After serving in the military, many veterans face the sometimes unseen costs of conflict and duty. Risking life and limb can mask many of the more subtle forms of deterioration until life has a chance to slow down, and some issues such as hearing loss may not be noticed until a veteran has lived as a civilian for quite some time. If you're noticing a few hearing issues and suspect your military service as the cause, you're entitled to a few benefits. Take a look at how a hearing testing and equipment professional can get you paired up with the right hearing aids without draining your wallet.
Veterans Affairs Can Cover The Bill
The Department of Veterans Affairs (known to many as the VA) exists to help veterans with their transition to civilian life. There are many programs ranging from job training and resume services to basic medical support and counseling. For veterans who can prove some sort of disability linked to military service, there are even greater benefits in the form of disability compensation.
VA disability provides monetary compensation, but it's a bit different from programs such as Social Security Disability Insurance. There are no restrictions on how much you can work or earn, although a disability that should put you completely out of work may raise eyebrows and call for reevaluation. You're paid a percentage of compensation based on how disabled the VA decides you are, which runs the full gamut between missing limbs and mental devastation to a slight limp or ringing in your ear. It's about severity, not importance, and all disabilities are worth something if they can be proven.
To prove your disability, you'll need proof that the issue was either caused by military service, happened during military service or became worse because of military service. Any disability connection to the military is called a service-connected disability and needs official paperwork as part of the VA's disability claim system. In addition to military-related proof, you'll need an up-to-date examination to show that you're suffering from the problem.
Unfortunately, many forms of disability are difficult to pinpoint. Pain may exist, but if the VA doctors can't find physical evidence, they can't verify that you're still suffering. Hearing problems can be the same as some hearing issues aren't easily detected by a basic hearing threshold test. This is where a hearing tests specialist comes in.
Certain Types Of Hearing Problems Need Better Tests
The VA compensation and pension (C&P) exam is a good start, but it isn't definitive. The VA knows that mistakes happen and that a second opinion is necessary, and can even provide a paid or reimbursed referral to the specialists you need.
Contact an audiology professional to schedule a hearing test and explain your issue carefully. The civilian-based team can spend as much time as necessary on your examination as opposed to the in-and-out processing of VA hospitals, and can pinpoint specific problems.
Some people have issues hearing certain pitches due to injury, such as being unable to understand deep, gruff voices. Others may have a chronic ringing, hissing, crackling or other sounds in the ear (tinnitus) that can't be easily proven without finding the specific damage.
Contact a hearing testing and hearing aid specialist (such as one from Advantage Hearing & Audiology) to set up an appointment to get the proof you need. By working together, you can receive VA disability to support your hearing loss, specialized hearing aids, as opposed to the VA's contracted supplier devices, lacking personal tuning. The hearing aid supplier you choose will also gain a great customer with the VA backing their payments.