Author Topic: Question - Hearing Loss/ Tinnitus  (Read 5815 times)

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Offline Mediman14

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Question - Hearing Loss/ Tinnitus
« on: August 29, 2016, 20:20:02 »
Just for confirmation as I'm not 100%, but hearing loss and tinnitus are 2 separate claims right? I was approved for Tinnitus but I didn't submit for Hearing loss.

Offline Occam

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Re: Question - Hearing Loss/ Tinnitus
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2016, 23:55:16 »
That's correct.  Hearing loss and tinnitus are separately pensionable conditions.

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Re: Question - Hearing Loss/ Tinnitus
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2016, 07:18:15 »
That's correct.  Hearing loss and tinnitus are separately pensionable conditions.

Agreed. I submitted two separate claims, although the statements were essentially the same, at the end of October 2015. Both were approved on 29 February 2016.

Offline Spectrum

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Re: Question - Hearing Loss/ Tinnitus
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2016, 13:39:55 »
Mind if I ask what VAC considers "hearing loss"? There has been a documented decrease in my hearing abilities during my service, and I've been warned that I could be released if it continues to degrade. I feel my hearing is still fine, but I'm curious if this is something worth claiming?

Offline Occam

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Re: Question - Hearing Loss/ Tinnitus
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2016, 14:28:07 »
If you have a recent audiogram, you can easily figure out if the degree of hearing loss you have qualifies (assuming it's service-related, that is).

http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/services/after-injury/disability-benefits/benefits-determined/table-of-disabilities/ch-09-2006#a03

Offline Spectrum

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Re: Question - Hearing Loss/ Tinnitus
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2016, 14:45:46 »
Great, thanks! As for proving it's service related, does one basically have to have been in the artillery or constant firefights before they believe it? The military is definitely the only place I've been exposed to really loud things (not to mention lots of repetitive noises...) And my hearing was perfectly fine when I joined (once the guy actually did the test correctly...) whereas my most recent audiogram indicates otherwise.

VAC strikes me as an insurance company, I assume it will be hard to prove my case. 


Offline mrcpu

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Re: Question - Hearing Loss/ Tinnitus
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2016, 08:33:14 »
I was in the reserves 20 years ago and specifically remember a couple instances that I'm sure caused hearing damage but they were undocumented. 

Today I suffer from tinnitus and my hearing is getting worse. 

Would it be fair to assume I'd be wasting my time trying to get VAC to pay for hearing aids?

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Offline Occam

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Re: Question - Hearing Loss/ Tinnitus
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2016, 10:53:50 »
Great, thanks! As for proving it's service related, does one basically have to have been in the artillery or constant firefights before they believe it? The military is definitely the only place I've been exposed to really loud things (not to mention lots of repetitive noises...) And my hearing was perfectly fine when I joined (once the guy actually did the test correctly...) whereas my most recent audiogram indicates otherwise.

VAC strikes me as an insurance company, I assume it will be hard to prove my case.

If your hearing loss is documented, you shouldn't have a problem, especially if you're in one of the trades known to be exposed to noises that induce hearing loss.  VAC does have an insurance mentality, but even they are aware that some trades are predisposed to having hearing loss issues, and their ability to say "well, it's difficult to say it was caused by military service" is greatly reduced if you were in one of those trades.

I was in the reserves 20 years ago and specifically remember a couple instances that I'm sure caused hearing damage but they were undocumented. 

Today I suffer from tinnitus and my hearing is getting worse. 

Would it be fair to assume I'd be wasting my time trying to get VAC to pay for hearing aids?

Your case might be a little more difficult to present.  I'm by no means an expert, but my understanding is that "instances" don't generally cause hearing loss - it takes repetitive noise exposure over a period of time to cause it.  Again, your trade plays a lot to do with it, and being able to back up when you could have been exposed to noise (UER showing participation in exercises involving artillery, just as an example).  Having an audiologist who can back you up saying that the likelihood is high that your hearing loss/tinnitus is service-related helps greatly, if you can back up your military history vs. your employment on civvie street.  Do a Privacy Act request on your entire military files (pers file, UER, medical, etc.) and submit anything that remotely looks like it may help your case.  The amount of prep work you do increases your chances of a favourable decision.

Offline mrcpu

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Re: Question - Hearing Loss/ Tinnitus
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2016, 11:25:22 »
I was infantry and my secondary trade was 81 mm mortar.  I recently got my service record to join the Legion and it contains some medical history but since I never went to try MIR for anything related I'm probably SOL.

(I'll talk to the Legion as well since they seem to have people who help navigate this stuff. )

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Re: Question - Hearing Loss/ Tinnitus
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2016, 13:04:35 »
I was infantry and my secondary trade was 81 mm mortar.  I recently got my service record to join the Legion and it contains some medical history but since I never went to try MIR for anything related I'm probably SOL.

(I'll talk to the Legion as well since they seem to have people who help navigate this stuff. )

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My two claims were successful without any official documentation from my records. I touched on my service in the artillery, including the small arms, machine guns and various artillery equipment I had fired. This included an estimate of the amount of artillery ammunition that went downrange from gun positions I was on. I also discussed riding in tracked and wheeled vehicles with a high degree of engine noise and track noise as well as operating radios. I also discussed flying in fixed and rotary-winged aircraft, both while parachuting and while being transported tactically and on deployments to Norway.

This may not apply to you, but I mentioned how in my first ten years of service, any attempt to protect one's hearing was considered unmanly.

Offline mrcpu

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Re: Question - Hearing Loss/ Tinnitus
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2016, 21:00:57 »
My two claims were successful without any official documentation from my records. I touched on my service in the artillery, including the small arms, machine guns and various artillery equipment I had fired. This included an estimate of the amount of artillery ammunition that went downrange from gun positions I was on. I also discussed riding in tracked and wheeled vehicles with a high degree of engine noise and track noise as well as operating radios. I also discussed flying in fixed and rotary-winged aircraft, both while parachuting and while being transported tactically and on deployments to Norway.

This may not apply to you, but I mentioned how in my first ten years of service, any attempt to protect one's hearing was considered unmanly.
Thanks for the info!  While I was only in the PRES for 5 years I firmly believe my hearing was damaged by it.  I will definitely try at least to see where things go.

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Offline loadiecc150

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Re: Question - Hearing Loss/ Tinnitus
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2016, 15:26:09 »
Hey All,

Well, I submitted my claim for hearing loss and tinnitus, both denied! Appealed through BPA who requested I get an independent exam, which I did. The Dr was an old Navy Dr who basically said, tough luck, it's a part of life and live with it. Of course it is associated to working on the ramp around airplanes for 20+ years. He refused to fill out any VAC paperwork or provide them with an opinion even when requested through the BPA, he won't even return their calls. I received a letter from the BPA saying sorry, you need to get an experts opinion we can use!

Here is my question. Does anyone around the Edmonton area know of a good Dr that can provide an expert opinion that's willing to put it on paper?

Thanks
Constantly ringing ears.

Offline Rifleman62

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Re: Question - Hearing Loss/ Tinnitus
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2016, 15:44:26 »
Not in Edm, but phone around to some of the Hearing Clinics to see if they have a Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) (lots/most do) on staff. Also ask if they are familiar with VAC claims/paperwork. Then request appointment specifically with the Au.D not the technician who may actually run the tests but you want to be analysised by the Au.D.
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Offline STONEY

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Re: Question - Hearing Loss/ Tinnitus
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2016, 19:06:12 »
HI i guess i have had a very easy time of it.

I went to my local COSTCO  had a hearing test by an audiologist not a doctor who gave me a signed report.
I called veteran affairs tollfree number and they infoed me to online site and what forms to fill out.
My wife who is more literite than i went on line and with my service records to refer to filled out the forms and submitted them at 10 PM on Sunday night.
At 9 AM the next morning i received a  call from Matane Qbc. who asked me to mail to him my report from COSTCO , which i did that day.
Three days later he called me back and told me i was approved and to go ahead and get the hearing aids which i now have for over 2 months.
I firmly believe that the secret was my wife who filled out and submitted my forms with great details and What exactly they wanted included.

Cheers

Offline Rifleman62

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Re: Question - Hearing Loss/ Tinnitus
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2016, 20:12:54 »
I believe he is submitting a claim for a disability which as you state will lead to the procurement of hearing aids proved by VAC.

loadiecc150: you should get a hold of your oldest CF hearing test results from the MIR, or if possible the hearing test on enrollment and/or the medical hearing standards for your trade so the Au.D has a start point for comparison.

Anyone getting hearing aids should get a model with Bluetooth connectivity to use today's wireless technology to help you easily stay connected to phones, televisions, tablets, etc. VAC will pay for this. With the Bluetooth you can e.g. watch TV without blasting your companion out of their chair. You have your own hearing aid volume and they e.g. can turn down the TV without hindering your ability to hear.

If your cable setup box is not Bluetooth capable, VAC will  pay for something like this to make your cable box or older TV Bluetooth capable:  http://www.oticon.ca/support/usage-situations/tv/

VAC may fight on this as a couple of years ago they only provided cable connected headphones which is dumb.If you have a problem PM me and I will send you proof that VAC will provide. Took a year to get VAC to concede.
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Offline Occam

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Re: Question - Hearing Loss/ Tinnitus
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2016, 22:50:13 »
As far as the Bluetooth enabled hearing aids go, I would go with the recommendation of the audiologist.  Not all hearing loss/tinnitus is suited to those types of hearing aids.

Also consider the fact that if you're wearing a traditional (non-Bluetooth) hearing aid, you won't need to worry about blasting out your spouse with the TV volume, because you'll have close to normal hearing thanks to the hearing aid(s).  My personal opinion is that Bluetooth is a bit of a gimmick when it comes to hearing aids, and those who I know who have used them grow tired of the novelty fairly quickly. 

Get the best hearing aid you can get that treats your condition, and be wary of the gimmicks.

Offline CampCricket

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Re: Question - Hearing Loss/ Tinnitus
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2017, 02:56:03 »
I have hearing aids for both ears. Bluetooth allows me to hear phone calls because it connects with my cell. I hear much better that way than through a regular receiver. Hate talking through a regular phone. Much more distortion. In my opinion... technology is your friend. I would not want a non Bluetooth hearing aid. I get more pure sound and it cancels out background noise. Do your own research and talk with your audiologist

Offline Eland2

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Re: Question - Hearing Loss/ Tinnitus
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2017, 08:32:44 »
That's correct.  Hearing loss and tinnitus are separately pensionable conditions.

This is correct. One of my uncles served in the CF for 23 years and in addition to his basic army pension, he also receives pension amounts for service-related hearing loss and tinnitus. He spent his entire military career working as a supply tech.

He traces his hearing loss to the time when he was posted to Sarcee Barracks (in the days before it was renamed CFB Calgary) when he was assigned to operate a 10kW generator set and had to sleep in the back of a deuce-and-a-half truck that was parked very close to the generator. He wasn't given any hearing protection because, in those days, hearing conservation practices were unknown and/or simply not practiced.

He also believes that he acquired further hearing loss from being seated inside noisy armoured personnel carriers while on exercises, and the tinnitus evolved from being exposed to loud noises known to cause tinnitus - i.e., artillery fire, small-arms fire, and machine guns.


Offline Occam

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Re: Question - Hearing Loss/ Tinnitus
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2017, 11:34:06 »
This is correct.

I know it's correct.  I'm currently receiving a pension for tinnitus and hearing loss as separately pensionable conditions.   ;)

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Re: Question - Hearing Loss/ Tinnitus
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2017, 11:43:03 »
I know it's correct.  I'm currently receiving a pension for tinnitus and hearing loss as separately pensionable conditions.   ;)

As am I.  :salute: