U.S. soldiers and Marines caught in roadside bombings and firefights in Iraq and Afghanistan are coming home
in epidemic numbers with permanent hearing loss and ringing in their ears, prompting the military to redouble its efforts
to protect the troops from noise. Hearing damage is the No.1 disability in the fight against terror, according to the
Department of Veterans Affairs, and some experts say the true toll could take decades to become clear.
Hearing loss and tinnitus can cause significant mental health challenges.
If your hearing loss and tinnitus are leaving you depressed or otherwise suffering from mental health issues, you may have a secondary service connection that may be rated.
Talk with Dr. Valette todayand ask if you may be service connected for your hearing loss and subsequent mental health problems.
Hearing loss affects approximately 37.5 million Americans aged 18 and over, including more than half
of those over age 75. Hearing problems—including tinnitus, which is a perceived ringing or other type
of noise in the ears—are by far the most prevalent service-connected disability among American Veterans.
Acoustic trauma is an injury to the inner ear that’s often caused by exposure to a high-decibel noise. This injury can occur after exposure to a single, very loud noise or from exposure to noises at significant decibels over a longer period of time.
I am filing for Sleep Apnea secondary to Hypothyroidism for which I am approved. My ENT wrote a nexus letter, but it was not good enough. It seems they want more details on how he got to the nexus. Do you know of any references I can use to justify the connection? Thanks.
Whenever a provider writes a nexus letter to help us establish service connection and an appropriate rating that person must provide a rationale for their opinion that is based in current science. If your doctor says that your OSA is more likely than not secondary to your hypothyroidism, the doctor must then state how and why he or she arrived at that conclusion. It isn't your task to sort out the science and that you're trying to isn't a great sign.
I can think of a couple of options that may help. First, go to the Board of Veterans Appeals site and use their search engine to learn how cases similar to yours have done in an appeal. Enter your key words and choose 1 or 2 years to search and read some cases. You'll learn a lot about how VA views cases similar to your own.
The other option...and the one most likely to prevail...is to retain a disability medicine professional to provide the nexus you need to prevail. You can learn more about the Independent Medical Opinion (IMO) here.
a ringing, buzzing or whistling in the ears — are the top two reasons for VA disability compensation claims. Most cases of military hearing loss are caused by exposure to loud noises that damage delicate hairs in the inner ear
Jim Strickland is a Vietnam era Army veteran and nationally recognized expert on VA disability benefits.
Jim writes extensively about VA and Social Security disability benefits.
Jim's Mailbag is a regular column featured at Stateside Legal where veterans, servicemembers, and family members can ask Jim their questions about VA and Social Security disability benefits.
C & P exam?
I am a Camp Lejeune contaminated water survivor. In Feb. 2022 I was diagnosed with bladder cancer, which is on the CLCW presumptive illness list for compensation. I meet the requirements as set forth by the VA. My VSO filed a claim in the middle of March. Now a week ago the VA notified me I will have to attend a C&P exam. My question is: since I qualify as a contaminated water survivor and have a diagnosis, which is the 2 requirements for this to be service connected, why is the VA requiring me to attend a C&P exam? Thank you for your time.
As you read through this keep in mind that I'm a professional cynic, a curmudgeon by nature. I'm also a Lejeune survivor, I was a child when dad was stationed there...we lived at Tawara Terrace so we had the full benefit of the contamination. Both parents passed with bladder and kidney diseases, I'm being worked up for mine in the coming weeks.
There is no good reason for you to have a C & P exam. Nada, zip, zero...not a single good reason for you to show up for an exam, period.
However, the businesses that make up the providers for those exams are owned by retired VA executives. Their businesses are paid by the exam so if they can schedule you for 2 unnecessary exams, so much the better.
Believe it or not, VA even has thought this through and they have a process in place that will keep most of us from needing an exam. The ACE process makes a lot of sense and would reduce processing time and save a lot of taxpayer dollars so you can bet you'll never hear of it!
In the end there's not a thing you can do about it. If you fuss or choose to skip an exam, VA will default to denial and call you a no-show. Once that happens your records will forever reflect that you're a no-show and thus not profitable to the company.
Yes, you're correct, this is an outrage and shouldn't happen. However, it is what it is and the best I can tell you is that this time you embrace the suck and enjoy your visit with your examiner. Good luck sir.
between profound hearing loss, tinnitus and mental health conditions.
Has your hearing loss and tinnitus caused anxiety and depression?
There's a reason for that.
and learn if you may have a well grounded claim for a mental health
condition secondary to your hearing loss.
Other Than Honorable
It's been a very long time since I was in the army in Stuttgart Germany. I was in during the Vietnam era. I was only 18. I suffered a very traumatic tour in Germany and was discharged early. I didn't get in any trouble, but was subjected to many unchecked tragic moments. I was not given council nor advised what was happening to me. I did not want to be short changed in my service credit or classification and was promised, or at the very lease told, I would be receiving a regular honorable discharge. I just shut down and never spoke to anyone about my disagreements with my separation. I was never explained why or what was being said and how it was done. I know it's way too long for anyone to care but I will say that if my case had been explained to me, I wouldn't have agreed to anything less than a full discharge. I never had or caused any problems. What happened was done to me!!!!!!! My dad was an honorably discharged WW2 veteran and my brother was an Air Force vet. I can't even use facilities and don't have a military ID. I did serve well over there. Stuff just happened.
I was there at the 98th General Hospital Neubrucke/Nahe, close enough to Stuttgart and probably at the same time you were. It sounds as if you had some issues adapting to the military life and you were offered and accepted a less than honorable discharge.
If you'd like some help getting that discharge upgraded, these are the folks to talk with https://www.vetsprobono.org/
Get in touch with them and they'll review what you've got and they'll take it from there.
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for bilateral foot disability claimed
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VA DISABILITY COMPENSATION
A veteran is entitled to disability compensation if he or she were
(1) discharged or released from the military under conditions other than dishonorable,
(2) their disease or injury was incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, and
(3) the disease or injury was not the result of the their own willful misconduct
or abuse of drugs.
This is who we recommend
(PCE or PERC) Acetone Trichloroethylene (TCE) Xylenes