va disability for hearing loss

VA Disability for Hearing Loss

According to the United States Department of Veteran’s Affairs, hearing loss is the most common disability among all veterans who served in combat. If you are a veteran of military service who is suffering from either conductive hearing loss or tinnitus, it’s important to understand how to qualify for disability through the VA and what you may be eligible for.

What Veterans Can Qualify for VA Disability for Hearing Loss?

The VA has a whole system of classifying the severity of hearing loss and determining who is and isn’t eligible so every situation is different. Generally, veterans are eligible for coverage if they fall into any of these categories:

  • Veterans receiving compensation for another service-connected disability
  • Those who have been prisoners or war
  • Purple Heart recipients for those soldiers who were injured by the enemy during combat
  • Veterans receiving compensation under Title 38 United States Code 1151
  • Those who are permanently housebound or need a lot of assistance with care and activities of daily living
  • Any veteran who has service-connected hearing loss that affects their ability to communicate

How to Establish a Service Connection

The process to qualify for VA disability compensation for hearing loss is a long process. Part of what you must show is a service connection for your hearing loss or tinnitus. To make a disability claim and possibly receive benefits, you’ll have to show proof of several different things.

First, you’ll need a current diagnosis of a hearing condition. The VA is very particular about this. It should come from an audiologist to give it a little more weight, not your family doctor or PCP.

You will also have to provide evidence of the event you believed caused the condition. This can be done by carefully looking at your service record to identify times when you may have been exposed to noises like explosions, heavy machinery, or gunshots.

Finally, you will need to demonstrate a medical opinion that your hearing loss is a result of the exposure. You can usually receive this from your PCP or the audiologist performing your initial hearing test.

How Do They Determine the Severity of Hearing Loss?

There are two different hearing tests that are used to evaluate how bad your hearing loss is and whether or not you can make a VA disability claim.

The first test is called the Maryland CNC test and tests your ability to hear spoken words.

The second test is a pure tone audiometry test, which checks your ability to hear different frequencies ranging from high to low. Both ears are tested even if you’re only suffering from hearing loss in one of them and they should be performed by a licensed audiologist.

Next, the VA analyzes the results of these tests and uses a formula to assign a rating to your hearing loss through a percent disability rating. This rating ranges from 0 to 100 percent in increments of 10. The higher to number, the more disability benefits you’re entitled to. Minor hearing loss is typically assigned 0 which is no compensation or 10% which is a small amount every month. Obviously, the higher your rating, the less likely it is you can support yourself so more severe disabilities receive increasing levels of assistance and benefits. If you have a rating of 30% or higher, your dependents may also be qualified for coverage since you are likely unable to work enough to support them.

Remember, hearing loss severity is determined by how well your ears function together. The tests monitor overall hearing, not one ear at a time. If you have severe hearing loss in one ear but your other ear isn’t as bad, your disability will likely not be rated as high.

How Can Hearing Loss Be Avoided in Combat or in Training?

When it comes to hearing loss, prevention really is the best medicine. There are some things that soldiers can do to protect themselves while in the field.

Minimize exposure to loud and noisy environments when possible. While it’s not always possible to prevent exposure in wartime and in combat, the more soldiers can mitigate damaging frequencies in loud environments, the better.

That said, it’s important to wear both ear AND head protection in combat and while in training environments. Not only does this prevent damaging sounds from getting into your ears, but it also protects the head from any trauma that could lead to hearing loss and other significant neurological issues.

Have your hearing checked regularly. You should get a baseline test any time you return home from combat and then recheck every year to monitor any changes that occur so you can catch any problems early.

Getting What You Deserve

It’s not always easy to get the VA to approve disability for hearing loss. Even if you can show that there’s a service connection, it doesn’t mean that they will accurately determine the severity of your disability and how it affects your daily life.

If you feel that your disability is worse than what it been rated and that you have the right to further compensation, there are things you can do. You can file an appeal directly with the VA for up to one year following the initial decision. While it’s possible to do this on your own, it’s a long process with a lot of legalities involved so it’s a good idea to find a lawyer who can help you plead your case.

Veterans and Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is the most common medical issue for veterans returning from combat. While the VA does provide disability for hearing loss, getting what you deserve is not a fast or straightforward process.

The best thing you can do is get started as soon as possible. Visit an audiologist to get an expert opinion and hire a lawyer if you need help proving your claims. You never know what problems you’re going to have after returning from combat. It’s important to take care of the obvious one as soon as possible.

RELATED: 3M Military Earplug Lawsuit



types of treatment for noise induced hearing loss in vets and soldiers

Types of Treatment for Noise-induced Hearing Loss in Vets and Soldiers

Imagine coming home from duty and not being able to hear your daughter’s laugh or understand your mother when she talks to you. This is the reality for thousands of soldiers and vets.

Hearing loss such as tinnitus is the number one disability among veterans and soldiers who have served or even been through training.

Despite recent changes in preventative care for hearing loss in the military with hearing protection, there’s still the high chance that, as a soldier and having to endure noise exposure, you’ll end up with hearing loss or tinnitus to some degree—even with hearing protection such as ear plugs. This is why it’s important to know your treatment options so you can still maintain a normal lifestyle.

We are going to learn all about the treatments used for noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) such as hearing loss tinnitus.

Treatment Options for Noise-induced Hearing Loss

Noise-induced hearing loss, a type of sensorineural hearing loss, is simply permanent hearing loss due to exposure to loud sounds and noises. The risk is higher if you’re exposed to loud noises for long periods of time.

The loud noise you’ve experienced has damaged your hair cells in your ear. These hair cells help move sound into your inner ear so it can be sent to the auditory area of your brain.

Unfortunately, there’s no cure for noise-induced hearing loss or a hearing impairment through exposure to loud sound, but there are two basic treatment options for this type of hearing loss.

Hearing Aids

Once you’ve been to a health care professional and you’ve been diagnosed with noise-induced hearing loss, you’ll be referred to an audiologist or otolaryngologist.

More than likely, the specialist you see will decide a hearing aid will help you the most.

If your hearing loss is only in one hear, you’ll only be fitted for one hearing aid. If there’s hearing loss in both your ears, you’ll need two hearing aids.

Hearing aid options go back centuries and have evolved from silly looking ear trumpets to today’s modern digital hearing aids.

There are three parts to a hearing aid. First, a sound wave hits the microphone of the hearing aid. The microphone then converts the sound waves to electrical signals instead.

When the electrical signals hit the amplifier, the amplifier boosts or amplifies the electrical signals. These amplified signals are then sent to the speaker in your hearing aid, which sends the sound to your inner ear.

The undamaged hair cells in your ear will turn the electrical signals into a message that’s sent through neuropathways to your brain. Your brain then translates the message to a sound or to speech you can understand.

Using two hearing aids is called binaural amplification. A hearing aid in each ear makes speech more understandable for you. You’ll notice the difference in noisy environments when you’re trying to have a conversation.

Unfortunately, hearing aids will never restore your hearing to the way it was before your ears or ear hair cells were damaged. They amplify sounds so you can hear noises and understand speech better.

There are three styles of hearing aids to choose from:

  • A Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid is worn behind your ear with an ear mold that fits in your outer ear
  • A Canal hearing aid fits into your ear canal
  • An In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aid is made to fit inside your outer ear

Cochlear Implant

For very severe noise-induced hearing loss that’s not responding to hearing aids, your specialist may suggest a cochlear implant surgery.

A cochlear implant is when your doctor inserts small electronic devices into your inner ear (down into your cochlea) as well as an external electronic device behind your ear.

The external implant has a microphone, a speech processor, and a transmitter. The microphone receives sound waves created by a sound or by speech. The microphone then passes the sound waves to the speech processor.

The speech processor converts the sound waves into electric signals and then sends these signals to the transmitter. The transmitter codes the electric signals. Then, these electrical signals are sent to the internal implant. This is made possible by magnet coupling.

When the sound hits the internal implant in your ear, it hits the receiver that was implanted on your temporal bone but beneath your skin. The receiver converts the electrical signals into electric pulses.

Then, it sends the electric pulses to the implant further into your inner ear. This part of the implant is an electrode array. The electrode array sends the message to your brain through stimulating your auditory neuropathways.

How your brain receives and translates the sound in a cochlear implant is slightly different than how you naturally hear.

Other types of hearing implants include:

  • A middle ear implant (MEI) is inserted into your middle ear. It enhances sound waves to your cochlea. Some middle ear implants have an external device that’s attached behind your ear while other middle ear implants only have one small device. It works much like a cochlear implant.
  • An auditory brainstem implant (ABI) is an electrode pad that’s implanted on your cochlear nucleus. Your cochlear nucleus is the part of your brainstem involved in hearing. When the electrode pad turns sound waves into electrical signals. These electrical signals are sent through auditory neuropathways to your brain.
  • An electro-acoustic stimulation implant (EAS) is used for those who only have difficulty hearing high pitched noises and sounds. It’s implanted similarly to the cochlear implant and works much like a cochlear implant. The exception is that when the sound hits the electrode array, it only picks up high pitched sounds.

The Bottom Line

Hearing loss is a scary ordeal and a daily struggle. Which is why it’s important to see a specialist for some type of treatment to improve your life.

Make sure you and your doctor go over the options so you can pick the best treatment plan for you.

If you believe that your hearing damage was caused or exacerbated by using 3M’s defective Combat Arms Military Earplugs, then we can help you take legal action in seeking damage compensation from 3M. See if you qualify .

different types of hearing loss in vets and soldiers

Different Types of Hearing Loss in Vets and Soldiers

Just like there are many different causes of hearing loss and tinnitus in soldiers and military veterans, there are several types of hearing loss that can occur in vets. These types of hearing loss can also affect civilians and may result in requiring hearing aids.

If you were on duty or in training with the US military, you were subjected to the noise of weapons and engines almost every day.

Hearing loss can make life stressful. It can be hard to communicate with your loved ones or hold down a job if you aren’t being treated.

We’re going to learn all the types of hearing loss. If you suffer from any of these hearing ailments after serving in the military between the years of 2003-2015, you may be due compensation from 3M.

Different Types of Hearing Loss

Keep in mind, there are three main parts of your ear. There’s the outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear.

All three parts of your ear work to send a sound you hear through your ear canal to your auditory pathways. Your auditory nerves send the sound or speech to your brain through different pathways. Then your brain translates what you heard into something you can understand.

Each type of hearing loss is due to some type of damage to the three parts of your ear and should be classed as a hearing loss disability.

We’re going to go over the four types of hearing loss military personnel could be experiencing that may require hearing aids.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss happens when there’s damage to your inner ear or the nerve pathways passed your inner ear is hurt, preventing sound to travel any further. This makes sound seem muffled.

It’s also the most common type of hearing loss in military veterans and in civilians.

Sensorineural is, unfortunately, permanent hearing loss. Sound isn’t able to travel to your brain to be translated because the hair cells in your inner ear are damaged and unable to pass the sound waves on.

Sensorineural hearing loss is often caused by:

  • Aging or getting older
  • Hereditary genes in your family
  • Traumatic injury to your ears or head
  • Loud sounds and noises
  • Loud sounds and noises for a long period of time
  • Some autoimmune diseases
  • Some blood vessel diseases
  • A growth in your inner ear
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Certain medications

Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss happens when a sound can’t go through the middle ear and/or your outer ear because of damage without any hearing protection. This makes sounds and speech seem faint or far away.

The sound gets blocked due to blockage from fluid or part of your ear is damaged. Either your middle ear or outer ear is having difficulty. The sound can’t conduct, hence the name conductive hearing loss.

Conductive hearing loss is often caused by:

  • Chronic ear infections that can damage parts of your ear or build up fluid
  • A growth in your middle or outer ear
  • Wax build up in your inner ear
  • Swimmer’s ear (Otitus externa)
  • Thickening of the tympanic membrane
  • Blockage in the tube that connects your middle ear to the back of your nose and throat
  • Break between the bones of your middle ear caused by injury to the ear

Mixed Hearing Loss

Mixed hearing loss is what it sounds like. It’s hearing loss due to both conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss.

Mixed hearing loss means you have damage to the inner ear and either the middle ear or outer ear. There are mixed damage and mixed factors causing your hearing loss.

This type of hearing loss is caused by the same issues from conductive hearing and/or sensorineural hearing. It can make your hearing both faint and muffled at the same time. Speech is hard to understand for someone with mixed hearing loss.

Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder Hearing Loss

Auditory neuropathy (ANSD) is when the auditory nerves are compromised so the message is never received by your brain. The auditory nerves are the nerves that send the sound waves from your inner ear to your brain to be decoded.

Auditory neuropathy wasn’t discovered until the 1990s. It’s also believed to be a major factor in complete deafness in both children and adults and can be brought about by not wearing hearing protection when exposed to loud noises.

If you have auditory neuropathy, you have hearing loss that varies from mild to severe.

Some people with auditory neuropathy can hear sounds and noises just fine but have difficulty hearing and understanding speech, but the experience is different for every person.

The known causes of auditory neuropathy include:

  • Premature birth
  • Lack of oxygen when you’re born
  • Certain infectious diseases
  • Certain autoimmune disorder
  • Certain neurological disorders


Even though Tinnitus isn’t a type of hearing loss but a common symptom of it, it deserves to be mentioned in its own section. Most vets and soldiers dealing with hearing loss also are dealing with and struggling with tinnitus.

Reported in 2014, almost 1.3 million vets were receiving some type of compensation from the VA for tinnitus.

Tinnitus causes different types of sounds in the ear that includes buzzing, clicking, hissing, roaring, and ringing.

Tinnitus can run from mild to severe. It also can be a constant nuisance to some while others only deal with it on and off. Some people struggle with tinnitus in one ear while others have tinnitus in both ears. It varies from person to person.

The most common causes of tinnitus include:

  • Age-related hearing loss
  • Loud sounds and noises
  • Loud sounds and noises for long periods of time
  • Wax impaction
  • Trauma to your head or neck
  • Certain blood vessel diseases
  • Certain circulatory system disorders
  • Certain medications

Other symptoms than buzzing in the ears include:

  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Memory issues
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

The Bottom Line

Sensorineural hearing loss is the main cause of hearing loss in veterans and soldiers. This occurs from being surrounded by loud noises constantly, whether it’s loud blasts from weapons or engines buzzing right next to you.

If you believe you’re suffering from any form or hearing loss listed above, you should talk with a physician immediately.

If you’re a veteran who suffered from hearing loss and used 3M’s defective Combat Arms earplugs while in training or in combat from 2003-2015, you should seek legal assistance as soon as possible.

3m earplug lawsuit

Common Causes of Hearing Loss in Soldiers and Vets

Veterans and those on active duty or have served in the military are at a higher risk of developing permanent hearing loss, especially as hearing protection is often overlooked. There are several causes of hearing loss while on duty, from bombs to firearms.

Most of these causes are unavoidable in the military service due to loud noises, but there are situations in which the right protection would have helped prevent the majority of your hearing complications. These preventable measures the military and 3M could have helped you with.

If you believe your hearing loss is due to your duty and service or post-traumatic stress disorder, we hope this article helps you. We’re going to go over the top common causes of hearing loss in soldiers and vets today.

Common Causes of Hearing Loss in the Military

There’s not just one cause of hearing loss while training or on duty in the military service without hearing protection. In fact, there are multiple reasons your hearing might be impaired while you were serving. Being in the military means you’ll be subjected to noise pollution on a constant basis.

Exposure to Weapons and Firearms Noise

As a soldier, regardless of the branch of the military you were in, you were being trained on different weapons and firearms. This includes grenades and bombs. Exposure to the constant sound of certain military weapons can cause devastation on your eardrums.

When you’re exposed to any noise that is over 140 decibels, you’re at risk for loss of hearing. Most firearms and weapons, even the smallest of guns, create a sound that’s well over 140 decibels.

Weapons that make high decibel noise can cause high-frequency hearing loss. High-frequency hearing loss simply means you have difficulty hearing noises at higher frequencies, usually frequencies that are 2000 hertz or higher.

This can include trouble hearing:

  • Women or children’s voices
  • Talking in noisy areas
  • Consonant letters in speech

Exposure to Ship Engine Noise and Carrier Deck Noise

If you were in the navy, chances are you were exposed to the ship’s engine through the engine room. This includes anyone who has been exposed to long term engine noise, regardless of being in the military.

A study back in the ’70s measured the noise level of 3 Indian Naval ships. They found the highest level of noise was found in the engine room at a high level of 112 decibels.

78% of the crew that worked in the engine room had some type of loss of hearing later on in life. Only 46% of the rest of the crew ended up with hearing loss.

Another study, in 2009 of Norwegian merchant ships, found that the majority of the damaging noise level in the engine room was from the safety valves.

Exposure to Fighter Planes, Jets, and Other Air Crafts

Just like those in the navy, soldiers involved in aviation are at high risk for hearing loss due to loud and noisy engines. Jet engines alone can produce up to 160 decibels in sound.

The longer you’ve worked as a pilot, you’re at a stronger risk for high-frequency hearing loss or tinnitus.

Tinnitus is very debilitating for sufferers. It can make concentration difficult and intrude on hearing speech and sounds. Some soldiers only experience tinnitus is one ear while others experience it in both ears.

Tinnitus is often a symptom of hearing loss that causes buzzing, hissing, or ringing in the soldier’s ears. There are other causes for tinnitus and you can have tinnitus without hearing loss.

There are 2 distinct types of tinnitus:

Objective tinnitus is when anyone close to your head can also hear the noise produced in your ears. Objective tinnitus is very rare and is usually caused by blood vessel issues or muscle contractions.

Subjective tinnitus is when only you can hear the noise in your ears but others can’t. This type of tinnitus can be caused by many factors.

The sounds can either be constant or they come and go. It also can get worse as you get older since the nerve fibers in your ears decline as you age.

Exposure to Jet Fuel

Believe it or not, exposure to jet fuel can also cause hearing loss in soldiers. Unlike the other causes of hearing loss, jet fuel exposure hearing loss isn’t just a noise-induced hearing loss.

Instead, it’s due to exposure to the chemicals in jet fuel, particularly military grade jet fuel, alongside the loud engine noise. This combo of factors increases your risk of hearing loss and tinnitus.

This combination can also cause other health risks besides just hearing loss.

Jet fuel fumes can damage neurological pathways in your brain that helps your brain decipher speech and language.

When you hear someone speaking, your ears send that message to your brain through auditory nerves. The auditory center of your brain translates the speech or sound so you can understand it.

A study in 2014 found that a specific type of jet fuel, kerosene-based jet propulsion fuel-8, caused dysfunction to your brain stem. Your brain stem is one of the many pathways that send sounds to your brain.

A soldier with this kind of dysfunction can still hear sounds; they’re just unable to understand or translate language and speech. Often, soldiers with this hearing issue have difficulty explaining what’s going on with their hearing.

The CDC found that JP-8 isn’t the only type of jet fuel that causes hearing problems. JP-5 and Jet A fuels can also cause dysfunction to your brain stem. Just like JP-8, they’re kerosene-based jet fuels. All three of these jet fuels are commonly used in military jets and commercial jets.

Hearing Loss & Tinnitus Treatment

There are no cures known for these conditions today, but you may be able to alleviate certain conditions. Additionally, as advancements in medical science develop for hearing loss and/or tinnitus, documenting your condition in advance with the VA may make you eligible for treatments in the future.

Remember: hearing loss and tinnitus are permanent conditions that greatly affect your quality of life – and these conditions tend to get worse over time. This is why it is especially critical to document your hearing loss and/or tinnitus with the VA or a private audiologist so that your particular condition can be studied over time.

The Bottom Line

Hearing loss in soldiers and vets have various causes but each one of you is susceptible to hearing issues. It’s important to take these issues seriously and get diagnosed as soon as possible.

If you believe that your hearing loss or tinnitus has been caused by any of these types of military exposure while using 3M ear plugs, we are here to help you.

is hearing loss a disability

Is Hearing Loss a Disability?

Believe it or not, the most common injury for veterans isn’t a missing limb or even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The number one health issue that affects veterans is, in fact, a hearing injury. To the point, veterans are 30% more likely to have a severe hearing impairment than non-veterans.

Why Do So Many Veterans Suffer from Hearing Loss and Can It Be Treated?

The main reason that veterans are so affected by hearing loss is noise exposure. Loud sounds gunfire, tanks, heavy equipment, and explosives can really cause a lot of damage and leave them hard of hearing. Often, normal age-related hearing changes occur later in life, making the problem much worse.

Another reason noise exposure can be so damaging is that blast exposure can lead to auditory processing disorder, a condition that makes it difficult to understand speech even though hearing seems to be fine.

Some hearing loss can be reversed but most hearing loss sustained by veterans is permanent and can be reduced by using a hearing aid. Unfortunately, about one in five people who would benefit from a hearing aid actually use one. Any veteran who enrolls in health care through the VA is not only eligible for diagnostic testing, they can also get a hearing aid through the VA, as well as other disability benefits.

Is Hearing Loss Considered a Disability?

It is possible to qualify for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration if hearing loss is severe. Not only can this help with financial burdens, but it can also help you get qualified for additional programs that can provide assistance. It may even qualify you for medical coverage through Medicare or Medicaid.

The process of getting diagnosed with profound hearing loss can be expensive and tedious at times. In-depth evaluations are done by audiologists to determine the severity and even the type of hearing loss. Specialized tests and additional medical exams may be required to check your hearing threshold as well as visits to ear specialists.

Significant hearing loss can make it very difficult to maintain a high quality of life. Getting through the day can be hard and it gets in the way of personal relationships because communication is so difficult. Adapting communication to hearing loss can be very difficult.

Learning how to read lips, sign, or speak without hearing their own voice can feel insurmountable and lead to feelings of isolation, depression, and cognitive decline. For a veteran who may already be struggling with civilian life, this can be catastrophic.

So, how bad does hearing loss have to be to medically qualify as a disability? Generally, if you are no longer able to earn a gainful living as a direct result of your hearing loss, you may qualify.

The SSA uses what’s called the Blue Book which lists all the various conditions that disability insurance covers. To qualify, you have to meet the qualifying factors of one of the conditions contained in the Blue Book. That said, if your hearing loss does not meet any of these requirements but still impacts your ability to work, there is still a way to get assistance.

A medical vocational allowance requires a residual functional capacity test to determine your ability to work with your hearing loss. This evaluation looks at your age, education level, job skills, training, and work history in order to determine the kind of work you would be qualified to do. Then, they compare the day-to-day duties of this type of work to your ability to perform them. This assessment also includes your ability to perform normal tasks like cleaning, cooking, and taking care of your pets. The idea is to determine if you are capable of performing the work you’re qualified to do. If your hearing loss prevents you from being able to do this work and to do it safely, you may be entitled to disability compensation.

Can Hearing Loss Be Prevented?

Researchers, engineers, and medical professionals from the VA are currently studying how to prevent and treat hearing loss including looking into the combined effects of aging and noise exposure which affects so many veterans later in life.

Luckily, hearing protection is now mandatory for all active-service members in all branches of the military. There are a few different forms of hearing protection available including:

  • Level Dependent Earplugs. Most traditional earplugs are effective at protecting the inner ear but interfere with mission communication requirements. They made it difficult to hear speech as well as low-level sounds essential to completing the mission. The alternative is level dependent earplugs which eliminate harmful high-frequency noises while letting essential sounds through.

3M Military Earplugs3M's Combat ArmsTM dual-ended earplugs were sold to the US Military from 2003-2015 under the pretense that these earplugs were intended to allow speech through while blocking damaging high-frequency noises. Recently, it was discovered that these 3M earplugs were defective and sometimes even amplified damaging noises. 
[Also read: 3M Pays $9.1M Fine for Defective Earplugs]
  • Earmuffs. Earmuffs create an airtight seal around the entire ear. They’re great for intermittent exposure or when you know you’re going to be around something that can do some damage. Military grade earmuffs commonly have an electric communication system so you can still hear important commands and conversation.
  • Noise-Attenuating Helmets. These advanced helmets not only protect from hearing loss, but they also prevent eye injury and protect against crash impact, too. They’re equipped with noise-reducing technology that cancels unwanted sound while still allowing for effective communication.

A Common Disability

Hearing loss is an injury that a lot of veterans cope with. In fact, they’re far more likely to have trouble with their hearing than a nonveteran.

Hearing loss can take a huge toll on anyone, especially any veteran who doesn’t have a lot of assistance or support. Communication is difficult, work becomes impossible, and can be really hard to adjust without the right assistance.

One important first step is to have your hearing evaluated by your doctor to see if a hearing aid would help. Most people with hearing loss can benefit from a hearing aid but don’t use one either because they don’t want to or aren’t aware of the benefits. Veterans can get evaluated and learn more about hearing aids through the VA.

For those who are really struggling, severe hearing loss can qualify for disability benefits. If the loss isn’t quite bad enough to fit into the parameters used by the SSA to define hearing loss, you may still be eligible if you’re unable to work as a direct result of your hearing loss.


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