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NOTE:

 VA Fast Letter 10-35.pdf

DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

Veterans Benefits Administration Washington, D.C. 20420

September 2, 2010 Director (00/21)

All VA Regional Offices

 

In Reply Refer To: 211B Fast Letter 10-35

 

SUBJECT: Modifying the Development Process in Claims for Hearing Loss and/ or Tinnitus

 

Purpose

 

This letter introduces the Duty MOS Noise Exposure Listing, a rating job aid for determinations regarding service connection of hearing loss and/or tinnitus. The Duty MOS Noise Exposure Listing is a compilation of Department of Defense- verified lists of military occupational specialties (MOSs) and the corresponding probability of hazardous noise exposure. Use of a single listing of duty position and probability of exposure to hazardous noise will help to standardize processing of these claims.

 

Background

 

Each branch of the Armed Services has reviewed and endorsed lists of military occupational specialties and the corresponding probability of hazardous noise exposure related to an individual’s occupational specialty. The Duty MOS Noise Exposure Listing is available at http://vbaw.vba.va.gov/bl/21/rating/docs/ dutymosnoise.xls.

 

Direct service connection may not be granted without medical evidence of a current disability; medical or, in certain circumstances, lay evidence of in-service incurrence oraggravation of a disease or injury; and medical evidence of a nexus between the claimed in-service disease or injury and the present disease or injury. See Caluza v. Brown, 7 Vet. App. 498, 506 (1995) aff'd, 78 F.3d 604 (Fed.

Cir. 1996).

A Veteran is competent to report symptoms of hearing loss and/or tinnitus as a disability because symptoms of hearing loss and tinnitus are capable of lay observation. See Charles v. Principi, 16 Vet. App. 370 (2002); Espiritu v.

Derwinski, 2 Vet. App. 492 (1992). Consequently, a Veteran’s testimony regarding hearing loss and/or tinnitus is sufficient to serve as evidence that the disability(ies) currently exists.

 

Instructions

 

Effective immediately, when a claim for hearing loss and/or tinnitus is received, the decision maker must review the claim for:

 

  • Sufficient evidence of a current disability (including lay evidence); and

     

  • Evidence of hearing loss and/or tinnitus in service; or records documenting an event, injury, disease, or symptoms of a disease potentially related to an audiological disability.

 

If there is no documented evidence of an in-service illness, injury, or event with which the claimed conditions could be associated, the Duty MOS Noise Exposure Listing will be considered. Based on the Veteran’s records, each duty MOS, Air Force Specialty Code, rating, or duty assignment documented will be reviewed for a determination as to the probability of exposure to hazardous noise on the Duty MOS Noise Exposure Listing. If the duty position is shown to have a “Highly Probable” or “Moderate” probability of exposure to hazardous noise, exposure to such noise will be conceded for purposes of establishing the in- service event.

 

In such cases, where there is sufficient evidence of a current disability and the in- service exposure to hazardous noise is conceded based on the Duty MOS Noise Exposure Listing, we would be obligated to request a VA examination and opinion to determine if there is a medical nexus. The level of probability of exposure conceded, such as “Highly Probable” or “Moderate,” should be included in the information provided to the examiner in the body of the examination request.

 

Additionally, in other cases where an examination and opinion request are otherwise warranted, the probable level of exposure to hazardous noise associated with the Veteran’s documented duty position will be provided in the examination request remarks.

Finally, the Duty MOS Noise Exposure Listing is not an exclusive means of establishing a Veteran’s in-service noise exposure. Claims for service connection of hearing loss must be evaluated in light of all evidence of record in each case, including treatment records and examination results.

 

Questions

 

Questions should be e-mailed to VAVBAWAS/CO/21Q&A.

 

/S/

Thomas J. Murphy Director

Compensation and Pension Service

Edited by Tbird
Updated PDF

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The attachment refers to 10-39 not 10-35 and doesn't appear to have anything to do with hearing loss and tinnitus. The link with the duty mos noise exposure listing also does not work. I have tried it several times. Do you have another way for me to get an actual copy of the VA duty mos noise exposure listing?

Thanks...Georgiapapa

NOTE:

DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

Veterans Benefits Administration

Washington, D.C. 20420

September 2, 2010

Director (00/21)

All VA Regional Offices

In Reply Refer To: 211B

Fast Letter 10-35

SUBJECT: Modifying the Development Process in Claims for Hearing Loss and/or Tinnitus

Purpose

This letter introduces the Duty MOS Noise Exposure Listing, a rating job aid for determinations regarding service connection of hearing loss and/or tinnitus. The Duty MOS Noise Exposure Listing is a compilation of Department of Defense-verified lists of military occupational specialties (MOSs) and the corresponding probability of hazardous noise exposure. Use of a single listing of duty position and probability of exposure to hazardous noise will help to standardize processing of these claims.

Background

Each branch of the Armed Services has reviewed and endorsed lists of military occupational specialties and the corresponding probability of hazardous noise exposure related to an individual's occupational specialty. The Duty MOS Noise Exposure Listing is available at http://vbaw.vba.va.g...utymosnoise.xls.

Direct service connection may not be granted without medical evidence of a current disability; medical or, in certain circumstances, lay evidence of in-service incurrence oraggravation of a disease or injury; and medical evidence of a nexus between the claimed in-service disease or injury and the present disease or injury. See Caluza v. Brown, 7 Vet. App. 498, 506 (1995) aff'd, 78 F.3d 604 (Fed. Cir. 1996).

A Veteran is competent to report symptoms of hearing loss and/or tinnitus as a disability because symptoms of hearing loss and tinnitus are capable of lay observation. SeeCharles v. Principi, 16 Vet. App. 370 (2002); Espiritu v. Derwinski, 2 Vet. App. 492 (1992). Consequently, a Veteran's testimony regarding hearing loss and/or tinnitus is sufficient to serve as evidence that the disability(ies) currently exists.

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Thanks for mentioning.

We are still proofing. I think there are two others with incorrect pdf that I have found.

Tbird knows about them since I sent a message. I know she will correct soonest when she has time.

Please, though, let us know of any other problems. This has been a monumental task and sometimes bits and pieces slip through when going for the overall stuff.

fanaticbooks

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We are still proofing. I think there are two others with incorrect pdf that I have found.

Tbird knows about them since I sent a message. I know she will correct soonest when she has time.

Please, though, let us know of any other problems. This has been a monumental task and sometimes bits and pieces slip through when going for the overall stuff.

fanaticbooks

Fantastic job, 'fanaticbooks'. I am looking forward to the 11's.

Your "monumental task" to complete the project reminds me of the poem...

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

by Robert Frost

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

Again, thanks and best wishes.

Bob

Edited by Commander Bob

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Dear fanaticbooks,

I wish to start by saying that I am every so appreciative of your work on this site! I still insist that I should be able to send a kewl point or a near beer to those we feel have helped us more than the lawyers, VSOs, the Dr's and anyone else that is too big a coward to give us direct support via their chosen profession. Seriously, how many times do we have to pay for our benefits?

Anyway, The reason I am writing is because I have had the same experience as commander bob. I have tried to get the documents listed in this thread from the VA. I can not find a publication of FL 10-35 nor can I find a real MOS listing of high risk Duty MOS' that can and do cause hearing loss and tinnatus.

My basic question is, "Is this Fast Letter real? and if so, can I read a copy to understand how it impacts my life"?

Thank you again for taking on such a monumental task.

I am looking so forward to hearing the answers to these questions.

Ever Grateful!

RuskiLinguist

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