Do VA Benefits Cover Hearing Aids?Hearing
Comprehensive health coverage is one of the VA (Veterans Affairs) benefits offered to qualifying veterans. This coverage includes diagnostic, preventative, and therapeutic services, including issues related to hearing.
Unfortunately, veterans are 30% more likely to have hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ears) than non-veterans, and hearing loss is the most prevalent service-connected disability2. There are many reasons for this, including exposure to loud noise, both during training and in the field. A lot of work is being done to develop equipment that will mitigate the potential for hearing loss, such as this In-Ear-Exposure Sensor, which combines hearing protection with ambient and over-pressure noise sensors, along with other sensing capabilities. Some veterans who have normal scores on hearing tests have trouble understanding speech. This is called auditory processing disorder, and it’s associated with blast exposure.3 Technology is getting more advanced every day to prevent hearing loss for those who serve.
Though all veterans enrolled in the VA’s health care system are eligible for audiology evaluations, the VA does not currently cover the cost of hearing aids for all veterans. According to Military.com4, the VA will cover hearing aids for the following veterans:
- Veterans with service-connected disability.
- Former Prisoners of War.
- Purple Heart recipients.
- Veterans rated permanently housebound or in need of regular aid and attendance.
- Veterans with hearing impairment resulting from diseases or a medical condition for which they are getting VA care or disability.
- Veterans with hearing impairment severe enough that it interferes with their ability to participate actively in their own medical treatment or daily living.
How to Qualify for VA Benefits?
Make an appointment with a Veterans Benefits Counselor if you want to make a claim for service-connected hearing loss. It is national VA policy that hearing aids be provided to eligible veterans5. If you do quality, the VA will cover the cost of testing and hearing aids along with maintenance, including clearing, supplies, and replacement batteries.
What if you Don’t Qualify for VA Benefits?
If you are a veteran with hearing loss who does not qualify for hearing aid coverage from the VA, LSH may be able to help. Our mission is to restore the gifts of sight and hearing and our service area covers 12 California counties, which is nearly half the state.
Remember, hearing loss can creep up gradually. Pay attention to changes in hearing, such as needing the television louder or having to ask people to repeat what they said. If this is happening, please get your hearing checked by a professional.
Lions Sight & Hearing Foundation is here to restore the gift of sight and we are always happy to answer your questions and if you qualify. You can call our office at 800-647-6638.