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coastie72

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Hello,

I was just awarded 10% for Tinnitus and 0% for bilateral hearing loss. I feel blessed to get this but should I appeal. I have been out of the USCG since 1972. I opened my claim August 2013 for these issues and one other that I have got to get more proof of.

SC was granted for both hearing and Tinnitus but I assume they felt the hearing wasn't bad enough? The ENT that performed my C&P said that I was a certain candidate for hearing aids. My personal Doctors records indicated long term hearing & tinnitus issues back to the 70's and he provided a Nexus letter that indicated that. My service exit exam indicated only a whisper test was done? Funny I don't even remember that.

I really have two questions, I have sleep apnea and have used a bi-pap for the last 15 years, however that does not help me when I can't fall asleep due to the constant ringing that has gotten worse over time. Also when I do wake at night it makes it difficult to go back to sleep and sometimes I don't. That requires me to take a prescribed stay awake pill when I have the bad nights. Is there no consideration for that?

Also based on the ENT's comment of me benefiting from hear aids should I appeal for the hearing loss?

I was getting nowhere until I went through the DAV and the VSO was awesome, but it is difficult for me to get to see or communicate with him.

Don

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If you have not already done so, get a copy of your hearing loss C&P exam report. If you have a recent audiology exam report from your private audiologist, I would compare the results of the two exams. I compared my VA exam with my private exam and they were almost identical.

If you filed a claim for hearing loss due to noise exposure while in military service your audio exam in the sound proof room should indicate hearing deficits in the high frequencies. Since you also have tinnitus, your hearing impairment is probably in the higher frequencies. Also, you should also show hearing deficits during the speech recognition part of the test.

Keep in mind that you can have a hearing loss where hearing aids would help your hearing impairment but the hearing loss may not be substantial enough for a rating above 0%. The tests are pretty cut and dry. Go to 38 CFR part 4 and look at the subsections related to hearing impairment. Review the hearing impairment tables and you can get an idea of the formula used by the VA to determine the level if disability and rating.

Good luck to you.

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Coastie72: I've got the same rating in 2009, 10% Tinnitus SC hearing impairment 0%. Appealed the 0%, just recently withdrew that issue at 6/27/14 DRO Hearing. New along time ago, it wasn't going to fly. Get a copy of your Hearing C&P from your VAH medical records department. Compare the stated results to the 38 CFR 4 VA disability Ratings. I think you'll find, as I did, an appeal would be difficult if not impossible. With that said, you can appeal any VA Claims award or denial that you choose too. You have 365 days from the Claims Award or Denial letter to file your appeal, after that, the decision is final.

As for Sleep Apnea, if it wasn't DX'd in the military or within the 1st year after discharge, in and of itself SA isn't a ratable SC Condition. If you have a DX of a SC condition that is a medically know as a possible cause of SA, then a claim of SA secondary or aggravated is possible. Need to see a Sleep Neurologist, VA or Private, to determine most likely cause. I got my SA DX 2010 rated as Secondary to my DX'd CAD 2006.

Good Luck

Semper Fi

Gastone

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I am documented 10% Tinnitus and 0% for Hearing Loss in both ears, even though the VA list Hearing Loss as Severe. I personally know a few Vets with Hearing Aids in both ears and they are only 0%. Congrats and good luck

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