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Hearing loss is a common malady endured by soldiers returning from active combat. Further, 3M’s predecessor Aereo Technologies, Inc. supplied faulty earplugs to the military that were used from 2003 to 2015 which only increased the issue. Any military personnel who suffered hearing loss while on duty, especially those who used 3M’s Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2) may be eligible to collect VA benefits in North Carolina. These benefits are designed to allow a claimant to maintain economic independence despite their limited hearing abilities.

It is important to understand what benefits are available to those suffering from hearing loss. This includes how to apply for those benefits, what level of benefit to expect, and how to pursue a claim in an effective way. A dedicated Fort Bragg attorney can explain these available benefits to injured servicemen and women.

When does a Hearing Loss Qualify for VA Benefits in North Carolina?

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs handles all claims for disability for service-related maladies. This includes claims for hearing loss caused by military service. Hearing loss can include tinnitus, complete deafness, and permanent hearing damage. To qualify for hearing loss benefits, an applicant must be able to demonstrate:

  • A valid medical diagnosis of a hearing condition that fits within the VA’s definitions; this can include tinnitus, vertigo, or losses or auricles
  • Proof the condition is directly connected to an incident suffered while in uniform; service in a warzone can typically provide many examples of this condition such as gunfire, explosions, or airplane engines
  • That, in a doctor’s opinion, the event cited above caused the condition resulting in hearing loss

This is the minimum threshold for obtaining VA benefits for hearing loss. The more serious the condition directly determines the amount of potential benefits. Those who suffered from hearing loss due to the defects in CAEv2 may benefit from consulting an attorney about the benefits to which they are entitled.

Levels of Disability and the Accordant Benefit Levels in Fort Bragg

The VA publishes a list of conditions that may qualify military personnel from Fort Bragg for hearing loss benefits. According to 18 CFR Book C §4.87, each condition accompanies a percentage of impairment. For example, the complete loss of both auricles carries an impairment rating of 50. A single loss of an auricle brings an impairment rating of 30.

The VA measures impairment on a scale of 0 to 100. A combination of conditions may lead to a person fitting anywhere on this scale; however, it is impossible to obtain a rating in excess of 100. The VA issues a monthly benefit based upon this rating. For all levels at 30 or above, a veteran’s dependents can also claim benefits.

This disability rating is a measure of how a veteran’s ability to work is affected by their condition. The monthly benefits are intended to substitute for potential lost income because of the condition. An attorney could help servicemembers injured by the Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 at Camp Lejeune examine the processes for determining impairment rating and the level of benefits that an applicant may expect.

Learn More About Obtaining VA Benefits for Hearing Loss from a Lawyer

Hearing loss is a common impairment for servicemembers. Whether a person has gone into combat or not, incidents that may occur while on duty can cause permanent damage. If you can prove that this loss of hearing function is because of your military service, you may qualify for a monthly hearing loss benefit.

An attorney could help you gather the necessary evidence to make a claim, explain what to expect while making a claim, and submit all the required paperwork to obtain the benefits that you deserve. These benefits can provide financial stability for both you and your family. Contact a Fort Bragg lawyer today to learn more about the VA benefits for hearing loss.