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Old 18 June 2011, 06:07
Hostile0311 Hostile0311 is offline
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VA Claim for Tinnitus Approved

If you suffer from tinnitus I highly suggest you file a claim. I filed my claim in March of last year on my own. I live overseas and the VA contacted the US Embassy here in Malta and I was seen by a foreign physician approved by the Embassy. I had my med record which showed hearing loss upon discharge. I developed tinnitus along the way and that is what prompted me to file. I discharged in 2003, so I thought my claim wouldn't get approved or taken seriously. I was wrong. After 14 months and numerous monthly calls I was finally given a service connected rating of 10%. So if you suffer from this affliction I recommend filing. Also, in a few years when I'll be needing hearing aids, hopefully the VA can help with that too. Those bad boys ain't cheap. Thanks to all the gents on this board who helped and answered PMs from me. Cheers.
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Old 18 June 2011, 10:46
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Glad to hear that, tinnitus can be a PITA.
Good luck with hearing aids I got denied on that.Doctor said it would not help.
Did you get 10% per ear?
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Old 18 June 2011, 10:56
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There has been a fight for years to get 10% for each ear - has anyone "heard"of an update?
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Old 18 June 2011, 11:44
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Tinnitus is indeed a PITA! Damned constant high pitch whine.
Folks should ensure they get it documented in their medical records when it shows up. I was getting my hearing tested at a military hospital and they had signs in the booths about fraudulent tinnitus claims being prosecuted! I guess it's a common occurrence given there is not visible proof a person has it.
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Old 8 August 2011, 12:52
Dozer Dozer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple36 View Post
Tinnitus is indeed a PITA! Damned constant high pitch whine.
Folks should ensure they get it documented in their medical records when it shows up. I was getting my hearing tested at a military hospital and they had signs in the booths about fraudulent tinnitus claims being prosecuted! I guess it's a common occurrence given there is not visible proof a person has it.
Mine changes pitch on a regular basis; makes me feel like I have a different tuning fork for each ear.
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Old 8 August 2011, 14:10
Carl Spackler
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Originally Posted by Dozer View Post
Mine changes pitch on a regular basis; makes me feel like I have a different tuning fork for each ear.
Yep. It fluctuates with your blood pressure, food intake, any changes in body chemistry. Exercise causes it to become loud but after it seems to get quieter.Mine is in both ears and sometimes one ear is louder than the other. I also notice changes in my eye clarity meaning sometimes I have 20/20 but most of the time I need 1.5 glasses to read and any bright light kills...
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  #7  
Old 8 August 2011, 15:20
Hostile0311 Hostile0311 is offline
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Originally Posted by Carl Spackler View Post
Yep. It fluctuates with your blood pressure, food intake, any changes in body chemistry. Exercise causes it to become loud but after it seems to get quieter.Mine is in both ears and sometimes one ear is louder than the other. I also notice changes in my eye clarity meaning sometimes I have 20/20 but most of the time I need 1.5 glasses to read and any bright light kills...
Same symptoms here. Ditto on bright lights. Especially sunlight and especially white neon lights.
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  #8  
Old 21 June 2011, 10:43
pirana pirana is offline
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Originally Posted by Hostile0311 View Post
Also, in a few years when I'll be needing hearing aids, hopefully the VA can help with that too.
You are 10% for tinnitus, therefore the VA will provide your hearing aids free of charge from now on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frog View Post
There has been a fight for years to get 10% for each ear - has anyone "heard"of an update?

This is a "bilateral" condition to the VA. That means they won't rate both ears, just the condition itself. 10% is the max for tinnitus.
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Old 21 June 2011, 17:32
Hostile0311 Hostile0311 is offline
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You are 10% for tinnitus, therefore the VA will provide your hearing aids free of charge from now on.




This is a "bilateral" condition to the VA. That means they won't rate both ears, just the condition itself. 10% is the max for tinnitus.
Righto Bro... As per the paperwork the VA sent...I got a 0% service connected disability for bilateral hearing loss "with associated tinnitus which most likely resulted from my MOS (0311 Rifleman) as well as noise from a subsequent combat deployment". This tells me that my rating was based my MOS and a combat deployment. That's where the 10% tinnitus rating resulted. Pogues might have a higher burden of proof as I stated earlier in a previous post.
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Old 21 June 2011, 20:23
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Congrats! Not on having the tinnitus, but on getting compensated for it
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  #11  
Old 22 June 2011, 05:08
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Whilst on the subject of hearing, has the U.S. military published any figures on the prosentage of causes for hearing damage, ie. how much is due to, the individual weapon, crew served weapons or enemy fire?
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  #12  
Old 22 June 2011, 09:56
pirana pirana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hostile0311 View Post
Righto Bro... As per the paperwork the VA sent...I got a 0% service connected disability for bilateral hearing loss "with associated tinnitus which most likely resulted from my MOS (0311 Rifleman) as well as noise from a subsequent combat deployment". This tells me that my rating was based my MOS and a combat deployment. That's where the 10% tinnitus rating resulted. Pogues might have a higher burden of proof as I stated earlier in a previous post.
Dead on. Vets Benefits Specialists and Rating Officers alike have a list of MOSs and NECs that are (practically) automatic qualifiers for a favorable tinnitus rating. Hearing loss and tinnitus are not quite "presumptive" conditions to the VA (as would be, say, if a veteran who set foot on Vietnamese soil between 5Aug1964 and 7May1975 and eventually developed Parkinson's Disease, which is a slam-dunk in the claims world today), but it certainly is a matter worth pursuing in the claims process. This little condition, even if rated at 0%, can make a difference eventually for the veteran, especially if the veteran one day will need that $6,000.00 hearing aid. A rating of 0% does not qualify the veteran for VA medicine, but it is a foot in the door toward a 10% rating, which will in fact qualify the veteran for treatment of the condition for which he or she is rated, for life. Said treatment, for hearing problems, includes hearing aids.

"Recurrent" is the buzzword for the tinnitus claim application. Technically that little word is quite forgiving with respect to the identification of the condition's frequency, but it is what the Rating Officer looks for. I don't think I know anybody from the teams that doesn't have at least "recurrent" tinnitus, and as for myself, hell, I'd label it "constant." Shoot a few AT-4s, and that's all she wrote.

This little problem has its price. I cannot stand happy hour, crowds, listening to a waiter in a restaurant, listening to music, any of that shit. If I needed it, tinnitus would be my way into the claims process.
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  #13  
Old 18 June 2011, 11:54
Hostile0311 Hostile0311 is offline
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GPC/Frog,
10% is the max they give I was told by the VA. That's for either one or both ears. Better than nothing I reckon. We'll see about the aids when the time comes.
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  #14  
Old 18 June 2011, 12:35
Carl Spackler
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Originally Posted by Hostile0311 View Post
GPC/Frog,
10% is the max they give I was told by the VA. That's for either one or both ears. Better than nothing I reckon. We'll see about the aids when the time comes.
Correct. If anyone was a diver in any military capacity, it is a standard award. In the veterans area here I downloaded a letter to the VA from Navy Diving outlining diving duty injury physiology. If you print that out and send it with your claim, it helps the VA in making the correct award.
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Old 18 June 2011, 12:43
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Yes, I know, I have it and got 10%. But I have it in both ears.

This is what I am talking about - Question is: Any new news?
---------------------------------------------------------------
From 2005:
DAV Prevails in Fight Over Tinnitus Claims
On April 5, 2005, the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
(CAVC) handed down its decision in Smith v. Nicholson. The DAV had argued on
behalf of Mr. Smith that he was entitled to two separate ten-percent
disability ratings for service-connected tinnitus, i.e., ringing, in his
right and left ears. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) argued in
Smith's case, as well as in a large number of other cases, that the VA
Schedule for Rating Disabilities provided for only one ten-percent rating,
regardless of whether the tinnitus was present in only one ear or both ears.

The CAVC held that: "Based on the plain language of the regulations, the
Court holds that the pre-1999 and pre-June 13, 2003 versions of [diagnostic
code] 6260 required the assignment of dual ratings for bilateral tinnitus."
Veterans who filed a claim for service connection for tinnitus in both ears,
or who claimed an increased rating for that condition, prior to June 13,
2003, may be entitled to receive combined disability compensation based on
two ten-percent ratings for tinnitus. Additionally, the law does not permit
any such ratings to be reduced in the future, unless the severity of the
tinnitus is shown to have actually improved.

The decision of the CAVC in the Smith case has not yet become final. The VA
appealed that decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal
Circuit (Federal Circuit) on June 22, 2005. The Federal Circuit handed down
its decision on June 19, 2006. That decision reversed the decision of the
CAVC which held that veterans are entitled to two separate 10-percent
ratings for service connected tinnitus in the left and right ears. The
Federal Circuit held that prior to its amendment in June 2003, diagnostic
code 6260 was ambiguous as to whether tinnitus was a single disability and
that the CAVC erred by failing to defer to the VA's reasonable
interpretation of its own regulation.

The Federal Circuit's decision does not become final until the conclusion of
any proceeding before the Supreme Court of the United States. The DAV filed
a petition for a writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court on September 19,
2006, on behalf of Mr. Smith. On December 19, 2006, the United States filed
its opposition to our petition for a writ of certiorari and a decision on
whether they grant the petition will probably come during the first quarter
of 2007.

If the petition is denied, then the Federal Circuit's decision becomes
final. If the petition is granted, then the Federal Circuit's decision will
not become final until the Supreme Court issues its decision.

Veterans who believe that they may be entitled to benefits based on the
Smith precedent should promptly contact their DAV National Service Officer.

Then in 2007:
United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
(CAVC) said yes to two ten-percent ratings for tinnitus.

VA appealed to United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Federal Circuit). CAVC said no to two ten-percent ratings for tinnitus.
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  #16  
Old 18 June 2011, 12:52
Carl Spackler
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Originally Posted by Frog View Post
Your post
I do too and it hasn't changed. Still 10%. I know that the intensity of tinnitus is unverifiable hence the lack of a decision. Mine rages 24/7 and at different volumes. It sucks ass as you know as well.
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  #17  
Old 18 June 2011, 15:02
Just Another Guy Just Another Guy is offline
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Hearing aids mitigate mine somewhat. It doesn't go away, I just notice it less.
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  #18  
Old 18 June 2011, 15:08
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I've heard that there are Tinnitus masking devices..they make a white noise that cancels out certain types of Tinnitus.
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Old 18 June 2011, 15:16
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Originally Posted by Just Another Guy View Post
Hearing aids mitigate mine somewhat. It doesn't go away, I just notice it less.
I have heard this as well and was fitted with a very high dollar hearing aid, but my experience was it made no difference whatsoever. I think you are the first person I know who has experienced some relief from the aid, I am very glad it helps you dude.
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Old 18 June 2011, 15:14
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I am scheduled for a new audiogram that is 'supposed' to include a tinnitus test of some sort that factors it in to my hearing loss.... I am suspicious but will report back when done.

I ruptured an eardrum in Helmand, along with the typical concussion syptoms from an explosion, and have been struggling with the tinnitus far more than the hearing loss, some days it's just awful. I am very glad the VA has finally recognized this injury.
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