Hearing aids, cost for...

Discussion in 'General Medical' started by Johnny56, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. Johnny56

    Johnny56 New Member

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    I retired in in 1990 with 20yrs. as a HMC. Since that time, I have realized more and more that my hearing has been affected. Recently, I received an audiogram and was evaluated with high frequency hearing loss bad enough to warrant getting a hearing aid.

    It was brought to my attention that these things can cost (minimally) around $900.00. More, if you get one with all the bells and whistles. Anyone know where I stand with posibly getting some of the cost for a basic hearing aid defrayed by the VA?

    If I am barking up the wrong tree, please let me know.

    J. Guido, HMC,Ret.usn.:)
  2. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    ...and the kind the VA issues run $2-3k but it's an all or nothing deal with the VA. They pay all expenses including routine battery change out or they won't pay for any part of it.

    Here's the deal, if you are service connected for any condition, 10% compensable or more .OR. service connected for hearing/eye loss at 0% or more you are entitled to free eye glasses .AND. hearing aids.

    Getting a compensable loss of hearing award is pretty tough but 0% is realistic provided you can show an in service audiogram with loss or worked in a rating exposed routinely to noise ie; MM, BT, EN GM or flight deck folks. An HM is gonna be tough unless you can show such service.

    Go through your SMR and Jacket. Look for any condition that's chronic and try to get it service connected. A painful scar is worth 10%, tinnitus will also get you 10%. Let us know what you find and we'll help you with the claim.

    I understand 38 USC and CFR. I also understand what the VA wants to see in many cases. I'm an old retired MMC and don't know bupkis about anatomy, disease or injury. Stick around and help us with those things. They're important to a successful claim.
  3. DonaldN

    DonaldN New Member

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  4. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    Yes, that's precisely what I'm saying. But I did make a mistake there. If you are SC for anything 10% or greater you are entitled to both hearing aids and/or eyeglasses. A 0% rating for hearing will entitle you to hearing aids and a 0% rating for eyes entitles the veteran to eyeglasses. Most vets will be reexamined for eye glasses every other year and be issued new glasses when the prescription changes although I get new ones every year even without change. Diabetics are usually reexamined yearly. Your PCP will schedule your eye exams.

    See VHA Directive 2002-039

    The facility Director is responsible for

    (1) Furnishing needed eyeglasses and hearing aids to the following veterans:

    (a) Those with any compensable service-connected disability (Priority 1,2,3);

    (b) Those who are former prisoners-of-war (POWs) (Priority3);

    (c) Those in receipt of benefits under Title 38 United States Code (U.S.C.) 1151 (Priority 3);

    (d) Those in receipt of an increased pension based on being permanently housebound and in need of regular aid and attendance and (Priority 4); and

    (e) Those in Priority 5 and 7 with the following conditions:

    1. Those who have visual or hearing impairment resulting from the existence of another medical condition for which the veteran is receiving Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) care, or which resulted from treatment of that medical condition.

    2. Those with significant functional or cognitive impairment evidenced by deficiencies in the ability to perform activities of daily living, but not including routinely occurring visual (see subpar. 51 and subpar. 5m) or hearing impairments (see subpar. 5j).

    3. Those who are so severely visually- or hearing-impaired that the provision of sensori-neural aids is necessary to permit active participation in their own medical treatment.

    4. Those rated 0 percent for hearing loss, based on the criteria outlined in 38 CFR.17.149(c).

    (2) Replacing hearing aids and eyeglasses when the device becomes ineffective, irreparable or lost due to circumstances beyond the control of the beneficiary. Hearing aids and eyeglasses will not be replaced because of availability of newer technology, unless there is evidence that it will significantly benefit the veteran. NOTE: Hearing aids and eyeglasses should not be replaced solely for cosmetic purposes.

    (a) For eyeglasses, replacement will be at any time due to required refractive change of prescription to improve one line of acuity.

    (b) For hearing aids, replacement will be due to a change in hearing loss combined with the age of the hearing aid. NOTE: Generally, hearing aids are expected to have a lifespan of 4 years.

    (3) Issuing spares, if necessary, but only as determined by the audiologist or eye care specialist. Spare hearing aids and eyeglasses will not be routinely issued. NOTE: Two pairs of single vision eyeglasses, one for reading and one for distance, will be provided in cases where bifocal lenses are contraindicated.
  5. grs1938

    grs1938 New Member

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    I'm retired with a SC of 10% due to a heart attack. I now need hearing aids and the local VA clinic says that the rules recently changed and I'm not eligible for aids since my record does not mention hearing loss.

    I've been doing some net research and find that the VHA Directive 2002-039 expired last year. Is there a new directive that covers this issue?

    George in California
  6. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    George, You are entitled to hearing aids. Any veteran with a compensable service connected rating is entitled to eye wear and hearing aids. The law says so.

    Sometimes people overstep the bounds of their authority. The directive that expired merely reiterated the regulations. While their directive expired, the regulations didn't. Show them the regulation and demand an appointment to have your hearing tested. If they refuse, write a letter to the Director of the nearest VAMC and complain. The clinics work under the authority of the VAMC. Hold their feet to the fire.

    38 CFR ยง 17.149 Sensori-neural aids.

    (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, VA will furnish needed sensori-neural aids (i.e., eyeglasses, contact lenses, hearing aids) only to veterans otherwise receiving VA care or services and only as provided in this section.
    (b) VA will furnish needed sensori-neural aids (i.e., eyeglasses, contact lenses, hearing aids) to the following veterans:
    (1) Those with a compensable service-connected disability;
    (2) Those who are former prisoners of war;
    (3) Those awarded a Purple Heart;
    (4) Those in receipt of benefits under 38 U.S.C. 1151;
    (5) Those in receipt of increased pension based on the need for regular aid and attendance or by reason of being permanently housebound;
    (6) Those who have a visual or hearing impairment that resulted from the existence of another medical condition for which the veteran is receiving VA care, or which resulted from treatment of that medical condition;
    (7) Those with a significant functional or cognitive impairment evidenced by deficiencies in activities of daily living, but not including normally occurring visual or hearing impairments; and
    (8) Those visually or hearing impaired so severely that the provision of sensori-neural aids is necessary to permit active participation in their own medical treatment.
    (c) VA will furnish needed hearing aids to those veterans who have service-connected hearing disabilities rated 0 percent if there is organic conductive, mixed, or sensory hearing impairment, and loss of pure tone hearing sensitivity in the low, mid, or high-frequency range or a combination of frequency ranges which contribute to a loss of communication ability; however, hearing aids are to be provided only as needed for the service-connected hearing disability.
    (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501,1707(b)
  7. grs1938

    grs1938 New Member

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    my update

    I contacted the VA clinic at McClellan and have an evaluation scheduled for this Friday AM.

    Thanks for the information,
    George

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