How Veterans Can Get Help for Hearing Loss
Did you know that the top service-related medical issue for military veterans in the U.S. is a hearing injury? In fact, information from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) states that more than 2.7 million veterans suffer from hearing loss or tinnitus (ringing in the ears) – and that number only includes individuals whose diagnoses have been documented by the VA.
Like many of the challenges that face our veterans long after they return home, a hearing injury is an invisible problem that can seriously impact the quality of life. The effects can be devastating, limiting veterans’ ability to communicate, concentrate, sleep, and even secure employment. When left untreated, hearing loss or tinnitus can lead to diminished relationships, social isolation, depression, poverty, and cognitive decline.
Thankfully, there are options for veterans in need of hearing aids and other treatment options. And, with the modern hearing aid technology now available, veterans can benefit enormously from effective solutions that fit seamlessly into their everyday lives.
Financial Assistance for Veterans with Hearing Injuries
When you consider that veterans spent months or even years experiencing routine exposure to loud noise, it makes sense that hearing loss is such a widespread issue. In active combat, training, and on-the-job activities alike, noise exposure from gunfire, aircraft, heavy equipment, roadside bombs, and tanks are commonplace. In combination with normal, age-related hearing loss, constant noise exposure has permanently affected many veterans.
At Oliveira Audiology & Hearing Center, we deeply respect and appreciate those that served our country. That’s why we are so committed to providing effective and affordable hearing aids for veterans and supporting veterans and their families in receiving any related benefits and compensation from the VA. We also facilitate treatment for veterans with tinnitus, helping many patients achieve relief after years of suffering.
Exactly what services does the VA offer for hearing loss? Due to the prevalence of hearing injuries (hearing impairment and tinnitus) related to military service, the VA has two options for veterans in need of assistance for hearing health care:
- Hearing-related health care, including free or discounted hearing aids, paid for by VA Health Benefits
- Monthly tax-free compensation payments from VA Disability Compensation
Additionally, the VA Choice Program can extend benefits to a private audiologist office for veterans who don’t live within 40 miles or less of a VA clinic (or those unable to get an appointment in 30 days or less).
Do I Qualify for Hearing Aid Cost Assistance for Veterans?
There are three simple steps to determine if you qualify for free hearing aids through the VA.
1. Qualify for VA Health Benefits.
First, you’ll need to confirm eligibility, apply, and enroll in VA Health Benefits if you have not done so already. You can apply online, via phone (1-877-222-8387), or at a local VA healthcare facility or VA regional office.
2. Get a hearing evaluation from a state-licensed audiologist.
Once you are approved for VA Health Benefits, the next step is to schedule a hearing evaluation. The audiologist will assess your hearing and determine the best course of treatment. Generally, you are likely to receive free hearing health care if you meet one or more of the following conditions:
- You already receive benefits under 38 U.S.C. 1151.
- You have a disability-related to U.S. military service.
- You received a Purple Heart award.
- You were a prisoner of war.
- You receive an increased pension due to your need for regular aid and/or attendance or because you are permanently housebound.
- Your hearing impairment is related to another medical condition (or the treatment of a condition), for which you have already received VA care.
- You have a significant cognitive or functional impairment that makes daily activities challenges (outside of normal vision or hearing issues).
- Your hearing loss is so severe that you cannot actively and independently participate in your medical treatment.
3. The audiologist will perform testing to determine if you meet the clinical qualifications for free hearing aids.
The VA has established certain clinical qualifications for no-cost hearing aids for vets, so the audiologist will facilitate specific tests to see if you qualify. These tests will evaluate your hearing thresholds by decibels, Hertz, and speech recognition.
Tinnitus Treatment for Veterans
Tinnitus, or chronic ringing in the ears, is another widespread hearing issue for veterans. Although there is currently no known cure, we can provide a variety of effective options to manage symptoms and achieve a certain level of relief.
How to Get Free Hearing Aids for Veterans in Texas
For veterans in need of free hearing aids in Laredo, TX, Oliveira Audiology & Hearing Center is prepared to advocate on your behalf and help you get the care you need and deserve. Whether you’re seeking help for yourself or a family member, we would be honored to serve you.
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