Hearing loss is a common condition among veterans who have been exposed to loud noises during their military service. If you have suffered hearing loss during your service, you may be eligible for service-connected disability benefits from the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). However, getting approved for disability benefits can be a complicated and challenging process. In this article, we will provide you with five tips for prevailing on a claim for hearing loss with VA.
Tip #1: Provide VA with information regarding your hearing loss
When you file your claim, you will need to provide the agency with a statement explaining your current hearing difficulties; an event or injury in service that caused hearing issues; and a nexus between the two. If you have been diagnosed with a hearing disability by a private medical provider you will want to share that information with the agency. If possible, you will also want to ask your doctor if he or she can provide a written opinion confirming that there is a link between your current hearing disability and your time in service.
Tip #2: Gather evidence of exposure to loud noises during service
To support your claim for service-connected disability benefits, you will want to provide evidence of exposure to loud noises during your military service. This can include service records, statements from fellow service members, and other documentation that shows you were exposed to loud noises during your service.
Tip #3: Keep a record of your symptoms and how they affect your daily life
It may help to keep a record of your symptoms and how they affect your daily life. This can include difficulty hearing conversations, ringing in your ears, and other symptoms that impact your ability to work and function in your daily life. This information can be used to support your claim for disability benefits.
Tip #4: Work with an accredited veterans service organization (VSO) or veteran disability benefits lawyer
Navigating the VA disability benefits process can be complicated and overwhelming. Consider working with a VSO or qualified attorney who can help you understand the process and gather the evidence you need to support your claim. These professionals can also help you file your claim and represent you in appeals if your claim is denied.
Tip #5: Be patient and persistent
The VA disability benefits process can be lengthy, and it may take several months or even years to receive a decision on your claim. Be patient and persistent in following up with the VA and providing any additional information or documentation they may need to process your claim. Remember, getting approved for disability benefits can make a significant difference in your life, so it's worth the effort to pursue your claim.
Prevailing on a claim for hearing loss with the VA requires a combination of medical evidence, documentation of exposure to loud noises during service, and persistence in navigating the complex disability benefits process. By following these five tips, you can increase your chances of getting the disability benefits you deserve.
If you have any questions about your VA claim and appeal, contact the legal experts at West & Dunn at 608-535-6420 or through our Contact Us page for a free consultation of your case.