In order to get VA disability for hearing loss, you must be able to prove the following things:
- First, you have a hearing loss.
- Second, that your hearing loss is caused by military service.
- Third, how much you are disabled by your hearing loss.
Now that we know what needs to be proven in order to get VA disability for hearing loss, let’s look at how you can meet all of these criteria.
Increase Your VA Disability Rating For Hearing Loss
Being a veteran is hard enough. But when you’re dealing with hearing loss—or suspect that you might be—the process of figuring out what to do, and how to get the compensation and benefits you deserve, can be overwhelming. That’s why Veteran Ratings exists: to help make everything as easy as possible for you.
Veteran Ratings knows exactly how to complete the paperwork correctly and refer you to private medical providers who understand the VA’s claim process and know how to fill out a DBQ accurately. Veteran Ratings also offer free no-risk assessments, so contact them to discuss your options!