Leaving the military can be a confusing and frustrating ordeal when there's medical issues involved. Incorrectly filed or missing documentation can ruin disability claims, and some problems may not become obvious until you've had time to get a civilian medical examination. Hearing problems can be especially elusive, but some help from Veterans Affairs (VA) officials and hearing aid professionals can deliver the affordable hearing assistance you need.
What Can The VA Do About Hearing Problems?
The VA disability compensation exists to help veterans who were injured, became chronically ill or otherwise affected by a condition because of military service. Such conditions are listed as service-connected, and require significant documentation for monetary compensation and referral to medical professionals at no cost to you.
Military service means any time between your first day of enlistment or office, and continues to the last day of military service--including reserve service. It doesn't matter if you're at an office or workshop on a military base, on the field in or out of combat, on a ship, in a foreign company or even home on leave; if you were part of the military, your condition counts.
Hearing Risks In The Military
Hearing problems can be especially difficult to pinpoint. If your work area is full of hearing hazards and everyone suffers from those hazards, you may not realize the extent of your hearing damage until you're tested in a medical facility or if you've had enough time away from work.
People who work around hearing hazards know that it takes time for hearing to revert to normal after being around loud noises for long periods of time. Even with hearing protection, it's not uncommon for an aircraft maintenance team member or an engineering technician to need others to speak up a bit.
Although jobs with regular hearing risks are required to have regular occupational hazard physicals, a final duty station may not have that luxury. You may be leaving in a rush because of the position of your ship or the rotation of your group of service-members arriving in the United States a bit too close to your final days in the military.
Other veterans may have been in jobs that didn't have regular hearing risks, but may have suffering permanent hearing loss without knowing what happened.
Getting Hearing Aid Assistance
The hearing aid options from the VA may not be what you're looking for. Although generic medication is passable for many conditions, a hearing aid needs to be finely tuned to the person. The single contractor supplying the VA may be good for light amounts of hearing loss and general assistance, but you'll need to get to a specialist as soon as possible.
While putting in your claim (or adding hearing loss to a correction or appeal), contact a hearing aid professional to discuss different hearing aid models. Specific hearing devices such as Widex hearing aids may be able to provide the specific level of audio tuning and comfort that you need.
You don't need to wait for your claim to be completed before contacting the hearing aid professional, in fact, the professional can perform a hearing test and put you in contact with other hearing specialists who could enhance your claim for greater success. Speak with a hearing professional to begin enhancing your claim and getting a better hearing situation.