Hearing Claims UPDATE
A former shipmate of ours (who asked to remain nameless) recently reported to me that his second claim for Hearing Loss and Tinnitus (HL/T) had been granted. This follows a denial on his initial, January 2021 claim. He was awarded a 10% disability for tinnitus and denied for hearing loss. This award came after updating his claim with the additional evidence package available upon request from TCVA. He stated that he was confident that the additional “buddy letters” and C-130 sound-level documentation were instrumental to his second review’s success. He received monthly monetary compensation retroactive to his original January 2021 date and access to the VA for hearing aids. Congratulations, shipmate!
This is terrific news! Yet, we must remain diligent in our efforts to be recognized for the hearing injuries resulting from our service exposure. If you haven’t yet filed a claim to the VA, please do it ASAP. There is a bill before Congress to eliminate recognition for tinnitus and sleep apnea. Even though it’s still up for review, there is a very real chance that your future claim may fall on deaf ears (pun intended).
If you have had recent success with a HL/T claim and TCVA is unaware of it, we’d appreciate your feedback for use in developing patterns and precedents for our other shipmates who have been denied, or are hanging in “limbo” with their claim. It appears that the review process is regional. Some places seem to be more responsive to claims than others. Although this is not unexpected for a bureaucracy as large as the VA, TCVA hopes to bridge this imbalance with our common evidence and purpose.
Your service-related injury should be compensated, much like a “workman’s comp” claim in the civilian world. This is important not just for the money or the hearing aids, but so the military can adjust their injury-mitigation methods in the future. You were there to serve your country, not always knowing the associated risks. The U.S. government should accept responsibility for exposing you to those risks and try to prevent/mitigate injury to future service members.
Stay strong, shipmates! Together, we will find success.
Mike Vos, TCVA Executive Director & Founding Member
If you need supporting evidence please contact Cheryl at email@example.com.