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Ski

Disability Claim Tinnitus

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Hearing test scheduled for Monday February 3rd. Filling out questionnaire. How does one determine the start of your tinnitus and hearing loss? Form asks for a date. Military service 1962 to 1965. I don't recall when my hearing problems first started. How does one determine a date?

Any advice you could contribute to help me with my claim would be appreciated. 

Thanks,

Ski

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Hearing loss can be progressive. There doesn't  need be a start date. The information on the questionnaire is a tool for the Dr to start a conversation. Maybe you remember some particular incident or maybe not. 

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I would say it started slowly from 1962.  I can't say exactly when my got very noticeable but mine started in Aug of '80.  That's what I told them as that led to my lifelong introduction of daily, very loud noise (jet engine/fire-arm) exposure.  Even with noise protection it happens.

The VA won't give much $$ for tinnitus but they connect it to hearing loss and will compensate you a little for that.  The best bene is they call it service connected and you can then get hearing aids, atleast in my experience.

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Having been through the process and having the Dr that examined my current hearing state that I was practically deaf, didn't mean a thing to the VA.  Their stance was that I lost less than 25% of my hearing during my time on active duty, so no benefit for hearing loss.  As an aside, I do not know any Veteran that is getting anything, other than hearing aids, for their hearing loss.  I do get my hearing aids from the VA though and they are good ones.

Tinnitus however seems to be a slam dunk 10%.

 

Joe

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My brother got hearing aids from the VA but I wouldn't say they are good ones. Maybe it depends on where you get them? He lives in Phoenix but I know they sent him to Tucson for his knee surgery so who knows where they issued his aids.

Linda Sand

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2 hours ago, sandsys said:

My brother got hearing aids from the VA but I wouldn't say they are good ones. Maybe it depends on where you get them? He lives in Phoenix but I know they sent him to Tucson for his knee surgery so who knows where they issued his aids.

Linda Sand

I have a good set, but it took 3 sets of replacements to get a good one.  Mines the ReSound brand with blu-tooth.  They offer 2 or 3 different makes some are better than others.

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4 hours ago, Striper said:

 

Howdy!

 
My hear lost was very significant at the end of my military service and that where I started. I did’nt apply for my VA Benifits until years after leaving  the military service. When my employer healthcare stopped providing them and I was told my hearing aids would cost over $8,000.00 which I declined. I was told by a friend to apply to the VA. At first I was given a service connected rating of 10% for hearing lost. That was later raised to 20% for hearing lost and tinnitus. Along with that with a service connected rating I receive my hearing aid which are some of the best I’ve ever had, healthcare and low cost prescription drugs.  I use the VA for all healthcare needs which I find better than my previous employer provided or Medicare.

Edited by chiefneon

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When the VA examined me, I connected my hearing loss/tinnitus to a CH47 flight I hitchhiked on.  No earplugs or headset and I couldn't hear and was off balance for three days.  I'm sure subsequent exposure to firearms, explosions and aircraft engines probably contributed, but the VA doc seemed to like tying the onset to a particular  event.  This was forty years after I left the service and I hadn't noticed the subtle progression of the symptoms, but they don't get better with time.

I also learned that my hearing loss wasn't a conventional "can't hear" kind of thing, it was a difficulty in understanding certain words. 

Here's a tip for when you take the hearing test and they want you to repeat words.  Don't guess at the word if you're not sure, as a guess - right or wrong - counts as a right answer.

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Exposed to extreme noise over 50 years ago. VA wants the date when I first noticed tinnitus and loss of hearing. I don't recall. This stuff creeps up on you. How does one determine a date of first occurrence?

Thanks for the tip Hill Country. "Don't guess"

 

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When I retired from the military 20 years ago, I was able to copy my medical records, which showed 3 "significant threshold shifts" over my career in the military. Also showed that I had tinnitus while still on active duty. Now (20 years later) I have lost hearing on higher frequencies. 

Sometimes my wife sets off the smoke detector while cooking in the house. She would yell to me and the dogs would bark but I don't even hear it.

But I have no trouble having normal conversations with anyone.

Do I have a chance getting anything from the VA?

I have my military medical record. (copy)

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check these sites for info on getting copies of you medical/service records.

The National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records (NPRC-MPR) is the repository of millions of military personnel, health, and medical records of discharged and deceased veterans of all services during the 20th century. (Records prior to WWI are in Washington, DC.) NPRC (MPR) also stores medical treatment records of retirees from all services, as well as records for dependent and other persons treated at naval medical facilities. Information from the records is made available upon written request (with signature and date) to the extent allowed by law.

This site is provided for those seeking information regarding military personnel, health and medical records stored at NPRC (MPR).

If you are a veteran or next-of-kin of a deceased veteran, you may now use vetrecs.archives.gov to order a copy of your military records. For all others, your request is best made using a Standard Form 180. It includes complete instructions for preparing and submitting requests. Please Note: All requests must be in writing, signed and mailed to us at the address shown below.

National Personnel Records Center
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, Missouri 63138

 

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CONTINUATION  check these sites for info on getting copies of you medical/service records.

https://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records

Veterans Service Officer (VSO) Information

VSOs serve an important role is assisting military Veterans, Retirees, and their Next of Kin. This information is designed to assist VSOs obtain information from the National Personnel Records Center.

Please read the General Information first, and then read about a specific topic.

Index to Information by Subject

 

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continuation 

Contact Information

 

Telephone:   314-801-0800
Status Check:  Online Status Update Request Form   *
Fax:   314-801-9195

Checking the Status of Your Request:

Once you have allowed sufficient time for us to receive and process your request (about 10 days), you may check the status of your request by using the Online Status Update Request form.

You may also telephone the NPRC Customer Service Line (this is a long-distance call for most customers):

Telephone:   314-801-0800
Telephone (Toll Free):   1-866-272-6272

 

Note:   Our peak calling times are weekdays between 10:00 am CST and 3:00 pm CST. Staff is available to take your call as early as 7:00 am and as late as 5:00 pm cst.

 

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CONTINUATION

eVetRecs Help

How to Initiate a Request for Military Personnel Records

  1. Click on the " Launch the eVetRecs System" button to start. This will launch a separate window.
     
  2. Enter the required information in the system to create your customized request form. There are 4 steps that you need to navigate. The system will guide you through the steps and tell you exactly which step you are on.
     
  3. In Step 2 of the on-line request form, you will be asked to make selections from drop down menus about the nature of the request and the types of documents you are requesting. If these menus do not include the items you wish to request (for example, "all documents in the Official Military Personnel File"), you will have the opportunity to expand your request in the Comments section in Step 3. If you want to request multiple items from the menu selections in Step 2 (such as "Outpatient Treatment Records", "Inpatient Treatment Records", and "Mental Health Clinic Records"), choose one of the items from the menu and then use the Comments section in Step 3 to ask for the additional documents. Please do NOT create multiple, separate requests for each of the menu selections available in Step 2 as that may delay the handling of your request.
     
  4. Print, sign and date the signature verification area of your customized form. If you don't have a printer, have a pen and paper handy and we will guide you through the process. This is important because the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a) requires that all requests for records and information be submitted in writing. Each request must be signed and dated by the veteran or next of kin.
     
  5. If you are the next of kin (un-remarried widow or widower, son, daughter, father, mother, brother or sister) of a deceased veteran, you must provide proof of death of the veteran such as a copy of death certificate, letter from funeral home, or published obituary.
     
  6. Mail or fax your signature verification form to us, and we will process your request. You must do this within the first 20 days of entering your request, or your request will be removed from our system.

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ME again hope this helps.  If not then the nearest Military base should/maybe be able to help. 

Also most city's have a VA post someplace Check local phone book from your area.

Good Luck

 

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1 hour ago, markandkim said:

Do I have a chance getting anything from the VA?

I have my military medical record. (copy)

Yes, you do!  You have to try, I also suggest talking to either a DAV or American Legion rep.  They can help you do everything you need, you have a better chance with a rep going in.   Both of these helped me, but the process, atleast for me, took 18 months but they do provide you with back-compensation dated to application date once approved.  Even if you don't think you can do it, you must try!

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Yes. See a Veterans Service Officer. A local American Legion Office will give the name and contact phone number. The VSO will file a claim on your behalf and walk you through the process. If your claim is denied, the VSO will file an appeal for you.

This morning I met a VSO in Augusta, Georgia (Georgia employees a number of VSO`s across the state to assist veterans) to ask what date to put down on my hearing evaluation form for the onset of my hearing problems that started 30 to 50 years ago. The answer was simple. She said put down "I don't  know". She also said the VA knows that Vietnam Era veterans were not offered ear plugs, muffs etc. 

When I know the results of my disability claim, I'll post the information on this forum.

Ski

 

 

Edited by Ski

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6 hours ago, markandkim said:

When I retired from the military 20 years ago, I was able to copy my medical records, which showed 3 "significant threshold shifts" over my career in the military. Also showed that I had tinnitus while still on active duty. Now (20 years later) I have lost hearing on higher frequencies. 

Sometimes my wife sets off the smoke detector while cooking in the house. She would yell to me and the dogs would bark but I don't even hear it.

But I have no trouble having normal conversations with anyone.

Do I have a chance getting anything from the VA?

I have my military medical record. (copy)

Howdy!

Mark, before I ETSed out of the military over 48 years ago my Chief Warrant Officer sent me to sick call stating I had a hearing problem and to go get tested. Back then the only thing done was a hearing test to confirm yes I did have a hearing loss problem. 
For those Escapees in or near Livingston I was lucky enough to be directed to contact the Polk County Veterans Assistant Melissa Gates. She is a wonderful person to work with. She obtained all the records needed, filed all necessary paper work for my VA claim. I was stonewalled for a few years during the last administration which they denied my claim. But Melissa continued to in courage me and file appeals, stating they only want you to give up. It turned out it was true. The first week of the now administration my claim was approved and I not only received my rating and now VA benefits but also received back pay from the day I file the claim. 
So for those Escapees in need of this type of Veterans assistance or other types she is a great person to work with.


Polk County Veterans Service

Melissa Gates

602 E Church Street # 119

Livingston, Texas 77351

936-327-6838

”Happy Trails”

Chiefneon

 

Edited by chiefneon

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I went to the VA after being out of the service for 20 years, just to get into the system. The advisor asked if I had any service related injuries.  I said I didn't think so, and he asked what I did in the service and I said I worked in the engine room. He set me up with a hearing test. After the test the VA gave me 10% disability.

Not much, about $140 a month, but I am in the system and have used it several times. They treated me for Hep C when the cure first came out, and charged me $8 for the $80000 treatment.

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On 1/31/2020 at 9:23 AM, markandkim said:

When I retired from the military 20 years ago, I was able to copy my medical records, which showed 3 "significant threshold shifts" over my career in the military. Also showed that I had tinnitus while still on active duty. Now (20 years later) I have lost hearing on higher frequencies. 

Sometimes my wife sets off the smoke detector while cooking in the house. She would yell to me and the dogs would bark but I don't even hear it.

But I have no trouble having normal conversations with anyone.

Do I have a chance getting anything from the VA?

I have my military medical record. (copy)

Do you have a chance?  Absolutely.  I had no idea that I had any hearing loss, but I was at the DAV filing a request for compensation for other disability and the VSO kind of winked and asked if I also had hearing loss.  I figured why not so it was included.  I was kind of surprised when the examiner said I did have a hearing loss.  

As it turned out, all my disabilities totaled more than 400% - or 100% using VA math - but it is important to get in to the VA healthcare system as soon as possible so I would encourage all vets to apply even if the problem isn't yet a huge problem.

One other thing - the VA always seems to get a bad rap, but other than dealing with the bureaucracy, I can't complain about the VA.  My application for compensation was approved in six months and I've gotten excellent care.  

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