… dcLudwig … Just my personal experience with the V.A. and hearing aids. I began my health care with the V.A. due to cardiac problems. After I retired, I PURCHASED HA’s from a local audiologist prior to seeking V.A. care. I had questioned several people about the HA’s (to include VA employees at my local clinic) and was told that they would furnish HA’s only if the hearing loss was service-related – not my case. So, I just put off my increasing problems for a period of time.
Finally, getting to the point that something had to be done, I just bypassed my VA primary care and went directly to the Audiology Clinic – just 3 blocks away – and explained to the audiologist that I had been told I did not qualify for HA’s, but if they would help me, I would gladly pay any co-pay required. I was told by the audiologist that they didn’t care if the loss was service-related or not; if they determined that any veteran required HA’s, they would be provided, free of charge.
I was stunned, and told them what I had been told at the VA clinic just across the street. They said they didn’t know where the [clinic personnel] information came from, but it was incorrect. I was immediately scheduled for a complete audiology screening after which they indeed determined that I had a significant hearing loss and would benefit from HA’s. They were ordered from their supplier, ear mold impressions were done, and in just about 3 or 4 weeks, I had a new pair of HA’s – at not a cent in cost to me.
Later, I was also furnished with a remote control/bluetooth telephone device that interfaces with my cell phone so that I can use my phone through the HA’s. In addition, after having the HA’s for a couple of years, I was involved in a car wreck during which I lost the left HA; several of us searched the wreckage, but no luck. I went back to the VA, explained my situation, and was told that was not a problem. They ordered a replacement and were cheerful and helpful during the entire process.
In short (may be too late for that), I have had a totally wonderful experience with the VA Audiology Department here in my local area. While I don’t understand what the difference is with other facilities, I’m just thankful for the personnel here. I think my success was a result of “sidestepping” the forms and initial answers, and going directly to the Audiology clinic to arrange for an appointment (BTW, you need to have already established health care with the VA in order to deal with Audiology).
I hope you have great success in following up with your hearing care.