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Monday, July 21, 2014

Now Hear This: Two Bills Address Military Disability for Tinnitus and Hearing Loss

Tinnitus is the most common condition eligible for VA Disability. The number of Disabled American Veterans with tinnitus has risen steadily each year since 2006, with a matching increase in the number of claims. Costs for the VA are rising, too, with $1.5 billion paid in VA Disability Benefits for tinnitus in 2012 alone. That figure is expected to soar to a whopping $3 billion in 2017!

There are 2 bills in Congress right now that deal with disability for tinnitus and hearing loss, one in the House and one in the Senate.

The bill in the House would require the VA’s Auditory Centers of Excellence to work with the DoD’s Hearing Center of Excellence to research the prevention and treatment of tinnitus.

This research would focus on the effectiveness of different tinnitus treatments, the underlying causes of tinnitus, and the physical connections between tinnitus and hearing loss. Also of concern to Congress is a growing body of research from other sources that shows a direct link between tinnitus and PTSD and TBI.

Back in 2006, a report from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, titled “Noise and Military Service: Implications for Hearing Loss and Tinnitus”, gave recommendations to the VA for properly treating auditory conditions. The bill that is currently in the Senate would hold the VA accountable for putting into practice the recommendations made in this report.

If the bill passes into law, the Secretary of the VA would be required to submit reports to Congress on how well the VA is doing providing care, treatment, and benefits to veterans with hearing loss, tinnitus or other auditory system injuries or conditions based on the recommendations from the report.

The VA’s reports are to include details on the veterans that are denied hearing loss-related benefits because their Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) is NOT included on the Duty MOS Noise Exposure Listing.

In addition, this bill would require the VA to critically examine and explain their criteria for rating hearing loss and tinnitus to ensure that the ratings and compensation properly reflect the reduced earning capacity of veterans with auditory disabilities.


Both of these bills are still being processed by Congress, but we will continue to watch their progress and let you know when (or if) they pass. Hopefully they will, and soon.

50 comments:

  1. Listened to high speed morse code (for 3+ years) through static louder than a rock concert. Have 10% tinnitus and hearing is terrible. Don't know if a 29251 is on the list of AF high probability for hearing loss.
    Probably need to go in. Stumbling every now and then too.
    Mike

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    1. Hi Mike -

      MOS 29251 isn't specifically listed on the Noise Exposure Listing, however, it is one that can be strongly argued should be. I think you should go ahead and apply for VA Disability. I'm pretty confident that they will consider your hearing loss and tinnitus ratable. Now, since it isn't officially on the list, they may still deny it during the first round, but you can appeal, and I think you would ultimately win.

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    2. I was a Pneudraulic Repairman in the air force and Iput a claim in for hearing loss and tinnitus and was denied for both. The VA said my hearing loss is not service connected because my hearing was good when I discharged

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    3. Hi Lenard -

      As a pneudraulic repairman, you should have had MOS code 2A635, 2A655, 2A675, or 2A695. If you did have one of these MOSs, then it is covered on the Duty MOS Noise Exposure List, and they should definitely not have denied your claim. If you had one of these MOSs, you can submit an appeal, and you should be successful.

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    4. Hello Dr. George P. Johnson,

      I was a 13 Bravo/Field Artilleryman, and I know my MOS exposed me to high noise. Where can I find the website, which lists Duty MOS noise Exposure so I can add it to my VA claim?

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    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    6. Combat engineer, 7yrs service. 12 months able operator, 3 years of. .50cal gunning and multiple explosions/detonations blown ear drum in basic training.....VA still says I'm not service connected. Oh do I hate the ringing!!

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    7. What's your exact MOS? If it is on the Noise Exposure List, then it qualifies. If not, then it won't. You can find the list on our site:

      http://www.militarydisabilitymadeeasy.com/theears.html#noise

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    8. Currently receiving 20% disability for hearing loss, however VA did not factor in speech discrimination and opted to use decibel loss only. Having issues understanding words, VA doctor (audiologist) informed me my word recognition is poor and ordered a MRI. What options do I have?

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  2. hearing loss received during combat? Is it eligible for purple heart?

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    1. As long as you have evidence of your hearing loss being treated while in the military and being directly caused by your active combat, then, yes, it would qualify for the Purple Heart.

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    2. would that mean that if one got prostate cancer as a presumed result of agent orange, then he may qualify for the purple heart?

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    3. Unfortunately, no. Agent Orange exposure is not the act of active combat and so does not qualify for the Purple Heart.

      http://www.americanwarlibrary.com/theheart.htm

      "AO was a herbicide used to defoliate dense vegetation to deny secluded transportation and refuge to the enemy. AO was never intended to be used, nor used, as an anti-personnel weapon. Advocates seeking to have their AO-related physical ailments judged as "wounds or injuries of war" have irresponsibly and incorrectly subscribed (often deliberately) to the myth that all adverse physical conditions that can be directly attributed to a theater of war are eligible for the PH. Both the Department of Defense and Congress have relied on objective scientific studies to conclude that AO is neither an enemy or friendly fire inflicted wound or injury. The Department of Veterans Affairs provides treatment and/or compensation for diagnosed cases of herbicide-related toxicity. No United States military medal has ever been established by DOD or Congress for physical conditions that may be associated with herbicide contact. Previous petitions by veterans or veterans groups to make this condition eligible for a new or existing medal were not approved."

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  3. PMOS 11E3P SMOS 45K3P 9 years inside Main Combat Tanks with 2 years as an armor officer instructor at Ft Knox Have had ringing in years since I left in 1981 and has been getting worse it is now at the point that I can not make out some words at times and crowd noises bother me is this rateable?

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    Replies
    1. Because of your extended work in tanks, you most probably do qualify for hearing loss and tinnitus. Definitely submit a claim for it. I would be incredibly surprised if they denied it.

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  4. Doctor I filed an intent on Dec 19th 2015 with the VA for Tinnitus and Bilateral hearing loss. I have been treated at the local VA hospital and clinics since 2010 and way back then I was given a test at the VA hospital , at that time the audiologist recommended filing the claim and I was issued hearing aids. I wasn't sure if it was worth my time and always heard it was a long drawn out process so I waited until this last December 2015 to file and see "what they said". I was called to ocme in for another test in January 2016 and On February 8th I was approved for 10% service connected Tinnitus and )% service connected Bilateral hearing loss. I am confused as to why they admit it was service connected clearly but gave a 0% rating , I was also quite shocked at how fast the decision was returned .... My MOS was 13 Bravo Cannon Crew Member on M198 Towed Howitzers and I was active duty Army 10 October 1987- 5 May 1991. Honorably discharged. The exact wording of my decision on the bilateral hearing loss is
    "1.Your examiner Opined that it is at least as likely as not that your hearing loss is due to military noise exposure.
    2. We have granted your claim for bilateral hearing loss
    3. VA Examination findings show the left ear with 88% discrimination. Decibel loss at the puretone threshold of 500 hertz is 30 with a 25dB loss at 1000hz, a 25dB loss at 2000hz , a 65db loss at 3000hz, and a 60dB at 4000hz. The average dB loss is 44 in the left ear.
    The right ear shows a speech discrimination of 86%
    . dB loss at the Puretone Threshold of 500hz is 25 with a 30dB loss at 1000hz, a 30db loss at 2000hz, a 65 dB loss at 3000hz, and a 60 dB loss at 4000hz. The average dB loss is 46 in the right ear.
    4. Service connection is warranted because your military occupational specialty of cannon crewmember is consistent with acoustic trauma and your hearing loss has been linked to that acoustic trauma.
    5An evaluation of 0 percent is assigned because your right ear has a speech discrimination of 86 with an average dB loss of 46 and your left ear has a speech discrimination of 88 with an average dB loss of 44.The evaluation of hearing loss is based on objective testing. Higher evaluations are assigned for more severe hearing impairment."

    Im not sure what to do now or where to turn for advice and was hoping you could shed some light on this finding and what my next steps if any should be if any ? I appreciate your time in this matter and just would like to understand what to do next and this may help others as well . Thank You Rick O. Southwest Virginia

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    1. Hi Rick -

      Yes, it's pretty normal for a condition to be considered service-connected but not rate higher than a 0%.

      For your hearing test results, they did rate you correctly. If you check out the Hearing Loss Rating System on our website, you'll find that the rating associated with your test results is a 0%.

      http://www.militarydisabilitymadeeasy.com/theears.html#system

      Basically, you have hearing loss and it was caused by your military service, but it is not yet severe enough to warrant a higher rating. The good news is that since it was considered service-connected, if it gets worse in the future, it will be quick and easy to have your rating increased.

      Your case was determined correctly and fairly (and very quickly), so there is nothing to do right now. Since it is service-connected, you are entitled for full health care for your hearing loss and if it worsens in the future, your rating will be increased.

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  5. Thank you very much ! I appreciate the response, my biggest worry is the "not knowing" part. I always just assumed that disability compensation was for Combat veterans who were wounded in battle. I have independent testing results that show a much higher level of hearing loss, but at least they are admitting it was service related and I am learning that is usually the biggest hurdle veterans face. Just wish I would have known about what's available a long time ago :). I also would like to say that with the thousands of negative issues you hear about the VA daily, in the news and on the web My experience has been nothing but Top Notch from day 1 !Mountain Home, TN has to be the exception to the rule because there isn't a day or week that goes by that they haven't gone out of their way to provide excellent care to me and several of my Veteran Brothers and Dependent family members of friends. Thank you for all you do Doctor !

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    1. If you have test results that show I higher level of hearing loss, you may be able to get your rating increased. The VA will want to do another round of their own tests, but if your hearing is worse than the tests they rated you on, then the results of the new tests will be enough to increase your rating. I'm not sure of the dates of all your tests, but they will definitely perform additional tests and get your rating increased if your hearing is worse.

      It's great to hear about your interactions with the VA. The VA does deserve a good plug for the many, many things they do right. Many veterans, such as yourself are getting exceptional treatment and service.

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  6. liver hemangioma 14cm caused by MVA on active duty.

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    1. Hi Tory -

      A liver hemangioma is rated under code 7344 on how it effects the functions of the liver.

      Check out: http://www.militarydisabilitymadeeasy.com/thedigestivesystem.html#vv

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  7. I am preparing my supporting documentation and getting a hearing test completed by a private audiologist to submit with my claim. My original MOS was 328x0, and was changed to 455x2, which now seems to be 2A1X3. Avionic and Navigation Systems and worked flight line my entire time in the Air Force. Is there any advice you can provide for my submission? I intend to provide documentation on the type of aircraft I worked around on a regular basis, etc..

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    1. MOS 2A1X3 is listed as a high probability of hearing loss on the VA's Noise Exposure Listing, so you'll have no problem getting your hearing loss rated. All you need to do is show them proof of your MOS and you'll be good to go. You shouldn't need any special beyond this. They'll be able to look back and see that it is now listed as 2A1X3, but it doesn't hurt to point this out. Otherwise that, you should be good to go. Should be a pretty easy claim.

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  8. I was a Photographer's Mate in the Navy. While Fast Letter 10-35 indicates PH rate was "low" probability, I was a specialized aerial reconnaisanse NEC 8195 Camera Control Maintenanceman assigned to Reconnaisance Attack Squadron (RVAH) 11, performing systems maintenance and photo support on the RA-5C Vigilante (known to be the loudest aircraft in Navy inventory), and I was a flight deck worker for 3 years. This was during the westpac tour on CVA-64, 1971-72, during Operation Linebacker, and we spent 12-15 hours daily in flightdeck operations. During this time, we had a period where we performed "hot turnarounds" were we configured, troubleshot systems, and loaded/unloaded film from the aircraft while the aircraft was still running, literally feet from the exhausts. I have me entrance exam which shows perfect hearing, my exit exam which indicates some hearing loss, and VA now has found me to have bilateral tinnitus and moderately severe hearing loss. VA Disability wants me to prove that I worked on a flight deck. My DD-214 indicates NEC 8195 Camera Control Maintenanceman, with a secondary NEC of 8309 RA-5C Organizational Systems Maintenance. We were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for this time period. What advice can you give to satisfy the VA?

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    Replies
    1. All you need to show is evidence that you were assigned to the Vigilante. Any assignment records will do. The Presidential Unit Citation might also do if it does connect you to the aircraft specifically. Basically anything official that connects you to the aircraft should be sufficient.

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  9. I spent 8 years in the 80's as an Army O5H, Morse Code Interceptor. I am not sure how to proceed, but I know I have hearing loss. I've been ashamed to admit it.

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    1. Hi Chuck -

      Both O5H and the more general 98H for Communications interceptor are not on the presumptive list for noise exposure. This means that the VA will not automatically grant service-connection for your hearing loss, but if you can provide proof that you were regularly exposed to unusually high levels of noise, they may still grant it connection and compensate it.

      You just need to submit a VA Disability Claim with the necessary evidence. Again, without the additional evidence, the VA won't grant service-connection, so if you don't have it, it may not be worth your time.

      http://www.militarydisabilitymadeeasy.com/vadisabilityclaim.html

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    2. I too was an 05H and I have filed for, and was awarded, 10% for tinnitus and a "0" service connection for my hearing loss.

      I was in the ASA from 1970-73.

      I am, however, going for an outside the VA hearing test to determine if the VA is correct in it's latest assessment. I am having more and more daily problems, even with hearing aids, and the VA keeps telling me there is no real change.

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    3. Since you were granted service-connection, they will increase the rating once you qualify for a higher one based on your test results: the puretone threshold average and the speech discrimination. Depending on your original tests, your hearing may have to worsen quite a bit before you qualify for the next rating. You can find the charts that show how the results are used to determine your rating on our site. Just compare your test results to the charts, and you can determine whether or not you were rated correctly.

      http://www.militarydisabilitymadeeasy.com/theears.html#system

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  10. Hello Dr. Johnson,
    two years ago I was evaluated at va for my profound bilateral hearing loss. I was 13 Bravo and had a head injury as well as noise exposure (almost simultaneously), but VA could not locate my service records - it happened in 1984. So they denied SC. I was able to find my service records through the state (I was national guard) and Dav opened claim for tbi and tinnitus - my hearing loss is under appeal. I got 0 % for tbi and 10% for tinnitus. At the time of my c&P i only mentioned that i had vertigo once to the first examiner. But the examiner who did the balance testing never asked about it, so I did not bring it up. About three weeks after decision I saw a top ENT who wrote in a letter to va that my illness was "consistent with post traumatic menieres disease" but that he could not prove it due to the elapsed time, but that it was likely service connected to my tbi and noise exposure. The dav immediately sent in a request to reopen. I also have episodic vertigo when I am laying down and occasional balance issues. I do not know if the ENT's letter will be enough to convince the VA, but if it is would my profound hearing loss be rated at 100% or would it get lumped in with menieres at a lower rating since I do not have weekly gait issues ( more like once or twice a month)?

    Thanks

    Davis

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  11. Just a follow-up. My other concern is that my vertigo was not properly evaluated. I only mentioned it once to the first examiner who did not seem interested in that. It was the third examiner who did the balance testing and i did not mention it to him nor did he ask so I am concerned it did not even make it on the c&p report. So i have no idea how the RO will evaluate the reopen request with my ENT's diagnosis of menieres

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    1. Hi Davis -

      It's going to be tough to convince the VA that your current condition is post-traumatic Meniere's with clear supporting evidence in your medical records from the time of the TBI. The symptoms of Meniere's would have had to develop in an appropriate time after the TBI and been recorded.

      Really, to be able to best guide you on this, I need to know why they VA denied your hearing loss. What did they say on your rating decision? How best to appeal and go from here will all depend on how they are viewing your case, and without knowing why they denied, I'm not sure. There's a few different ways things could go.

      As for the vertigo, the doctors must clearly link this to the TBI in order for it to be ratable. Dizziness on its own is not ratable. If it can clearly be attributed to the TBI, however, then it can be rated as a peripheral vestibular disorder under code 6204.

      If Meniere's is officially diagnosed and acknowledged by the VA as caused by the TBI, then you will either get a single overall rating under code 6205, or three separate ratings: one for hearing loss, one for tinnitus, and one for the vestibular disorder.

      http://www.militarydisabilitymadeeasy.com/theears.html#balance

      I can't possibly tell you what your hearing loss would be rated without knowing your test results, but you can check out our hearing loss rating system and figure it out based on your tests.

      http://www.militarydisabilitymadeeasy.com/theears.html#system

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  12. Thank you for the response Dr. Johnson.
    In 1984 during training I had an accident and suffered a concussion (and broken wrist) and had a Gun (155 howitzer) go off next to me without my plugs in. I had ringing in ears as shown by service records. In 1986 after i was home, i had a documented emergency room visit for fullness in ears and some hearing loss. In 1987 i had a really bad vertigo attack that sent me to emergency room and then to a specialist (documented). It was diagnosed as viral, but in his impression the Dr. said that "early stage menieres can not be ruled out". That was 1987. In 1989 i lost all hearing in my right ear. Documented. In 1993 i lost all hearing in left ear. Documented. I have cochlear implants. I did not know that i qualified for benefits until 2010 - i was nat'l guard and no one told me i was eligible until i received a letter in the mail about checking my benefits because of a hack. When i inquired about 'what benefits?' i was told that i was eligible. I opened a claim on my own for hearing loss in 2013. I had no clue about gathering evidence. VA could not locate records. They denied. Quoting from SOC "VA examination findings show the left ear with 0 percent discrimination...The average decibel loss is 105 in left ear. The right ear shows speech discrimination of 0 percent...The average decibel loss is 105 in the right ear... There are no specific records regarding the etiology of the deficit. Noise exposure is conceded with the veterans MOS in artillery and veterans reports of noise injury/head trauma"
    None of my records could be located. They denied. I appealed - on my own again. Then a year later i got records from the state that showed the concussion and ringing in ears in service. I then went to DAV and they opened TBI and tinnitus claim. TBI granted at 0% tinnitus at 10%. A month after getting rating my long awaited ENT exam came through. That is when the ENT said it was "consistent with post traumatic menieres disease" but that he "could not prove it because of elapsed time" but that "pre-enlistment exam shows perfectly normal hearing which would preclude a pre-existing condition" and that "post traumatic menieres disease after his extreme noise exposure as well as concussion is likely connected to his service related disability"
    Sorry for writing a book!

    Davis

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    1. When did you officially end active duty service? In 1986?

      The vertigo incident occurred too long after the concussion for it to be definitively related without a diagnosis of Meniere's occurring earlier, so that will be very difficult to prove.

      For the VA to consider a condition caused by TBI, it has to have very clear and direct ties to the original trauma. Since Meniere's wasn't even introduced until 2 years after the incident and was not specifically determined as caused by the TBI, the VA will simply not recognize it as such. Unfortunately, your proof is just not solid enough to satisfy the laws that govern the VA.

      That being said, you should still be able to get your hearing loss since you have records that show the noise exposure incident and your MOS. Hopefully the appeal that is action will come back in your favor.

      I don't think, however, that the VA will grant you Meniere's or vertigo. I could always be wrong, but with the laws in place, and as I understand things, the symptoms developed too long after active duty and there is simply not enough evidence to connect them to the TBI.

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  13. Follow-up
    From SOC
    "The evidence shows that you currently have hearing loss for VA purposes, but service connection cannot be granted without a medical link between your hearing loss and military service. Although you have hearing loss for VA purposes there is no medical link between your hearing loss and service. In the absence of such a link, service connection may not be granted. In addition, there is no evidence that disabling sensorineural hearing loss manifested itself to a compensable degree within a year of service. Your VA examiner stated that the etiology of your hearing loss cannot be determined without resorting to mere speculation. The examiner was unable to link your hearing loss to your military noise exposure. The following rationale was provided: Audiometric records are not present within VBMS records."

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  14. Thanks for the reality check Dr. Johnson. I may not have wanted to hear that, but I probably needed to. I guess this will keep me from checking ebenefits every day.
    Have a Merry Christmas and happy New Year.

    Davis

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    1. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it is what it is, sometimes.

      As for your hearing loss, though, your MOS is on the Noise Exposure Listing as a high probability, so the 1-year period shouldn't really apply. We've worked with guys who have been out for 10 years and go back and get hearing loss granted because of their MOS.

      I don't think it has all that much to do with that single incident as much as with your regular exposure to noise in your MOS. Again, though, since I don't have the whole picture, it may be that the severity of your hearing conditions are such that they are not indicated by the length of your service and exposure level. So while I can't guarantee that your appeal will be successful, I do still think that there might be some hope there.

      Merry Christmas to you as well.

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  15. sir ihave tinnitus and hearing loss both is disbility will be rated separetly for both

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    1. Yes, hearing loss and tinnitus are rated separately. You'll receive one rating that reflects the level of your hearing loss and then another 10% rating for the tinnitus.

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  16. Hey Doc, My claim for tinnitus was denied based on the "opining" of the audiologist that my hearing loss was caused by my civilian occupation. Which happens to be the same occupation as that of my military service. The VA MOS Hearing chart rates my MOS as moderate. Any suggestions?

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    1. How long were you in the military? How long has it been since you retired? This is a tricky one since the jobs are the same. In most cases, the VA would grant it for a moderate MOS, but if it's been a significant amount of time since you've been out of the military and the tinnitus just now developed, I could see how it may seem more likely related to your civilian job, not your military. It would have developed sooner. That being said, it clearly is all related since it's the same job, but the VA probably will not look at it that way. If you hadn't continued in the same job post-service, then you may not have developed tinnitus, so it is the result of the civilian job.

      Now if it hasn't been that long since separation and you served for awhile, then you have a much stronger case as tinnitus often takes some time to develop. Ultimately, I think the timeline is the key here.

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  17. I was granted 10% for Tinnitus and although the C&P evaluation found I had hearing loss it was not bad enough to be granted any SC disability they do recognized that it was related to military service. Recently I was diagnosed with endolymphatic Hydrops (Meniere's). I know that my symptoms first appeared while in the service (1999) hearing loss since 1994. But it was not until now 2017, that I was evaluated by a Neuro-Otologist and they ran all sort of tests and found out what was really happening. The issue is, that she doesn't do Nexus or professional opinions letters. I think I have a case since my very first claim in 2000 was for Tinnitus with Vertigo and Hearing Loss. Any suggestions? Thank you

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    1. You can always go to another physician to get a Nexus letter. I'd call around and find one that will be willing to write it and then make an appointment. This one is going to be tough since it has been so long since service. Meniere's normally develops when a person is in their 40s or 50s and usually gets better, not worse, after 5-15 years. If you are just being diagnosed with it now, some physicians would feel that the claim is stretching it a bit. But the key to a strong claim would definitely be to get a Nexus.

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  18. I served in the US Army as a MOS 13F Field Artillery Forward Observer from 1982-1984. I submitted a VA Disability Claim for Tinnitus in 2014 after learning it was a condition that could be claimed. After waiting over a year for a C&P to be scheduled, the VA denied my claim and closed the case without ever scheduling the exam. They also stated my medical records could not be found proving a correlation between service and condition. In 2016 I contacted the DAV and provided an audiology report performed at a USAF hospital verifying Tinnitus and hearing loss. We submitted a new claim and was quickly scheduled a C&P exam which I completed in March 2017. My case is presently listed as "gathering evidence" and waiting determination. My question is I haven't supplied any additional information/documents regarding my claim and would like to ask if I should send in a letter explaining my history or the 10-35 FAST memo. Or, does the VA have enough with the C&P exam results and verification that my MOS has a High Probability to render at least a 0% SC rating for hearing/10% for Tinnitus.

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    1. They should have enough. You submitted your medical records, correct? If so, then they have your history and your MOS, so that should be sufficient. Not sure what the problem was in 2014, but it seems they made a mistake at that time, but that they are considering it correctly this time since they scheduled the C&P Exam. As long as they have your medical records, evidence of your MOS, and evidence of your current hearing loss/tinnitus, you should be fine.

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    2. Thanks for the response! During the initial (2014) review they stated they could not locate my medical records and were lost. I do not have copies from my out-processing all those years ago. I did not submit a copy of my DD214 which lists my occupation as 13F10 Fire Support Specialist. Should I upload the DD214 to verify my MOS? Not sure what to do about the medical records since both parties don't have them. Ideas?

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    3. Yes, definitely verify your MOS. They need that evidence if they are going to grant presumptive connection. As long as they have the MOS and medical records showing your current hearing loss/tinnitus, that should still be enough to prove service-connection since your MOS is high probability on the list. It's probably a good idea to still try to find those records, however. I recommend contacting the medical facility at the last place you were stationed. Talk to the medical records department. They may have already sent them to a storage facility. If so, they can tell you which one and give you the contact info. If neither of these places have them, then they are probably unrecoverable.

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  19. If there is medical record evidence of tinnitus pre-retirement separation (an audiology exam and pre-separation medical screening report) as well as record of illnesses that may be causation (significant inner ear infections), is that enough for service connection nexus, even though I have a low-risk MOS and no TBI or other event? I'm doing my claim within 1 year after retirement and had a C&P exam with an audiologist and also an oto doc for the tinnitus.

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    Replies
    1. If your tinnitus was officially diagnosed while still on active duty (sounds like it was), then it is automatically service-connected and will qualify, no problem.

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