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Tinnitus VA Disability Claims and Ratings

Tinnitus VA Disability Claims and Ratings

Video Transcription

Jenna Zellmer: Thank you for tuning in to CCK Live Under 5:00. I’m Jenna Zellmer and today we’re going to be reviewing VA disability benefits for tinnitus, also called tinnitus.

Tinnitus refers to a ringing or buzzing noise in one or both ears that is often associated with hearing loss. It’s typically not permanent, but it can be extremely irritating and distracting. In veterans, tinnitus is usually due to noise exposure, but it can also be caused by blockages, infections, Meniere’s disease, neck or head injuries, or some other conditions. Common symptoms, as I mentioned, can be ringing, buzzing, hissing, clicking, and whistling.

Usually, symptoms are more pronounced at night, mostly because it’s quieter and veterans are sleeping. And so they might not notice there are some symptoms during the day or until after service, but at nighttime, they really come into focus. There are some white noise devices or other machines that are meant to overcome the condition more naturally, but medication can also be prescribed for treatment.

So, tinnitus is one of the most commonly claimed disabilities for VA compensation, and to establish service connection, as we’ve mentioned in our previous videos, you need a diagnosis, an event in service, and you need to demonstrate that there’s a medical nexus between your diagnosis and your service.

So, you can show service records to show that you had an event in service. You know, it might show prolonged noise exposure during training exercises or in combat. You could also have medical records that established that maybe you didn’t have this before service or maybe it became, had an onset in service, and you can also have lay statements from your family members, your friends, or even your own personalized statements that kind of explain what you’ve experienced in service and what you’ve experienced since service.

As I’ve mentioned, a medical nexus opinion is really crucial here, so if you have a statement from your doctor which can establish when your symptoms began and what treatment you’ve undergone and a doctor’s opinion that states that you are current symptoms and your diagnosis are related to whatever happened to you in service, that’s going to be really beneficial.

Now, once you have obtained service connection, now we have to think about ratings. Tinnitus is never given more than a 10 percent rating, no matter the severity, and no matter if you have it in one ear or in both ears.

So it’s important to know that when you’re applying for tinnitus, you’re only going to get a maximum of 10 percent, and this is given because there’s a lot that can be done to relieve your symptoms, despite the damage that may have been done. So, VA has never really considered tinnitus to be that disabling.

And as of December 2020, a 10 percent rating would warrant a monthly benefit of about $145 a month. Specifically, it’s $144.14.

So, that’s really all we have today on Tinnitus. Thanks for watching.

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