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DENIAL FOR TINNITUS

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LOUOLDIES

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i FILED BACK IN NOVEMBER OF 2020 AND WAS DENIED FOR TINNITUS BECAUSE THEY SAY IT HAS BEEN TOO LONG AGO THAT I WAS EXPOSED TO LOUD NOISE TO CLAIM TINNITUS. i WAS IN THE NAVY EARLY 70'S.   SINCE THE DENIAL I RECEIVED A FEW BUDDY LETTERS, EMAILS FROM PROFESSORS i FOUND ON LINE THAT CONCUR THAT THERE IS SUCH A THING AS DELAYED ONSET OF TINNITUS.  i ALSO FOUND THE SHIP LOGS STATING OUR SHIP WAS AT GENERAL QUARTERS SHOOTING THE 5 IN 38 CAL GUNS.  WHAT I DONT UNDERSTAND IS THE VA GAVE ME A HEARING TEST BECAUSE OF THE TINNITUS AND AWARDED ME HEARING AIDS BUT DENIED ME FOR TINNITUS. SHOULD I PURSUE THIS CLAIM EVEN THOUGH ITS BEEN LONGER THAN A YEAR?

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Posted (edited)

Its a completely bogus denial, the exact same as I got.  The VA is required to rate benefits "by the criteria".  

And, "Length of time since military service" is NOT one of the criteria for Tinnitus.  You can look it up.  People who understand hearing loss understand that hearing loss is "progressive" from the time of exposure.  That is, you get exposed to a loud noise, and it negatively affects your hearing/tinnitus.  Typically, hearing loss in many people declines around 5 percent per year.  The "length of time" since your exposure in military service, again, is not one of the criteria to award deny.  Could they deny you because you have purple hair, listen to rock music and play xbox?  No, that is not part of the criteria.  

Its a "fairness" issue.  Otherwise, VA could deny based on the color of our skin, our sex, nationality, or because they dont like your handwriting.  

My advice, since its been over a year, is to file a supplemental claim for the benefit again.  If it were me I would consider asking them to show you the 38 CFR demonstrating the applicable "length of time" since military service and exactly WHAT that length of time is?  1 month?  1 year?  20 years?  Where does it say that.  

This is likely a Clear, Unmistakable Error.  Why?  Because there is no criteria in the regulations which limit the time since military service.  However, I would issue CAution with CUE.  CUE has to be "outcome determinative".  

To get SC for tinnitis this is what you DO need. 

1.  A diagnosis by a competent audiologist of tinnitus.  You probably have that, but check your medical records.  

2.  An "in service event(s) which", in your case, would likely be the ships logs demonstrating your exposure "to 5 inch 38 caliber guns".  And or buddy letters, where one or more of your buddy's can testify that he was around when you were exposed to especially loud ship noises such as gunfire.  

3.  Last, you need a nexus.  This means your audiologist needs to opine that, in their professional medical opinion YOUR tinnitus is "at least as likely as not" due to loud noise exposure from 5" 38 caliber guns" while in military service.  

     Get the Caluza elements, which I described 1,2,3 above, and get service connected.  THAT is the criteria.   But, it would not be CLEAR error "if" for example you did not have a valid nexus as in number 3, above.  Thus, your "Cue" would fail, as it would not be outcome determinative.  In other words you would still be denied, but your denial would be based on not having a valid nexus, not because of the length of time since military service.  

    While you are at it, consider filing for an increase in hearing loss, and/or perhaps other service connected related conditons.  Again, Since 2020 there is a great chance your hearing loss worsened and it can not be service connected, or the percentage increased.  

    Further, its well known that hard of hearing people suffer from depression.  VA had a pamphlet out years ago, which explained that hard of hearing people suffer from depression.  The VA quit publishing the pamphlet, because they did not want too many Vets getting SC for depression secondary to hearing loss.  

     To get service connected for depression secondary to hearing loss THIS is what you need:

1.  Service connection hearing loss. 

2.  A diagnosis of depression and a letter from your doctor who makes an opinion that its at least as likely as not that your depression is related to your Service connected hearing loss.  

      Im hearing impaired.  I can not understand my grandchildren, nor can I communicate with them.  Their voices are so high I only hear maybe 30 percent of what they say, not enough to really carry on a meaningful conversation.  Its depressing not to be able to have a relationship with your grandkids because your can not communicate with them.  I get it completely.  

To add.  You should get SC for tinnitus, assuming you have, or can get the Caluza elements I described above.  And, you should get retro back pay back to when you applied.  If you get awarded, but not back pay back to 2020 then ask on hadit and we can show you how to appeal the effective date. 

Edited by broncovet
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I think tinnitus is in the PACT ACT.  If not it should be.  And hearing loss should also be when it is a high frequency and you did not work in a noisy environment or fire guns in an enclosed firing range.

 

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