Tinnitus VA Ratings 2023
Tinnitus is the single most prevalent disability among people receiving veterans disability benefits. In 2022, more than 2.7 million veterans receiving disability compensation, or about 8% of all VA disability recipients, suffer from this condition. That rate is even higher among new recipients.
However, while this condition is quite common among veterans and among those receiving VA disability compensation, the condition itself warrants limited benefits. Unlike most other conditions, which may be rated at different percentages depending on the severity of the condition, tinnitus has just one possible disability rating.
The Current VA Rating System for Tinnitus
Under 38 CFR 4.87, a veteran diagnosed with recurrent tinnitus will receive a 10% disability rating for that condition. If tinnitus is hearing-loss associated, the rating may be higher based on the underlying condition. The condition itself is rated at 10%, regardless of the specifics of your condition. That’s true whether just one ear is affected or both, and whether the sound is perceived in the ears or the head.
Potential Changes to the Tinnitus Rating System
A 10% disability rating means only a small monthly disability benefits payment. But, it opens the door to other benefits, including VA medical care for the service-connected condition. Rule changes proposed by the VA in 2022 would change that.
The VA asserts that tinnitus was never intended to be viewed as a separate and compensable condition. Instead, they say, the language of the 1999 revision that standardized the rating assigned when the condition was present as the result of service-connected hearing loss inadvertently removed mention of the underlying condition.
Now, the VA hopes to reinstate the requirement of underlying service-connected hearing loss. In other words, if the final rule tracks with the VA’s proposal, veterans who suffer from this service-connected condition will not be eligible for a VA disability rating related to that condition unless they can establish that the condition is connected to an underlying service-related condition.
An Experienced VA Disability Benefits Advocate Can Help
If you suffer from hearing loss and you believe this could be connected to your military service, securing a disability rating may soon be more difficult. However, if you can connect your tinnitus to an underlying service-connected condition, you can qualify for VA disability benefits and receive a higher disability rating due to your tinnitus. You may not be aware of all of the conditions that can cause tinnitus, or how to establish the service connection. That’s what we’re here for.
The seasoned veterans disability advocates at Veterans Help Group will help you determine the best approach to pursuing VA disability benefits and assemble the strongest possible claim on your behalf. To learn more, call 855-855-8992 or click here to contact us for a free consultation.
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