Veterans Affairs Canada has released a new hearing loss policy which recognizes that partial entitlement may be granted for a present-day hearing loss disability where the audiogram a veteran received upon his release from the military shows a lessening, but falls short of establishing an actual disabling hearing loss. Previously, veterans needed to have a disabling hearing loss upon discharge to qualify for benefits.
An applicant may be granted full entitlement if:
- He/she has established a disabling hearing loss which equates to a Decibel Sum Hearing Loss (DSHL) of 100 decibels or greater at frequencies of 500, 1,000, 2,000 and 3,000 hertz in either ear; or 50 decibels or more in both ears at 4,000 hertz on the audiogram at the time of release, or, if no release audiogram, on the first post-release audiogram.
- He/she can associate this disabling hearing loss with noise and military service.
VAC and the Veterans Review and Appeal Board may now recognize partial entitlement for hearing loss. Where before they only recognized full entitlement, they can now also grant partial entitlement, under both the Pension Act and the New Veterans Charter if:
- Applicant had a release audiogram that indicated a loss of greater than 25 decibels in either ear at any frequency in the range of 500 to 8,000 hertz.
- Applicant has a current audiogram that meets the required standard of disabling hearing loss, that is a 100-decibel loss or greater at the 250, 1,000, 2,000 and 3,000 hertz frequencies in either ear or 50 decibel loss or greater at the 4,000 hertz frequency in both ears.
- The loss of decibels on the current audiogram at the same frequency must be confirmed to be the same or greater as that on the release audiogram.
- Disabling hearing loss must be associated with noise and military service.
Veterans who may have been turned down by VAC or by the VRAB for a full entitlement for a disabling hearing loss may qualify for partial entitlement. As all cases and circumstances may differ, and as the above summary does simplify what is a rather complex policy, applicants are invited to contact a command service officer.
The Legion Service Bureau command service officers are there to serve still-serving Canadian Forces members, veterans, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and dependants while representing your interests in any dealings with Veterans Affairs Canada and the Veterans Review and Appeal Board in claiming disability benefits under the Pension Act or the New Veterans Charter.
Professional Legion service officers provide counselling, assistance and representational services free of charge, whether or not you are a Legion member, providing this service is mandated through legislation. Service officers recognize that the face of the veteran is changing. He is no longer “an old guy.”
As well, Legion service officers can also provide benevolent assistance from our poppy funds for ALL ex-service personnel in financial need. You can call toll-free at 1-877-534-4666.
Serving You is written by Legion command service officers. To reach a service officer call toll-free 1-877-534-4666, or consult a command website.