V.A. and free hearing aids


Hi Everyone,
Well let me tell you my story and then you can see if it will help you. I did 24 years in the navy, (you can see when by my screen name). 30% disabled service connected and the hearing loss is part of the service connection.
I was told by the Air force hearing doc that they would cost me $1,000 per ear, and iCom full price. (The Phonak Co. sells only HA’s to the Air Force for cost).
The Hearing Doc told me that I needed to go to the V.A. and get in the system and when I get a Doc, just let them know you need a hearing test.
So I did that, and in 2 months I had a hearing test by the V.A. and set up to get Hearing Aids for free with the iCom too. Feb 12 2010 I received my brand new Hearing Aid’s, as you can see what I got by my sig at the bottom.
SO, if you are in the Military or retired, go to the V. A. and check out what they can do for you. I have saved myself about $6,500.00 bucks and now I can hear great, and I get free batteries for life in the mail.
I have gone without hearing very well for 6 years because I could not afford them and talking to people with the cheap ones, they say “ just forget about them, not worth the bucks”
I hope this helps out.


I have had my hearing aids from the VA for almost 4 years now and just had my yearly check up and I am getting my second pair of aids in about 4 weeks. I have been part of the VA system in the Dallas area, and now I am in the Austin area system. I have been treated great and I have had better results with hearing aids from the VA than from private practice. I spend 8 years in the Navy and my hearing loss, and ringing in the ear is service related. To much time around jet engines and electonic equipment with loud equipment fans. If you even think your hearing loss is services related get it checked and apply.

Sonic INNOVAs, now Siemans, Acurus, and not sure about the new ones but believe they are going to be Orticon Duals with the streamer.


I’m scheduled to get Phonak Exelia Art Micro BTE on 4/18 which seems like a year off right now. I’ve waited for 40 years for technology to catch up and then I couldn’t afford them. I was told VA would not provide them as a blanket statement. Finally my wife convinced me to try, got a service connected and here I am.

The doc said I’ll get the aids and a remote. How did you get the iCom? Also, are they providing your cell also???


I have gotten the top of the line Orticon dual WX with the streamer. They are great and have not costed me a cent. The VA takes care of all of my batteries and domes etc for my aids. I asked about the connectline extras for the streamer and was told if I need them they will get them for me. I have had my new aids just over a week and they are great. The only issue that I have found is that I believe my open domes are a size too small so I have called the VA audi and they are sending out the larger domes.
The VA has been great to me and I recommend the VA to any Vet that can possiblity use the VA for hearing issues.


Hi Chuck,

I got my Phonak Exelia Art Micro aids with custom molds and myPilot remote 2 weeks ago. The Audi said if I have a need for the iCom (which I do) he will order them for me. His office gave me batteries and I got a bunch sent from Denver. I go back in 2 weeks for the followup. Like you, I am in awe at the wonderful treatment by the VA.


Had my VA test today. I’m sceduled to get Phonak Exélia Art micro BTEs on 5/20. No sure about the model yet. Audi did order the EarGear for me caue I mentioned it during the test. But she says I don’t qualify for the bluetooth or FM stuff cause my hearing is not bad enough. She plans to set the autolearn progarm only.
The VA test was within 5Db of the earlier Cost Co test. She said ‘operator error is at least 5 Db’.


Please see the followint link


It went great.:smiley:


Some of my clients have spouses that qualified for free hearing instruments through the VA so I’ve had a chance to see a pair or two. These are not entry-level models, but often high-end instruments from major manufacturers (or rebranded under a different name with the same electronics inside)!

If you can go this route, the only bit of advice I might add is to make sure you continue working with the VA on adjustments until you’re fully satisfied. I’m not sure the reason, but I’ve talked to several people who didn’t seem to realize that this was a normal part of the process and had never had their instruments adjusted beyond the initial fit.


I’ve been wearing analog aids I bought out of pocket 15 years ago. Just got qualified service connected 40% for Agent Orange in 2009 so everything else has followed when I asked about it. It looks like it will be another month before I get the hardware. They seem to be buried in audiology now.

I’ll keep this thread updated.

PS I have been very happy with my treatment and relationship with the VA. They are very busy, but pay attention and provide top notch results.


USA 1968-1972
RVN 1969-1970
Mekong Delta 9th Div
335th RRC


Saw the audiologist at the DeBakey Hospital in Houston today. He is their tinnitus expert and I mentioned my reading on the Resound Live TS9 with T treatment (sound generator). He said that his experience has been better with straight hearing aids so we are going with the Phonak Audeo Smart IX to start. Six month trial to see if we can get it just right or make another selection.

He is looking forward to working on my hearing problems with me and my engineering background.

We’ll see.



Just back from picking up my Phonak Audeo Smart IX pair from the VA in Houston. It’s early days of course, but so far I am delighted with the equipment functions, and sounds heard. There are lots of high frequency things I had forgotten about. The metallic watchband I wear makes noises when I bump it on the table. The car door closing makes a much more complex noise this afternoon that it did just this morning with the old analogs.

I was given a hard copy of my settings, but couldn’t get an electronic copy of the settings because of VA data security concerns. Hooking a thumb drive to the computers in the VA offices causes the computer security folks to appear. No sweat it will just take a few minutes to tweak the recommended settings for my loss over to what we ended up with today.

I was a little anxious after some of the negative comments from people who could not be happy with the change from analog to digital aids. No problems. Once again, early, but I doubt I will be looking for the hardware to carry out my own programming.

I’m surprised at some of the noises coming from this laptop keyboard.



In July of '08, I got 2 Unitron YUYU’s,but that’s only the beginning of my experience with the VA

Since then, they discovered Cholestomia in my right ear and a CSF(Cranial/Spinal Fluid) in my left.

I have had 3 surgeries for the Cholestomia and the CSF Leak required Neurosurgery to correct.

This week I’m having surgery to implant the abutment for a PontoPro on my right side.

The VA has been my lifesaver! I’m forever grateful to the Great Docs at the Jesse Brown VA in Chicago, Hines VA in Maywood and Loyola University, who did my neurosurgery(at VA expense)’


I picked up new Phonak Ambra In The Ear aids to replace the Audeo Smart ixs which gave me problems with sweat shutdown. The new Spice model chip in these aids has even more bells and whistles. It just was released for sale Nov 1.

I can’t say enough in praise of my care with the VA.



I don’t know if this is the place to post this but if not maybe someone can move it to where it belongs. I got my Exelia Art the last of last year and it has taken some getting use to from the ones I had that were in ear. I was a hook runner on the Franklin D. Roosevelt aircraft carrier and the jets really messed my ears up. The Navy didn’t give me and % for my hearing loss because I didn’t go to sick bay but that is another story.

The hearing aids I have now are different from the in ear ones. When I or anyone else whistles it sounds really strange like there are 4 or 5 people whistling at different levels. I told the clinic about it but they can’t do anything about it. The main reason I am posting is my left hearing aid started beeping yesterday at random. It isn’t because of a dying battery as it is a different sound like a back feed. If everything is quite it doesn’t beep as often but it will beep if a kinda loud sound is made.

It is strange, the whole time I have been typing this, it hasn’t beeped at all. One more thing and I will shut up. I have tried everything I know to use my aids with the phone but it is impossible and it is useless to try to hear on the phone as I barely can hear on one. By the way, what is the ICom deal you all were talking about?

Sorry for the long post.



I’m sorry to hear about your issues. The aid is definitely messing up and you need to get it fixed. The iCom is a bluetooth to magnetic loop translator. By that I mean it talks to a bluetooth device like a cellular phone or my adapted desk setup and changes the signal to the magnetic signal the aids can use. There also are microphones in the iCom which pick up my voice and send it to the phone. My company installed the bluetooth into my desktop computer.

Good Luck,


Thanks Terry, I appreciate that.


It’s wonderful that VA can provide hearing aids to those that need them, however, they’re not exactly ‘free.’ VA is funded by the U.S. Gov’t,therefore, tax payers are paying for them.


They aren’t exactly “free” to those of us who get them because our hearing was damaged by our military service. I’ll be happy to give back to the VA the tax deduction I get for my hearing disability (worth about $600 a year) if the service will give me back my hearing.:slight_smile:


Soldiers pay taxes also…



So glad you enjoy your treatment at the VA. We take pride in giving our veterans the service they deserve! A few years back congress enacted legislation that granted the VA the ability to provide amplification to any veteran. This opened up a lot of doors for veterans who otherwise would never be able to plop down $5,000-8000 on a set of hearing aids. Many people are not aware they they can come to the VA for this service. We have all the major brands except for Widex, a company with very fine hearing aids, but does not participate in volume discounting, something that the federal government depends on to keep providing the best hearing aids at no cost to the veterans.