About 25% of all service-connected disabilities for veterans are due to tinnitus. That adds up to over one million veterans suffering from a constant ringing in the ears.
Tinnitus affects more than veterans, though. Are you a contractor working on a military base and you’re now suffering from tinnitus? The Defense Base Act (DBA) is like Workers’ Compensation insurance, and it may cover you.
Is tinnitus a disability? Yes!
Read on for information about filing a tinnitus claim.
What Is Tinnitus and Why Do You Have It?
Tinnitus is an incurable noise in the ears that originates within your brain. There are delicate, small hairs within the ear canal. These hairs move based on sound waves.
Damaged hairs within the canal send electrical signals to the brain. The brain perceives these signals as noise. There are several types of noise:
Prolonged exposure to loud noises sometimes damages the tiny hairs within the ear canal. If you’ve ever worked on a military base, you know there’s a lot of noise. The sound of heavy artillery, guns, and roaring jets all contribute to tinnitus.
Is tinnitus affecting you? File a claim! Here’s how.
1. Identify the Date
When did the tinnitus become a problem? Identify as closely as possible the approximate date that the ringing in your ears became a problem.
2. Make Note of All Noise Exposure
This is important. List all incidents of extreme noise exposure. For instance:
- Machine-gun fire
- Flight-line noise
- Combat zone
- Head trauma
- Grenade blast
Give the approximate dates and number of years of exposure.
3. Medical Treatment
Many contractors and veterans don’t seek treatment while they’re serving on a base. Explain the realities of why you didn’t seek treatment. For instance, explain that you weren’t in a position to stop a mission to get treatment.
4. Frequency of the Tinnitus
How often do your ears ring? Is this an every-day problem?
5. Chronic Nature of the Problem
Did you notice tinnitus subsequent to noise exposure? Is it a continuous problem since the exposure? Point out on your claim form that the problem is chronic and began after the noise exposure.
6. How Bad Is Your Tinnitus?
Is the tinnitus debilitating? Does it keep you from working? Most people self-manage tinnitus well once they’ve learned some coping techniques.
Did you use 3M earplugs from the government while on a base? The company settled with the government over these earplugs. It’s possible you qualify for compensation.
7. Get Help with Your Claim
Use an experienced lawyer for help with your claim. Don’t leave thousands of dollars on the table. Get help from someone who knows how to win a VA or DBA claim.
Is Tinnitus a Disability? Yes!
Is tinnitus a disability? Yes, it is.
If you have incurable ringing in the ears from excessive noise exposure while working for the military, file a claim.
Identify the date you first noticed the problem. Write down as many details as possible. Note the frequency, chronicity, and severity of the problem.
Get an experienced lawyer on your side. Do you need help with a tinnitus claim? Contact us here.