Jump to content
  • 0

Tinnitus Claim


onrope

Question

I was discharged in 92. I was an armorer practically my entire time in the service. I spent many days of support on the rifle, pistol and M203 and MG ranges especially prior to deployment to Desert Storm. Then I logged over 10000 miles in a 2 1/2 ton truck. All of this often without hearing protection. When I discharged I already had ringing in the ears.

I sought assistance in 1994. Was turned away because I needed an appointment. VA was 70 miles one way and I was unemployed. Same happened in 1997 happened while I was seeking help for Gulf War issues. I filed again in 2003. Paperwork was lost. Unfortunately I didn't know about VSO or anything like that.

Today I'm a little more educated. I have been set up in the VA system and have been regularly visiting the CBOC as my primary medical care. I had my GW Registry and complained of tinnitus.

My tinnitus is so bad that is keeps me awake at night. The doc at the registry exam set me up for an audiology test. I found I have 80% loss in one ear and 40% in the other. I have never worked in a noisy environment and am only 43. Prior to entry I had perfect hearing.

I have filed a claim for tinnitus. I'm certain due to remembering being nearly deaf on those days after the ranges that it's service connected. But I am wondering if I'm wasting my time in a claim. How to prove its S/C? I have a driver badge, and an accommodation medal that proves I was an armorer. I should be able to get a buddy letter.

Any other tips?

Edited by onrope (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0

Based on what you noted here, I don't think you will have any issue being SC. Good luck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

Your entrance audiogram and your exit audiogram. Your results have had to change for worse from beginning of service to end of service!!!

Also their it a noise exposure list on this forum. It breaks it down to branches of service then occupation in each service and then the exposure element, low, middle, high.

Then need keep going to PCP complaining of ringing in ear. Ask for an audiogram test. That test will be even worse in decibel levels and word recoginition.

Take all that and submit an FDC claim on ebenefits and ask for a c&p exam.

I was denied after service in 1998, again in 2008. then this forum helped a lot and I finally re applied in January 2014/and won and granted in July 2014.

That's the only thing they granted though, so now I'm in process of figuring out to reconsider, nod, cue or something for all others that got denied.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

Biggest trick is when they asked you when it started say during service. I don't know how many I saw denied because the vet said they remember it started a few years after service. Jmho

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

Please note that tinnitus and hearing loss are two separate issues, therefore, two separate claims. You can have hearing loss without tinnitus, but you can't have tinnitus without hearing loss. Also, there is no formal test to measure tinnitus, whereas there is certainly formal testing to determine the extent of hearing loss.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

Thanks. I just had the audiogram at the VA. That's where they determined my hearing loss. I haven't been medically released yet as I have to see an ENT in sept. I never did have an exit audiogram.

I felt my hearing was fine, it is the ringing that I can't stand. The audiologist said I have suffered a lot of hearing loss for my age. Tinnitus is what I filed for. Not hearing loss. Nice info to know.

I just found the MOS noise exposure list. My listed primary MOS is in the moderate category. But armorer is not. This is where I feel I suffered the greatest damage.

Edited by onrope (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

Please note that tinnitus and hearing loss are two separate issues, therefore, two separate claims. You can have hearing loss without tinnitus, but you can't have tinnitus without hearing loss. Also, there is no formal test to measure tinnitus, whereas there is certainly formal testing to determine the extent of hearing loss.

Not entirely true. I was denied hearing loss and got 10% for tinnitus.

I worked right underneath the flight deck right by the arresting gear. For good measure I slept by the catapults for part of my enlistment. My Rate/MOS was low risk and I failed the hearing test three times when I separated. Still just got the 10% tinnitus and denied HL on first try. So it is possible to get just tinnitus. Jmho

Edited by JT24usn (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

When you apply for HL you will be given a C & P exam by an audiologist. The results of that test will determine your level of hearing loss. It is extremely difficult to be granted above 0%. I recommend that you read and understand the following CFR concerning how the VA rates HL before you take the test.

http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?rgn=div5&node=38:1.0.1.1.5#se38.1.4_185

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

Passing the hearing test during your exit exam will not necessarily kill your claim. When I was discharged in 1970, I was only given the "whispered voice" test. Since then, the VA has determined the "whispered voice" test is not a reliable indicator of high frequency or noise induced hearing loss.

I applied for hearing loss and tinnitus in 2010, 40 years after I was discharged from the USMC. I wasn't sure if I would succeed with my claim or not because I had worked in civilian (federal and local) law enforcement for almost 30 years. I filed and received 10% for hearing loss and 10% for tinnitus.

The evidence I submitted included the following: IME/IMO from my private audiologist who had been giving me hearing tests since the mid 1970s, reports from my audiologist, spousal statement, my statement in support of claim, photos of me firing 105 howitzers in Vietnam without hearing protection, DD214 showing MOS as Field Artillery Batteryman, etc., 1986 receipt of purchase of "white noise" machine used to mask tinnitus, photo of white noise machine, etc.

I wish you luck with your claim.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

Agree with advice given above. I have SC for Tinnitus as I was Naval Aviation and SC for HL for both ears but only at 0%. I am considered to have severe hearing loss in R Ear and Moderate in L ear, yet it is only at 0%. I personally know a few Vets that have Hearing Aids and still only get 0% for HL. Good luck and keep us posted

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

Not entirely true. I was denied hearing loss and got 10% for tinnitus.

I worked right underneath the flight deck right by the arresting gear. For good measure I slept by the catapults for part of my enlistment. My Rate/MOS was low risk and I failed the hearing test three times when I separated. Still just got the 10% tinnitus and denied HL on first try. So it is possible to get just tinnitus. Jmho

Just because you weren't rated for hearing loss, it doesn't mean you don't have a hearing loss. It's just not serious enough, in the VA's judgment to warrant service connection. My husband has been offered hearing aids at the VA for hearing loss, but has been denied service connection for hearing loss. His tinnitus is service connected. We're appealing the hearing loss denial.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

I honestly don't ever remember a single vet I worked with being denied a Tinnitus claim. Hearing loss yes, Tinnitus no. Further I seem to remember seeing something last week saying they were considering making it presumptive for certain MOS's. It is NOT presumptive at this time however.

The legislation I saw at Thomas was here:

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d113:1:./temp/~bdQnCZ::|/home/LegislativeData.php|

As you can see this has not passed the House etc., but Sanders was the Co-sponsor of the new VA reform law that passed and I'm thinking this has a good chance when it comes out of committee.

Edited by sixthscents (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

I submitted a claim for Tinnitus Aus 2013 and was denied Jun 2014 because the audiologist from the c&p exam said that it was " least likely than not it was cause by my service"

Please note that I was a jet engine mechanic from 1982 until I got out dec 1992 working on the fight line. The first time I had ringing was when I stated working on engines in 1982. I just sent a NOD for the denial and two other audio gram test stating that i have some hearing loss in the high range and Tinnitus. I hope this is enough evidence to win my case. Another thing that was noted in the c&p exam it that I never complain of ringing in service and nothing was in my records. Good luck onrope!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

Please note that tinnitus and hearing loss are two separate issues, therefore, two separate claims. You can have hearing loss without tinnitus, but you can't have tinnitus without hearing loss. Also, there is no formal test to measure tinnitus, whereas there is certainly formal testing to determine the extent of hearing loss.

I would have to disagree with the above portion in red.

The criteria for service connection and compensation for Tinnitus makes no mention or requirement

of a hearing loss, for service connection and compensation of Tinnitus to be warranted.

Some people with Tinnitus exhibit super sensitive hearing, in audiological testing.

Tinnitus can be combined with a hearing loss but service connection and compensation

for Tinnitus is not excluded from service connection due to no hearing loss.

For an evaluation of 10 percent the Tinnitus must be recurrent.

6260 Tinnitus, recurrent 10

Note (1): A separate evaluation for tinnitus may be combined with an evaluation under diagnostic codes 6100, 6200, 6204, or other diagnostic code, except when tinnitus supports an evaluation under one of those diagnostic codes.

Note (2): Assign only a single evaluation for recurrent tinnitus, whether the sound is perceived in one ear, both ears, or in the head.

Note (3): Do not evaluate objective tinnitus (in which the sound is audible to other people and has a definable cause that may or may not be pathologic) under this diagnostic code, but evaluate it as part of any underlying condition causing it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

I would have to disagree with the above portion in red.

The criteria for service connection and compensation for Tinnitus makes no mention or requirement

of a hearing loss, for service connection and compensation of Tinnitus to be warranted.

Some people with Tinnitus exhibit super sensitive hearing, in audiological testing.

Tinnitus can be combined with a hearing loss but service connection and compensation

for Tinnitus is not excluded from service connection due to no hearing loss.

For an evaluation of 10 percent the Tinnitus must be recurrent.

6260 Tinnitus, recurrent 10

Note (1): A separate evaluation for tinnitus may be combined with an evaluation under diagnostic codes 6100, 6200, 6204, or other diagnostic code, except when tinnitus supports an evaluation under one of those diagnostic codes.

Note (2): Assign only a single evaluation for recurrent tinnitus, whether the sound is perceived in one ear, both ears, or in the head.

Note (3): Do not evaluate objective tinnitus (in which the sound is audible to other people and has a definable cause that may or may not be pathologic) under this diagnostic code, but evaluate it as part of any underlying condition causing it.

Agree 100%

I was SC for tinnitus even though my exit hearing test was better than my entrance hearing test.

Tinnitus is what it is, ringing in the ears.

And it can be completely independent of actual hearing loss.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

I have tinnitus, and it's pretty hard to hear anything clearly when you've got a high pitched buzzing sound going through your head.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

I just got my final medical release and DX for tinnitus and hearing loss. However, I explained to the Dr. my MOS as well as being an armorer and range officer during deployment. I also explained that I do not have an occupation or lifestyle where I am exposed to noisy environments. I went onto explain that I can remember during qualifications my hearing would be dull for the next 3 or 4 days and that this went on for weeks.

What I had difficulty was trying to convince here to indicate that this was more than likely a result of my service. The diagnoses wasn't available immediately for me. But is guess I will know in a few days when it's mailed to me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

I have tinnitus, and it's pretty hard to hear anything clearly when you've got a high pitched buzzing sound going through your head.

Regardless, you certainly do not have to have a hearing loss, to have Tinnitus.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

{terms] and Guidelines