Hearing Aids for Veterans: VA Eligibility and Benefits

Last update on Oct, 02, 2023

Do Veterans Qualify for Hearing Aids? Exploring Eligibility and Care

Hearing loss is a common problem among older adults in the United States, and veterans are particularly susceptible to this condition. The reason? Many veterans have been exposed to high noise levels during their military service, which can lead to permanent hearing impairments that worsen over time. Fortunately, the Veterans Administration (VA) provides healthcare services for eligible veterans with hearing loss, including free hearing aids. In this article, we'll explore the advantages of hearing aids for veterans and provide guidance on determining your eligibility and requirements for obtaining them.

Does the VA cover hearing aids?

The VA recognizes the importance of hearing health for veterans and provides comprehensive services to help them obtain the care they need, including:

  • Hearing tests
  • Evaluations
  • Fittings for hearing aids

Veterans can also receive ongoing support and maintenance for VA hearing aids through the VA healthcare system.

Who is eligible to get VA's free hearing aids?

To qualify for hearing aids through the VA, you must have a service-connected disability rating for hearing loss. Simply put, the hearing loss must be related to your military service and have been caused or aggravated by your time in the service.

Additionally, you may also qualify for certain hearing health benefits (that are either free or at a low cost) if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • Former prisoner of war
  • Purple Heart Recipient
  • Have a medical need for hearing aids, such as severe difficulty hearing conversations or sounds in their environment.

Process to obtain VA disability for hearing loss

If you are a veteran experiencing hearing loss, you may be eligible for VA disability benefits.

To qualify, you must receive a hearing loss diagnosis and provide evidence of a military service event that impacted your hearing.

Additionally, a medical opinion will be required to connect your hearing loss to your military service. Once you complete these steps and collect this documentation, you can apply for VA disability benefits and should receive the support you need.

Hearing loss due to military service: Tests needed

To be eligible for VA disability benefits related to hearing loss, veterans must undergo specific hearing tests.

The two primary tests used are the Maryland CNC Test and the Puretone Audiometric Test.

  • The Maryland CNC Test assesses a veteran's ability to understand speech in a noisy environment. It measures your ability to hear and repeat specific words.
  • The Puretone Audiometric Test measures a veteran's ability to hear different tones at varying frequencies and volumes.

The results of these tests are then used to determine the level of hearing loss and eligibility for VA disability benefits. Veterans must schedule these tests with a certified audiologist to ensure accurate results and a fair hearing loss assessment.

VA disability rating for hearing loss

The VA disability rating for hearing loss depends on the severity of the loss and how it affects your ability to function in everyday life. The rating ranges from 0 to 100%, with higher percentages indicating more severe hearing loss.

For example, a 0% rating is given if there are no symptoms, while a 30% rating is given for frequent discharge episodes, hearing loss, and tinnitus.

A 60% rating is given for more severe cases, and a 100% rating is given for the most severe cases that result in frequent hospitalizations and a complete inability to work.

Getting a hearing test from a hearing care provider is the first step to determining your specific disability rating. You will also need to speak with a VA representative to find more information on available benefits and requirements.

What is the VA compensation for hearing loss?

As of December 1st, 2022, the VA compensation for hearing loss, based on its rating system, is as follows:

  • 0 percent disability rating: $0.00 per month
  • 10 percent disability rating: $165.92 per month
  • 20 percent disability rating: $327.99 per month
  • 30 percent disability rating: $508.05 per month
  • 40 percent disability rating: $731.86 per month
  • 50 percent disability rating: $1,041.82 per month
  • 60 percent disability rating: $1,319.65 per month
  • 70 percent disability rating: $1,663.06 per month
  • 80 percent disability rating: $1,933.15 per month
  • 90 percent disability rating: $2,172.39 per month
  • 100 percent disability rating: $3,621.95 per month

With a 0 percent rating, you won't receive monthly compensation, but you may still be eligible for other VA benefits, such as healthcare. Additionally, a rating of 30 percent or higher makes you eligible for additional benefits for qualifying dependents.

Hearing loss in veterans

Conductive hearing loss

Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound waves cannot reach the inner ear due to a blockage or damage to the outer or middle ear.

Causes may include:

  • Ear infections
  • Fluid buildup
  • Damage to the eardrum

Conductive hearing loss typically results in decreased volume, making sounds seem quieter than they are.

Sensorineural hearing loss

Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the inner ear or the nerve pathways that transmit sound from the inner ear to the brain.

Causes may include:

  • Exposure to loud noises
  • Aging
  • Genetic factors

This type of hearing loss can decrease both volume and clarity, making it difficult to distinguish between different sounds and understand speech.

Mixed hearing loss

Mixed hearing loss is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss, often resulting from a problem in the outer/middle ear and the inner ear/nerves.

In these cases, hearing aids or other assistive devices may be necessary to address the different types of hearing loss.

Symptoms of hearing loss

Conductive hearing loss symptoms may include:

  • Muffled or distorted sound
  • Difficulty hearing soft or high-pitched sounds
  • The need to turn up the volume to hear properly

Sensorineural hearing loss symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty understanding speech
  • Hearing ringing or buzzing sounds in the ears (i.e., tinnitus)
  • Having trouble hearing in noisy environments

Mixed hearing loss may cause a combination of the symptoms mentioned above, depending on the severity of each type of hearing loss present.

We all must recognize that every person can have varying symptoms; therefore, a precise diagnosis from a medical expert is required.

Causes of hearing loss in veterans

There are several major causes of hearing loss in veterans. One of the most common is exposure to loud noises, such as explosions or gunfire, which can damage the delicate structures in the ear, leading to hearing loss over time.

Additionally, veterans' hearing loss may develop due to traumatic brain injuries, which can damage the auditory pathways in the brain.

Other factors contributing to hearing loss in veterans include age, genetics, and certain medications.

Understanding hearing aid benefits for veterans

If you're a veteran experiencing hearing loss, you may qualify for reimbursements to cover the expenses of hearing aids and other related services. It's important to speak with a VA representative to determine your eligibility for this benefit or other financial assistance programs that may be available to you.

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**Care package details vary by plan. Exclusions and limitations may apply. Separate care packages may be available through your provider. These care packages are not included in your Amplifon benefit and may result in additional out-of-pocket cost. Contact Amplifon (888-713-7659) for details.


  • https://www.prosthetics.va.gov/psas/hearing_aids.asp
  • https://betterhearing.org/newsroom/blogs/are-you-a-veteran-with-hearing-loss-here-is-what-you-may-be-eligible-for/
  • https://www.military.com/benefits/veterans-health-care/va-health-care-hearing-aids.html
  • https://trumanlaw.com/blog/can-i-get-va-disability-for-hearing-loss/
  • https://veteranshelpgroup.com/how-does-the-va-rate-hearing-loss/
  • http://veterans.com/
  • https://cck-law.com/types-of-va-disabilities/hearing-loss/
  • https://www.asha.org/public/hearing


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