– As a military veteran
and audiologist myself, I often have other veterans asking me how to go about getting
hearing aids at the VA. And after doing some research, I can see why this process
can confuse some veterans. So in this video I'm gonna
cover a list of six things that you need to know in order to get hearing aids from the VA. Coming up. (energetic music) Hi, guys, Cliff Olson, Doctor of Audiology and founder of Applied Hearing
Solutions in Anthem, Arizona.
And on this channel I cover a bunch of hearing-related information to help make you a
better informed consumer. So if you're into that, consider hitting the Subscribe button. The VA healthcare system can
be a little confusing initially for veterans who need to get hearing aids. And as an audiologist and veteran myself, I felt compelled to clear up
some of this misinformation. But even though I've
done audiology rotations inside of the VA, I wasn't
really clear on the steps that a veteran should
take to get hearing aids, so I went ahead and asked
several VA audiologists about what veterans should do
to get this process underway. And I created a list of six
things that you need to know in order to get hearing aids from the VA. Before I get to the list, just know that every single
phone number, website, or document that I reference
in this list will be listed and linked in the description below.
All right, number one,
you need to make sure that you are eligible for
hearing aids from the VA. If you were dishonorably discharged or you served in the
Reserves or National Guard and were not activated, you most likely do not qualify
for VA health benefits. Also, if you served in the active military but you served less than 24 months, you may not qualify as well. But I highly recommend
that you still apply for VA health benefits just to make sure, because there are some exceptions. The other thing you need
to know is that even if your hearing loss wasn't
related to the service, so if it wasn't service-connected, that does not mean that you
can't still get hearing aids from the VA, so you should be applying for these health benefits regardless of whether or not
your hearing loss was related to the military.
And that leads us nicely into number two, which is you have to apply
for VA health benefits. There are three easy ways to
apply for VA health benefits, and the first way is by phone. You can call the Veterans
Health Administration or VHA at 1-877-222-VETS. You can actually give them
all of your information over the phone to apply and you don't even have
to fill anything out. The second way is to go
online at www.vets.gov. You can fill out the application online and go ahead and submit it
from your home computer. The third way is to print out
Form 10-10EZ, fill it out, and mail it in to the
Health Eligibility Center in Atlanta, Georgia, or you can actually take it
into your closest VA clinic. Just keep in mind that after you apply, whether it's by phone, by
online, or by printing it out, it's going to take at least a
week for you to get informed whether or not you qualify for benefits.
If you ever run into any
problems or you have questions, again, you want to call the VHA at 1-877-222-VETS. There are also Veterans Service Officers who are able to help you free of charge. And if you want to find
a VSO in your area, all you need to do is
call this phone number. Get this, it is 1-888-777-4443. Number three, once you've received your VA healthcare eligibility, you want to make an
appointment with audiology. You can actually request an appointment when completing your application, and if you're approved,
someone will reach out to you and let you know what day and
time your appointment is for.
You can also call or walk
into your local VA clinic and schedule an appointment that way. And some clinics even let you
schedule an appointment online through your My Health portal. Number four is scheduling an
appointment for hearing aids and scheduling an appointment
for hearing loss compensation are two completely different things. The VA can be split up
into two separate entities. The first one is the VHA or the Veterans Health Administration, and the second one is the VBA, which is the Veterans
Benefits Administration. The Veterans Benefits Administration is tasked with determining whether or not you should
receive compensation for hearing loss suffered on the job while you were in the military. The VHA is designed to
identify hearing loss and treat your hearing loss. Now, if you feel that you've
sustained hearing loss while on the job in the military, then you could receive
compensation for that hearing loss.
But you need to contact the VBA at 1-800-827-1000. Now, I'm gonna go ahead and
make a completely separate video about VA hearing loss compensation, and when it's ready I'll go ahead and link it in the card up here. Do not, and I repeat, do
not assume that if you go in for a VBA hearing loss
compensation appointment that you will be coming
out of that appointment with hearing aids. That is a completely separate entity. If you're going to get hearing aids, you need to go through the VHA.
I've heard a lot of veterans complain about I went in to this appointment and they didn't give me hearing aids, even though I clearly have a hearing loss. Well, it is not their job
to get you hearing aids. It is the job of the VHA
to get you hearing aids. All right, number five,
it is important to note that all VA clinics are
completely separate. You can't just walk into
any VA audiology clinic even if you have VA health
Every veteran has their preferred clinic that they receive their care at. If you end up moving to a
different city or state, you need to contact your
enrollment coordinator or your health benefits
advisor before you move so they know to transfer your care. If you're gonna be
traveling or snowboarding for an extended period of time, then you need to go ahead and get ahold of your Traveling Vet Coordinator
at your local VA facility. You wanna make sure that
you inform the VA of this before you end up leaving, and it's ideal if you do this
at least 30 days in advance.
And number six, do not expect
to get your hearing aids at your very first appointment. That first appointment, your audiologist will be
doing a hearing test on you and making the determination whether or not you are a
candidate for hearing aids. If you are a candidate for hearing aids, they will go ahead and
order you hearing aids, but it's gonna take at least several weeks for them to get those hearing aids and actually get you on the schedule to fit you with those hearing aids. Just like yourself, there
are a bunch of other veterans out there who are going to
be getting hearing aids, and so those individuals need
to be on the schedule as well.
So don't think that you can go in and in a few days time get hearing aids. You wanna make sure that you schedule it to where you have plenty of time after your first appointment
to be able to come back in and get fit with your new hearing aids. There you go, those are the six
things that you need to know about getting hearing aids from the VA. If you follow these six things, you absolutely will get hearing aids if you're a candidate for hearing aids, and the whole process should
be relatively smooth for you.
Now, if you want more information, all you have to do is go to www.va.gov. It is a terrific website that has a bunch of different resources. You just have to spend a
little bit of time digging when you're on that website because they have so much information. Again, all of the phone numbers, websites, and documents are linked
in the description below, so make sure that you check them out. And I also wanna give a
special shout out and thank you to some terrific VA audiologists who helped me with this video.
The first one is Dr. Emily Raway from the Minneapolis, Minnesota VA, and the second one is Dr. Paige Tatge from the Phoenix, Arizona VA. That's it for this video. If you have any questions, leave then in the comment section below. If you liked the video, please share it. And if you wanna see more
videos just like this one, go ahead and hit that Subscribe button. I'll see you next time. (energetic music).