Hearing aids for veterans

I am an Army veteran, first during the Vietnam era and served in artillery. I served my time and ever since had ringing in my ears.
Later in 1980 I returned to the Army reserve as an officer and served around 10 years. I always passed the hearing test they gave, but I knew always that I had hearing problems, didn’t said anything because I wanted to remain in the service. Do anyone has information or personal experiece with V.A. or if I may qualify for some type of help with Hearing Aids?

Make an appointment with your VA hospital. They should have and AuD there to test.

you can’t simply call the VA hosp and walk in…
find your local Veterans’ Service Commission they will walk you through all the paperwork and advise you about all the benefits you are entitled to. Being a RVN veteran you are an automatic into the VA health care system. You will need to fill out paperwork and have a copy of your dd214 and a list of other things once get your paperwork straight you will quickly get your first appt with a primary care physician who will refer you to an AD. Hearing aids are zero cost to you. They are the top of the line products and the AD’s are top notch. All supplies batteries, etc are included you just call a number and they send you more. Rx’s are also provided at a huge discount I think $12 for 90 day supply. What state are you in? As a separate issuse the VSC will also help you with the paperwork if you want to file for disability. The disability responses are running about a year but are paid back to the day you file. Again being a RVN vet Health Care and Disability are separate issues. PM me if you care too. Work with the VA AD… I trialed Phonak and Starkey before settling on Siemens. We had one minor nagging issue with the Siemens and she got the Siemens Gov Rep into her office and we got it resolved.

Thanks so much for the information. Do I have to prove that The hearing loss is due to service connected dissability? I am not interested in that, my main concern would be the hearing aid issue. Also, where do you go about getting a copy of the DD214. When I completed my second run in the reserves, all I received was the discharge papers and certficate. My Vietnam era paperwork, I can’t remenber seen it for decades. I’ll see about the VA hospital and get with you. Thanks so much.

if you are a RVN vet you are automatically eligible for VA Healthcare (which is NOT disability). You need to get into the VA Healthcare system by filling out some paperwork (which VSC will help you with). You will need your dd214. you should have had it recorded at the court house when you returned. The VSC can get your dd214 but it will take a little time. Your first visit to the VA you will get an ID card. Generally you first visit will be with a primary care Doc who will refer you to the AD dept. They will do an complete hearing test and will order you top of the line aids with all accessories. Tehn it works just like any other AD should work a setup visit and then multiple follow-ups. If you don’t like the first brand just say so and you can pretty much trial whatever you like.

Good information. I had no idea on the process.

IMBack…

From reading your posts in this thread, am I understanding them correctly? :confused:

Hearing aids are ZERO cost to you. They are the TOP of the line products and the AD’s are top notch.

Additionally…

…top of the line aids with ALL ACCESSORIES.

…And…

…you can pretty much trial WHATEVER YOU LIKE.

IMBack… I’m not questioning what you said, but rather am asking for a little bit of clarification. :confused: If I’m interpreting your posts correctly, then I should be able to obtain a set of (as a example) …

Starkey Wi Series RIC 13 AP’s… (along with Starkey’s SurfLink Media Streamer, SurfLink Mobile and SurfLink Remote).

…or…

MicroTech Mobility Series RIC 13 mPower’s… (along with MicroTech’s SurfLink Media, SurfLink Mobile and SurfLink “Advanced” Remote).

If this then is the case, I see NO reason why I should go to a “private” HA dealer (at a cost of $4,000.00 a set), when I can get them from my local VA for “absolutely, positively, 100% at NO cost to me”… FREE!

Am looking forward to hearing (notice the pun) your response.

Thanks…

Shi-Ku Chishiki

exactly what response do you want?

all those statements are fact.

I trialed Phonak Nadia with all the accessories returned them and trial the Starkey Wi i100 with surflink and advanced remote (which sucked) I returned those and then trialed and kept the Siemens Pure Carat w/HP receivers, custom molds, eCharger, rechargeable batteries, miinTek with a car charger and TVlink. Next up if I had not kept these would have been the Moxi. Since I had worn Rextons for 2 years I liked the Siemens sound.

little bit of clarification what wasn’t clear?
I basically posted the same information twice and I have helped at least 2 people from this forum get top of the line aids.

if you were in the military and served in Vietnam there is no reason not to enlist in the VA Healthcare system or certain other combat zones.

goggle is your friend… this should get your started in your research.
http://www.military.com/benefits/veterans-health-care/va-provided-hearing-and-vision-benefits.html

If this then is the case, I see NO reason why I should go to a “private” HA dealer (at a cost of $4,000.00 a set), when I can get them from my local VA for “absolutely, positively, 100% at NO cost to me”… FREE! yep and a new pair every 4 years unless you need them sooner, if you lose them they will replace them, you get all supplies, batteries, domes, dryer, whatever by simply calling the provided number and they are shipped to you.

Essentially, if you qualify for VA care, you should use it. I have a lot of veterans that come in and I tell them honestly. I’d love to sell them hearing aids but they can get them for free.

Imback, thanks for the information concerning VA benefits. I followed your advise and contacted the VA by phone. I served in the Army during the Vietnam era and my last asigment was in artillery.

I was informed that in order to qualify for hearing Aids, I need at least a 10% service connected dissability. My only alternative is to file for a dissability claim that can take over one year to process with no guarantee. They gave me a claim number and they will send me the paperwork by mail.
The person told me that ringing in the ears if approved is 10% dissability and more severe hearing lost will be higher. I was not looking to apply for dissability and to the long process, but it doesn’t hurt to try.

Like I said, I spoke to the VA by phone listed in their web-site. So unless there is some other information out there, if you don’t have a service connected dissability you are not qualified to received hearing aids.

Do you have a service connected dissability? Did you received it right after your discharged?

I am thining after so many years, I don’t know what my chances are to get approve.

Any other information that can help me would be appreciated. Let me clarify again, I have not visited the VA hospital or clinic in person. So I don’t know if this will make a difference. Thanks again to you and the other members that responded. (I was able to find the DD214)

I was informed that in order to qualify for hearing Aids, I need at least a 10% service connected dissability

absolutely incorrect!

I have no service connected disability and have aids courtesy of the VA at no cost.
Did whomever you talked with understand that you were a Vietnam veteran?

ONE MORE TIME YOU CANNOT COLD CALL OR VISIT THE VA HOSPITAL OR CLINIC. IF’S IT A LARGER HOSP THEY MIGHT HAVE A BENEFITS DEPT WHERE YOU CAN DO THE PAPERWORK FOR VA HEALTHCARE. THEN ABOUT 2 WEEKS LATER YOU GET YOUR VA ID CARD.

WHAT CITY AND STATE ARE YOU IN AND I CAN GET YOU A TELEPHONE NUMBER.

I helps to have a VSO (veteran service officer) to help you file a claim. Your county, DAV VFW etc. will have one.

I filed for disability 50 years after my discharge. The claim took 364 days to complete. I was awarded 20% for hearing loss and 10% for tinnitus.

I was fitted with Phonak Ambra aids and given a ComPilot and TVLink. This is my first hearing and I am impressed with it. I wish I had known about the VA and disability 50 years ago.

Thank you, for the information. Are there income requirements? I am in Rancho Cucamonga California about 30 miles east of Los Angeles, please give me the phone numbers.

look’s like San Bernardino county?
http://hss.co.san-bernardino.ca.us/va/

or go here and pick the one you like
http://www.cacvso.org/page/2011-1-22-13-52-31/

third time… if you are a Vietnam veteran you automatically have access to VA Healthcare services there is no income test. There are modest co-pays for drugs $8 or $12 depending on 30 or 90 days worth and a $50 co-pay for specialist. The max you will pay in one year is $150 dollars. If you earned a purple heart were a pow or some other things the co-pays are waved. The guys at the VSO (not VA) will expain everything in detail and fill-out the paperwork for you.

this look’s like a good thread for my first post… raymon, did you get this squared away?

I need replacements for my HA’s. I checked with my doctor at the local VA clinic and he requested an audiology test from the regional VA center about 80 miles away. A week or so later I got a telephone call telling me they had received my doctor’s request and would put me on their electronic waiting list. I was informed that they were running over 8 months behind and they would notify me when an appointment was available. Most of the dealers of HA’s here in town offer free audiology test, free batteries and free fitting. It almost seems that the VA could offer a better service to veterans if they would allow private companies to test, fit and sell them to veterans.

I don’t know where you are located but in the Cincy area if you are flexible about your clinic’s location you would get in for your first appt in 4 to 6 weeks the first appt w/b for an hour and include all testing, explaining results and taking molds if needed, etc. then the second 60 min appt I would schedule for 3 weeks, when you arrived I would already have done what could be done we then would fit and tune and I would go over the quick start user guide. we would schedule a 30 min session about 2 weeks out for general adjustments. all the clinic plus the hosp have audiology depts around here I don’t know why you would need to go to a regional center.

are your current aids from the VA? if so have you had them less then 3 years? if the answer to both is yes that might be why they want you to go to a regional center.

Once you decide on which aids and accessories you are going to keep (if you decide to do multiple trials) you order all supplies from ROES in Denver yourself. This includes batteries, domes, dryers, cleaner, lube, wax screens, etc… pretty much everything you can think of and it’s all shipped to you door FREE to go with your FREE hearing aids. There is no way we can afford to pay private companies to sell hearing to you (us) they can not come remotely close to the price we pay.

Thanks for that timeline. I am new to the forum and also the processes involved in getting hearing aids through the VA. First of all I was just approved for a 60% disability due to hearing loss this month. I have scheduled my first step, the doctors appointment for August 21, which is approximately a month from the day I applied. I was in hopes that things would speed up after that but it from what I have read here, it doesn’t appear likely.

I am also in the Cincy area and have the doctors appointment scheduled for the Greendale VA clinic which is closest to me . I have worn hearing aids since 1985 so am an experienced user, I think 5 different sets in that time span. I currently wear a set of Phonak Excelia Micro HA’s which are almost 5 years old. What worries me is that for the last set I went in each week for 7 or 8 straight weeks to get them tweaked to where they best fitted my needs. I am assuming that I won’t be able to do this with the VA, at least not on a weekly basis. Does the VA ever pay Audiologist outside their system to do follow-up fittings?

Thanks to all those who have supplied all of the knowledgeable information in this forum. It has been a great help to me. Also as a side note, it took 23 months to get the disability approval from the time I applied, but when I checked my bank account the Disability payments were already deposited retroactive to the day I submitted the claim.

weekly appts will be tough… my advice would be to explain all this to your AD and my guess would be you could schedule maybe 30 mins every other week. after you first visit (60 mins) my guess is they will have you coming back in about 3 weeks for your first fitting (60 mins). During your first visit ask to make a couple of every other apps (30 mins) to get them on the books. Remind him you are an experienced aid user so he will remember to use the right fitting formula. Speak up that first appt if you have a preference on brand or type. Guessing that you have a pretty serious loss… I would consider the Phonak Nadia S CRT w/custom molds, Siemens Pure Carets w/custom molds or Widex 440 Supers… Remember you can switch aids if the first choice isn’t working for you as long as it’s under 90 days.

PLEASE keep this post updated with your progress so some of the folks on here can have first hand information to base their comments on.

Thanks for the information and I will certainly follow-up on your advice. I badly need advice as I have been out of the loop as to what technological changes have occurred in the last 5 years. I suspect that there have been no dramatic improvements. It has been my experience that to properly fit a hearing aid in this day of electronic programming you need to make several visits and add and remove programs for comparative purposes on each visit. Several people I know have gotten hearing aids and never gone back for tweaking and have no clue as to the potential of their hearing aid.

My chart from the VA notes some headings that I don’t understand and maybe you could help, “AVG R 79.0, L 90.0; Maryland CNC R 68, L 12”. The other numbers don’t say but I am assuming that they show loss in db rather than a percentage.

The best device I have found for TV listening is Sennheiser HDR 120 wireless headphones. If I could only get a set of hearing aids that were of this quality, I would be very happy.