VA hearing aid eligibility

Okay, I’m new at this (hardly the internet), but certainly at HA’s. Maybe I’m at the wrong site or forum and I understand that. I do well understand the worst thing about Newbies is lack of searching before an inquiry. But I’m sure most of you know that on most popular sites a “Search” can reveal 1,000 results and Google can result in 10,000. I HAVE searched and found some links online with the VA, but they are typically extremely confusing and involve a lot of paperwork (which I don’t mind if that is what is required). However what I’ve found thus far from them is ambiguous at best. I know that I lost significant hearing in 2 years in Vietnam, but it was always “tolerable”, I guess, as I could hear fairly well out of my left ear. So, am I wrong even inquiring here if it is for specific to products sold via here? I am not looking for a specific answer just anyone’s own experience with the VA. I never sought any disability for my hearing (when out-processing, I was told “you hearing will eventually return”) and though I was wounded in the leg, I never sought disability for that, having known comrades who had lost who legs or arms and the wound has only been a minor inconvenience. Sorry to ramble, but while I AM pursuing this through the VA, that’s like wading through quicksand and just want to know if A) do the make/models they offer of any real value and B) does anyone know if you have to have claimed disability for hearing to even be considered? I expect an answer to "B " eventually as my call was on hold for almost an hour before being cut off and my email has yet to been answered. As far as “A” I have checked out COSTCO and they seem the best from all I’ve read here and elsewhere, but if I can get a set free from the VA, at least I can try them out and see if they suit me and if not, what I will be looking for if I go “commercial” to acquire a set. Again, thanks for bearing with this and all I’m looking for is anyone else’s personal experience. This may not even be the proper site, but the info I’ve gained about different makes/models has been very informative that would help me if I do end up going outside the VA. Thanks in advance for any responses. I will continue to look through my own through the VA, but their “hold til you mold” telephone response is sorely lacking and the one place I did find something like a request was confusing as heck.

You will get the best and latest Hearing Aid/HA models from the VA. Though it may take a while for the latest model to be stocked at the VA.

From your description the HAs will be free for you so don’t bother with Costco.

Yes, you will need to claim a service disability for your hearing loss. Don’t be shy about doing this. Your hearing does not come back. Don’t forget to also claim that you suffer from tinnitus, look it up.

There have been many discussions about how to file a disability claim and you should look for local help for doing that.

Oh phone? The VA doesn’t speak phone. They speak forms.

eta/Edit To Add: Oh, I think service disability is just an option. See VHA/VBA video posted below.

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You posted this in Manufacturer Support? May I suggest that you edit your original post and then use the category/pull-down to move it into the Hearing Loss or Hearing Aids category.

I just finished the claim process a few months ago. It is a long process, but ultimately worth it as you can get no cost, top of the line hearing aids and supplies, including batteries, for life. The best piece of advice I got from other vets was to get a Veterans Service Officer. They are trained to help you get through the maze. If you google the term, you should find a number of them that can help you at no cost. And yes, you can file a claim for hearing loss and tinnitus without other disability.

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Hold on son. Here comes the Cavalry :wink:

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Yes it is a long process and depending on where in the country you live it can take longer or take less time. Also be if you move from one VA Region to another that you have to make sure both Regions know you have moved as quickly as possible are you will run into issues with receiving med, and supplies. And it can also slow down services.

Answers to your questions:

A) The VA will provide top of the line HAs and consumable supplies (batteries, wax filters and domes or molds) to any honorably discharged veteran who has a hearing deficiency, without respect to the cause of the hearing deficiency, and without charge to the veteran. You will only need a copy of your DD-214.

B) You do NOT need to claim a service connected disability to receive HAs from the VA.

I was discharged from active duty in 1969 and had documented hearing loss and tinnitus but never pursued a claim until October of 2018. My claim for hearing loss and tinnitus was approved by the VA in less than 60 days.

You can enroll in the VA Healthcare system at any VA location. For audiology, you do not need a referral from your VA primary care physician (if you even have one, which I don’t). Once enrolled, just make an appointment with a convenient VA Audiology department to get an exam and order the HAs.

If you want to initiate a disability claim for any condition, I strongly suggest you contact your local county or state Veteran’s Service Office (VSO) for assistance. Your local VSO can also assist with enrollment in the VA Healthcare system.


Wow that is different than I had back in 2004, it took me about a year and half to get a proved for hearing aids. They wanted proof I was service related. I still had copies of my discharge medical records, but they didn’t want to accept that. But I am glad I stuck it out and was able to contact my division that I was at when my hearing issues began and my records were still available there.

My HAs were ordered before I had submitted my claim for disability. The VA audiologist even provided several suggestions for submitting a claim, and her exam was used in preference to the external C & P exam.

Yup, it is confusing. Maybe because we have so many descriptions. Watch the video below about;

  • VHA - Veterans Health Administration
  • VBA - Veterans Benefits Administration

Maybe free HAs. Maybe free HAs plus compensation?

FredTX has given you the straight poop. Once you are enrolled in the VA healthcare system, they will provide eyeglasses and hearing aids. Just call the Audiology department and request an appointment. They will test your hearing and provide aids if you need them.

Also, as FredTX said, they will provide you with “top of the line” HAs. The VA is the largest purchaser of HAs in the country, possibly the world. There was a report a few years ago that the VA only had to pay something less than $400 for each of those high-end aids.

In addition to the hearing aids, they will provide any and all of the compatible accessories you want. After I got my Resound HAs, I asked for the Phone Clip+ and a Multi Mic. The response was, “Sure. No problem.”

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Methinks service connected disability. Free hearing aids plus compensation.

I have service related hear loss and get my hearing aids but I have to pay for my glasses and pay a copay for my meds. It is not as clear cut as you say

Yup, it’s confusing;

  • There are free glasses - Basic, not designer, not light adjusting tint, etc
  • There are you-pay glasses which have premium frames and lenses, etc

Its supposed to be and where I go, it is exactly that easy.

As for glasses, the VA provides me with nice (not designer) frames with bifocal lenses and UV and scratch resistance coatings. I get that prescription filled at the eyeglass clinic in the VA hospital. Additionally, I bought glasses with no-line bifocal lenses, UV/scratch coatings, and auto darkening. The VA glasses were free and the others cost me $200 with all the bells and whistles.

As to copay for meds, I believe everyone has to pay that unless you go through their process and prove you’re darned near indigent.

If I recall correctly the requirements changed (from what you describe in the old days, to simple enrollment in VA Health Care) because so many veterans had hearing loss. Correct me if I am wrong that disability requirements were recently waived.

Where I go I had to provide my on frames for my glasses, and to get the prescription that was given to my by the eye doctor I had to pay over 300 dollars for the lenses, I asked for nothing extra just what I needed as per the eye doctor. I have and eye disease and I have to to have protection from the sun.

That sounds like the place that’s filling your prescription is ripping you off.

When I get a new prescription from the VA, I walk it down to a little office in the same hospital (what I earlier called the “eyeglass clinic”). This office, although in the hospital, is a private company - not VA. They will fill the prescription the VA wrote free of charge. The VA has set limits on what they will pay. This place is (I suppose ) under contract for just that purpose.

None of this has anything to do with hearing aids. The VA Audiology clinic will handle everything. There is no need to deal with an outside company.

That was the VA clinic in south Austin, Texas back about 3 years ago. I haven’t tried the eye clinic here in Hot Springs, Arkansas yet.

Me too, yes glasses are free! Unless you choose pay-extra designer frames or unless you choose pay-extra Transitions Lenses.