How to Apply for VA Disability Benefits
There are several ways to apply for VA disability benefits for hearing loss or tinnitus.
Apply online using an eBenefits account
Complete an eBenefits claim for disability compensation and upload supporting evidence for a Fully Developed Claim, or FDC. By submitting all supporting evidence with the claim, it saves processing time and a decision can be obtained faster.
Under this optional FDC program, Veterans may submit all relevant records in their possession, and those records that are easily obtainable, such as private medical records, at the time they make their claim, and certify that they have no further evidence to submit. The VA can then review and process the claim more quickly.
If the VA determines other records exist and are required to decide a claim, the VA removes the claim from the FDC program and processes it through the traditional claims process. Once Veterans initiate an FDC, they have up to one year to complete it.
Submit a claim by mail
Complete and mail a claim form to the nearest VA Regional Office, or Veterans Service Center, along with records that support the claim. To have the VA request records, provide:
- The name and address of the person, company, or agency that has the records
- The approximate time frame covered by the records, and
- The condition treated
If treatment was received from a non-VA healthcare provider, complete VA Form 21-4142, Authorization and Consent to Release Information to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to request non-VA health records.
Visit a VA regional office for assistance
Locate a nearby VA Regional Office online or call toll free at 1-800-827-1000. Visit the office in person and take any records that support the claim. VA personnel can help obtain records by requesting them from the person, company, or agency that has them.
Work with an accredited representative or agent
The VA encourages individuals who are applying for disability compensation to work with accredited representatives or agents. They have permission from the VA to represent Veterans and assist them in completing the claims through eBenefits. Accredited representatives and agents receive specialized training in VA benefits law and procedure.