Applying for Tinnitus Veterans’ Disability Benefits in Orlando, Florida
Tinnitus is one of the most claimed disabilities by U.S. veterans. It’s also one of the disabilities that is most often denied by the Veterans Administration. Tinnitus is the ringing in the ears that seems never to cease. It can also sound like buzzing, swooshing, hissing, etc. For some, it may be acute and only temporary, while for others, it is ongoing. If you need assistance with appealing a veterans’ disability denial for tinnitus, you need to contact an experienced Orlando veterans’ disability attorney right away.
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus refers to those auditory noises you hear in your ears. But it’s sometimes wrongfully described as hearing loss. Tinnitus is typically caused by damage to the eardrums, not hearing loss. Someone can have tinnitus without having hearing loss. For some veterans, the noises are so loud it is debilitating. Tinnitus is prevalent in veterans due to repetitive exposure to loud noises, whether in training or in the field. These noises include loud machinery, gunfire, aircraft, and other explosive blasts.
There are two main types of tinnitus, subjective and objective. Subjective is where only the person can hear the noises. Objective is where other people can also hear the sounds. Unfortunately, there is no cure for tinnitus. In limited cases, doctors may find the underlying cause which can be treated and reduce the noise.
Proving Tinnitus for Veterans Disability Benefits
Proving tinnitus is likely the hardest part of this process. It’s easy to get a diagnosis from a doctor who can confirm that you have tinnitus. The next step is linking it to your military service. You need a nexus letter. This is what can show a link between your tinnitus disability and military service. Tinnitus can be challenging to link as there are so many underlying conditions that can lead to symptoms.
From a veterans’ disability standpoint, combat zones, flight line noise, training exercises, and head trauma are a few ways you can develop tinnitus. However, it can also develop from other head or neck injuries, sinus blockages, infections. Some everyday stressors can even cause tinnitus to develop. Since it is a subjective condition, medical providers basically have to take the patient’s word for it.
Veterans’ Disability Rating
Unfortunately, there is a maximum disability rating for tinnitus. What that means is no matter how bad it is, you can only be rated a maximum of 10% even if it’s present in both ears versus only one. For benefits purposes, it can be rated separately from other conditions like a traumatic brain injury, hearing loss, etc. Conditions like depression can develop from having tinnitus. That may be so serious that you cannot work, which would allow you to apply for unemployability. In that situation, you would be applying for a 100% disability rating rather than 10%.
Contact an Orlando Veterans’ Disability Lawyer Today
If you need assistance with pursuing a veterans’ disability claim in Orlando, let our experienced legal team help. Contact the Law Offices of Shea A. Fugate, P.A. today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.