VA Auditory Injury Disability Ratings
The VA takes auditory test results and uses a numerical formula to determine the actual disability rating to assign. This rating is the degree of disability caused by the hearing loss or tinnitus. Ratings range from zero to 100 percent, and determine eligibility for cash benefits and treatment.
Typical disability ratings for hearing loss range from zero to 10 percent. However, more severe hearing losses may qualify for higher ratings.
Zero percent disabilities are commonly assigned for hearing loss. Zero percent doesn’t mean there is no hearing loss, however. A zero percent rating does mean that the hearing loss is not considered to be disabling.
If the service member has hearing loss and tinnitus, they may receive one rating for hearing loss and another for tinnitus.
Veterans with service-connected hearing loss and tinnitus disability ratings are entitled to treatment at VA facilities. Veterans may file claims for increased disability ratings at any time they feel their hearing loss or tinnitus has gotten worse. Veterans rated for compensable disabilities other than hearing loss or tinnitus are also entitled to audiology services and hearing aids.
If an applicant is deaf in both ears due to a service-connected disability, they may be eligible for an additional monthly cash benefit known as Special Compensation. However, an applicant who is deaf in only one ear doesn’t qualify for Special Monthly Compensation.
Other ear diseases or injuries that may qualify for auditory injury disability ratings include:
- Cancer: Service members may be entitled to a 100 percent rating for six months following the termination of cancer treatment.
- Peripheral vestibular disorders: Inner ear problems that lead to dizziness are generally rated at 10 percent for occasional dizziness or 30 percent for persistent dizziness that causes staggering.
- Loss of one or both ears: If an auricle, or skin and cartilage of an outer ear, is lost due to a service-related incident, the disability is usually rated at 30 percent. If both auricles are lost, the disability rating is generally 50 percent.
Ratings vary depending upon the situation, on a case-by-case basis. Check with your provider for further information.