VA Disability Rating for Tinnitus

VA rates can be either 0% or 10% for Tinnitus, depending on the severity of the issue. If you are a veteran with tinnitus, you are certainly not alone. Tinnitus is the number one most common disability veterans suffer from. Even one in ten regular civilians also gets this issue.

As a valid disability for VA benefits, you can file a claim and start getting compensation. Submitting the claim is easy, but the C&P exam may not. Both the physical examination and the questionnaire can be tricky. In this article, let’s touch upon VA’s rating and benefits for Tinnitus.


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Understanding Tinnitus and Its Causes

Tinnitus is when a person keeps hearing ringing, buzzing, or hissing sounds in their ear for no reason. Only the person hears it. It is difficult to diagnose someone with tinnitus since it is a subjective illness. Whether someone has tinnitus is hard to detect with any exam. That’s why VA asks lots of tricky questions in the questionnaire part.

Constant ringing in the air can annoy one. However, not everyone faces it at the same level. Some hear the noise in a low, while others find it in a high-pitched voice. But it remains persistent and recurring.

The reason for tinnitus can vary. But veterans usually get it from constant loud noises on the battlefield. It is the same case as workers who spend much time in noisy areas getting this condition. Other reasons can be-

  • Head trauma
  • Medication
  • Old age

Except for old age, all the other causes of tinnitus can be service-related. And if you want VA benefits for a disability, it must be service-connected (either developed or worsened in the line of service).

Now, if we look at the medical reasons behind tinnitus, there can be one of three. They are as follows-

  • Constant loud noises: Both old age and constant loud noises can be a reason behind tinnitus. Usually, the latter damages your cochlea, causing false signals of sounds. You can get a hearing aid to help you here.
  • Infection or Canal Blockage: If you have these two, it can turn into tinnitus. In this case, the solution is to deal with the causal factors.
  • Permanent Damage: Unfortunately, tinnitus caused by permanent damage is not curable. Hence, its usual solution is to use white noise to mask the ringing noise in the air. There are also masking devices for this.

Difference Between Tinnitus and Hearing Loss

While tinnitus and hearing loss have the exact same C&P exam and rating, they are different conditions. The former is the sound in the ear, while the latter is the loss of hearing. They both kind of do the same effect on the patient, though.

The ringing sound ends up masking other noises around, reducing the person’s ability to make out speech or words.

VA’s Rating for Tinnitus

The disability rating by VA ranges from 0 to 100%. However, with Tinnitus, the maximum rating you may get is only 10%. It is so because it is hard to find ample evidence of the tinnitus being service-connected. Moreover, the bilateral factor doesn’t work here either.

The bilateral factor is a concept where if one limb of a pair of similar limbs has any disability, VA often gives them separate ratings or adds a 10% rating for one of the limbs. For example, if you have a service-related loss of grip strength on both hands, VA will give each hand its own rating.

As for tinnitus, you will only get one rating, even if both your ears are affected. And that rating can extend from 0% to 10%. If you get 0%, that doesn’t mean you are totally exempt from any VA benefits. Yes, you won’t get the regular compensation. But you can still get the other VA benefits.

Note that if you have both tinnitus and hearing loss simultaneously, VA will run a lengthy process of rating your ear conditions. Here, you won’t get separate ratings for tinnitus and hearing loss. They share one rating, unfortunately.

Secondary Conditions to Tinnitus

When a service-connected disease causes or worsens another, the latter is called a secondary-service-connected disability. Tinnitus can cause other illnesses too. And most of them are mental conditions.

The constant ringing in the ear may remind them of the battlefield. It can trigger PTSD, depression, stress, etc. One can get separate ratings and benefits for any secondary conditions.

Does ADHD qualify for VA disability benefits like tinnitus does?

When it comes to exploring coverage options for adhd va disability, understanding the requirements is crucial. While tinnitus does qualify for benefits, ADHD has a more complex evaluation process. Veterans with ADHD need to demonstrate how the condition affects their daily lives and ability to work. Seeking guidance from VA disability experts can help navigate the process and ensure a fair evaluation.

Can Sinusitis Lead to Tinnitus and Affect VA Disability Ratings?

Sinusitis can potentially lead to tinnitus and impact VA disability ratings. Tinnitus refers to a ringing or buzzing sensation in the ears, which can be caused by inflammation or infections in the sinuses. If sinusitis significantly affects a veteran’s hearing, it may impact their overall disability rating from the VA, including compensation and benefits. Va disability for sinusitis can be evaluated based on the severity of symptoms and its impact on daily life and hearing abilities.

Final Note

VA disability rating for Tinnitus is 0% or 10%. If you are filing your claim for tinnitus, consider contacting VA Disability Coach to help you in the process. The main challenge will be the questioning part. You can get a DBQ to aid you.