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How To Get a VA Disability Rating for Hearing Loss

Learn all you need to know about VA disability rating for hearing loss, types they recognize, what to expect after submitting and more!

Nicole Brener
Nicole Brener
How To Get a VA Disability Rating for Hearing Loss

Many veterans have been exposed to explosions during their service, which can lead to varied effects, including hearing loss and tinnitus. In fact, these are the most common service-connected disabilities among veterans.

If you or a loved one is a veteran who experienced a condition that led to or aggravated a disability during active service, including hearing loss, you may qualify for disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Veterans with service-connected hearing loss can access a wide range of benefits and healthcare services, including hearing aids, assistive devices, vocational rehabilitation and employment services, and compensation. 

These benefits can range from 10% to 100% and are determined by a disability rating system that measures the degree and type of service-connected hearing loss.

Compensation is determined by the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), and care, such as hearing aids, corresponds to the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).

Filing a service-related claim and understanding how the disability rating system works is key to ensuring you receive appropriate care and financial compensation. Review the process requirements and tips to help you file a successful claim.

What is a VA Disability Rating?

VA disability ratings are percentages between 0% and 100% based on the severity of the disability and its effect on overall health and well-being. They are designed to assign appropriate care and compensation based on the severity of the disability and its impact on the individual's health, daily life, and ability to work.

VA disability ratings help veterans determine the benefits and compensation they can receive and their eligibility for other VA benefits, like VA health care.

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How is a VA Disability Rating Determined?

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs determines your disability rating based on:

  • The evidence you submit (doctor’s report or medical test results)
  • The results of your VA claim exam (also called compensation and pension, or C&P, exam)
  • External information from other sources like federal agencies

These ratings are not just numbers; they are a form of support for those experiencing service-connected hearing loss. They demonstrate the care and assistance that you, as a veteran, deserve and can expect.

To qualify for hearing loss benefits, you must submit the following:

  • A hearing loss diagnosis linked to your veteran’s service
  • Pure-tone audiometry test and speech discrimination test to determine the severity of hearing loss. 
  • Proof that your hearing loss is connected or worsened by your service
  • Documentation showing how your hearing loss symptoms interfere with your daily life

Note that VA ratings for hearing loss are based on the hearing ability of both ears, and only one rating is given, even if hearing loss is only in one ear.

VA Disability Rating Ranges

Veterans rated 10% or higher are eligible for disability compensation.

  • Mild or moderate hearing loss: 0% to 10% 
  • Severe hearing loss: 30% to 50%.

Types of Hearing Loss Recognized by The VA

The VA recognizes three types of hearing loss: 

  • Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the inner ear or auditory nerve, which can be caused by exposure to loud noises, aging, or other medical conditions.
  • Conductive hearing loss occurs when there’s a blockage or damage to the eardrum or middle ear bones. This type of hearing loss is usually treatable with medical or surgical interventions.
  • Mixed hearing loss is a combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss, typically as a result of exposure to blast injuries, head trauma, or other physical trauma.

Tips for Filing a Succesful VA Disability Claim for Hearing Loss

Are you looking to file a VA disability claim for hearing loss? Here’s what you need to know.

Submit a claim online through the VA website, in person at a VA regional office, or by mail. When submitting the claim, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Information about your military service
  • Relevant medical records, including audiological test results and reports linking your hearing loss to service.
  • Information about events or conditions during your military service that contributed to your hearing loss.
  • A medical letter from a healthcare provider to strengthen your claim by clearly connecting your hearing loss to your military service.

What to Expect After Submitting a VA Disability Claim for Hearing Loss

After submitting a VA disability claim, you will receive a decision notification that confirms your disability rating and determines your care or compensation eligibility.

You may check your status online or contact a regional office to ask about the status of your application. 

If your decision notice shows at least a 10% disability rating, you’ll get your benefits within 15 days. However, if you disagree with your disability rating, you may file an appeal within 1 year of receiving your decision notice. You may also file a claim for increased benefits if your disability worsens.

Remember to gather all paperwork, correspondence, and deadlines related to your claim. If you have questions, consult a Veterans Service Officer (VSO) who can assist in the claims process and ensure your application is complete and accurate.

Filing a successful VA disability claim for hearing loss is the key to maximizing your benefits and enhancing your life while living with hearing loss.

Nicole Brener

Copywriter based in Miami, FL. Leads copywriting workshops and mentors women entrepreneurs at the Idea Center of Miami Dade College.

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