Did the VA deny your disability claim for tinnitus? While tinnitus is one of the most common VA disability claims, it can be difficult to prove service-connection.
The best solution is to hire one of our VA disability lawyers in Kalamazoo, MI.
Ourwill be able to help you gather the evidence you need to prove your tinnitus claim to the VA.
It’s a misconception that tinnitus is only a “ringing in the ears.” In reality, you may have tinnitus if you hear any sound that doesn’t actually exist. These sounds include buzzing, whistling, swooshing, clicking, and hissing. In rare cases of tinnitus, a person may claim to hear music.
How to Prove Service-Connected Tinnitus
There are three ways to prove your tinnitus is connected to your military service:
- Medical Diagnosis
- Nexus Letter
- Evidence (e.g. “Buddy Letters”)
Your first step is to get an official diagnosis of tinnitus. It’s not enough to Google your symptoms, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with an audiologist. During your appointment, your audiologist will be able to conduct tests to diagnose and determine the extent of tinnitus. An official medical diagnosis can help you get closer to receiving the VA disability benefits you deserve.
A nexus letter from a doctor or other medical professional will describe in detail how your tinnitus is connected to your military service. It’s important to remember that the VA will not award disability benefits unless you are able to prove there is a service-connection. This is why our VA lawyers often recommend clients get nexus letters to strengthen the validity of their claims.
The more evidence you have of your service-connected tinnitus, the better. Our VA disability attorneys will be able to help you gather as much evidence as possible of your condition. That way, it’ll be harder for the VA to deny the appeal of your claim.
The VA will be most interested in evidence showing when your tinnitus started, as well as how it affects your current quality of life. They’ll also be interested in seeing if your tinnitus has worsened over time. Our VA disability attorneys can help you gather statements from friends, family members, and co-workers to show the extent of your condition. These statements are sometimes called “buddy letters.”
Maximum VA Rating for Tinnitus
The maximum VA rating for tinnitus is 10%. Yet, don’t let this stop you from pursuing a VA disability claim for tinnitus. If you wore 3M military earplugs between 2003 and 2015, you may be eligible for compensation. In 2000, 3M tested their dual-ended earplugs and found them to be faulty. Yet, they still issued these earplugs to active duty service members for over a decade.
Our VA disability lawyers can help you prove the connection between wearing these faulty earplugs and developing tinnitus. That way, you’ll be able to receive the compensation you deserve for service-connected tinnitus. Our veterans attorneys are here to help!