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Update: Hearing Loss & Tinnitus Claims

Aloha TACAMO shipmates,

The article in the link below has come to our attention.

The article says, “The Department of Veterans Affairs will change its disability ratings criteria for mental health conditions, sleep apnea and tinnitus, part of a major overhaul of the review process to ensure that compensation matches veterans' medical conditions and needs, department officials say.”

Injuries like tinnitus and sleep apnea will lose status and will need to be connected to their cause disease to be considered a disability. Not only will you have to prove a nexus to your service, … you will have to prove the disease that caused it. Was the hazardous noise we were subjected to a disease? How do you prove that?

This is subject to review, but again quoting the article, “Officials say the changes, which would go into effect after a period for the public to comment and a final version is published, likely will result in higher disability ratings for veterans with mental health conditions, but fewer qualifying for disability compensation for tinnitus and sleep apnea.

Veterans already receiving disability for these conditions will not see their ratings downgraded by any changes, officials said.”

The fact that this is being published means the VA is close to closing the door on those injuries as worthy of disability consideration.

So many of our shipmates suffer from tinnitus and hearing loss. And it’s completely arguable that it was caused by our exposure to the hazardous noise (>90db for more than 8 hours a day) generated by the C-130s that we served so many hours on in the defense of our country.

This impending status change is a notice of urgency and a “last call” for any/all of us suffering from hearing loss and tinnitus to make our claims NOW before that ability to claim is systematically ignored.

We cannot express the urgency of this strongly enough. TCVA encourages you to (if you haven’t already) file a claim to the VA through your local VSO (Veteran Service Officer) ASAP, before the status changes. Hopefully, your claim will be “grandfathered” under the current status.

Update: 23 Feb 2022|By Patricia Kime: Thousands of Veterans May See Disability Deadline Waived as Supreme Court Takes Up Case

How to find a VSO (Veterans Service Officer)

Please contact your VSO and file your claim. TCVA is here to support you in this challenge. TCVA members have helped bring evidence, both anecdotal and objective, to aid in VA disability claims.

After you are registered with the VA and your claim has been filed, please contact us at to request the evidence package to support your claim.

Several of our members have been successful and are considered disabled from hearing loss and tinnitus. Others have been denied this status with no real evidence to support the denial.

Stay strong, shipmates! Together we can get the recognition of our common, service-related injury.

Mike Vos, TCVA Exeuctive Director & Founder


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