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Hearing Aids

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by avery53, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. avery53

    avery53 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Northern Michigan
    WHAT? HUH?? I'm in dire need of hearing aids, interested in seeing the responses here.

    avery
     
  2. straightshooter1

    straightshooter1 Well-Known Member TS Supporters

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    Jun 23, 2007
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    I got my hearing aids from the VA last July. No cost. I probably could have been service connected for them, but the VA said (1) you don't need to be SC to get hearing aids and (2) they would not increase the money they send me every month even if I was SC for the hearing loss. I am at 40%.

    They have three types, the first is an old timey thing no one wants (looks like the moulded ear plugs some wear when shooting trap-very visible), the second is for those who wear glasses and there is a small mike that goes over the ear, but under the arm of the glasses-almost invisible. The third, which I got, is very small, fits in the ear and has a remote you can carry in your pocket to increase or decrease volume.

    Batteries are free, they give you a bunch at the start, then you just send a small postcard, which they give you to the VA in Denver (VA's main hearing center, I think) and you get another big bunch in the mail.

    No co-pay, no cost, and the tech at the orientation says the VA doesn't charge "because you already paid for it" (with your service).

    I am in TampaBay, and there are two big VA hospitals here, both giving away free hearing aids to any vet with significant hearing loss.

    Been wearing mine for a year now, and can actually hear things I forgot existed. Warning-the first time you flush a toilet while wearing them you'll think you're at Niagara Falls.

    Bob
     
  3. yakimaman

    yakimaman Well-Known Member

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    Columbus, Ohio
    How do you get VA tx for non connected disability? I checked her but was told that if you have income in excess of $35k per year you are not eligible.
     
  4. straightshooter1

    straightshooter1 Well-Known Member TS Supporters

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    Yakimaman, I don't know the answer to your question but I was the only SC person in my orientation class. Some of the others were older, some were younger and obviously working. How, exactly, the VA works, at its upper levels, is a mystery on a par with where Jimmy Hoffa is.

    All I know is that I couldn't hear, wandered in for my appointment with my Primary and he said, "Why don't you go get some hearing aids?" I asked how much it would cost me if I didn't get SC for the hearing loss and he said "Not a thing." I thought that sounded like a pretty good deal, so I took them up on it.

    Bob
     
  5. Shootrman

    Shootrman Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
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    Str8shooter is correct. The last aide he mentioned are by Siemens (the best in my opinion)

    Yak, you are also correct in the sense of the 35k amount. Get yourself a 1010EZ form and request them to up your disability on grounds of hearing loss. Once your foot is in the door ask for an audio test. You served your time and deserve that medical benefit.
     
  6. Shootrman

    Shootrman Member

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    Yak, maybe I explained that the wrong way. You don't ask to up your disability, rather get your foot in the door and ask for the audio test. When they get the results, find out your percentage loss, & depending on the audiologist, they may recommend aides & then your status may change
     
  7. jagrdawger

    jagrdawger TS Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
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    The attached link is to a PDF file of the VHA directive outlining eligibility for hearing and eye care at the VA.

    I just got mine Tuesday. There goes the excuse for ignoring what I do not want to hear.

    My loss is borderline compensable, but I am on the wrong side of the boarder. I am SC for other stuff, some compensable and some not.
     
  8. Tommy67

    Tommy67 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
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    Not trying to hijack anyone's thread, but I was turned down by the VA because of the money I had in my and my wife's 401K accounts. Anyone know a way around that?

    Tom
     
  9. beeper

    beeper Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
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    If you are a Veteran with hearing loss, it is the VA policy to offer an audiology test and will provide hearing aids if needed. I have them and I know of 3 others who also have them. The first thing you need to do is schedule an audio test at a VA Hospital. If you were in Nam or the Korean DMZ (between 1967/68) file an Agent Orange register on-line. That way you are in the system. Once you receive the test and presuming you need hearing aids, the VA will order them and set them up before you receive them. To my knowledge the amount of income that you have does not make any difference. Once you are in the VA Hospital, make sure you get a VA ID card. Don't waste your time filing a claim for the hearing loss because they'll turn it down because the loss was not detected during your outbound ETS physical. Good luck.

    beeper
     
  10. wrd

    wrd Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
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    222
    Look into the Epoch hearing aid by Oticon. Expensive but awesome. There is a accessory that sends the audio from your tv direct to your aids by Bluetooth. Have the tv as loud as you need and not bother others. With it direct to your aids, dialog is much easier to understand. They are also programable to your hearing needs.
    Most health plans and Medicare cover a hearing exam. Some pay a little towards aids. My Oticons cost $5k+ and are worth every dime.
     
  11. jagrdawger

    jagrdawger TS Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    Messages:
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    The URL I listed in the above post is not working the way I planned. The information on eye and hearing treatment is in VHA Directive 2008-070. It is in a PDF format.

    It is about 7 pages. I cut and pasted the eligibility info below.



    Department of Veterans Affairs
    VHA DIRECTIVE 2008-070
    Veterans Health Administration
    Washington, DC 20420
    October 28, 2008
    PRESCRIBING HEARING AIDS AND EYEGLASSES
    1. PURPOSE: This Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Directive provides policy for uniform criteria necessary for prescribing hearing aids and eyeglasses (sensori-neural aids) to veteran patients.
    2. BACKGROUND: Public Law 104-262, the Veterans Health Care Eligibility Reform Act of 1996, changed eligibility laws to allow VHA to furnish prosthetic appliances to veterans. However, that law further provided that VHA could not furnish sensori-neural aids (hearing aids and eyeglasses) except in accordance with guidelines that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) prescribes. Subsequently, the Department published regulations (Title 38 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), §17.149) in the Federal Register establishing such guidelines. In 2002,
    VHA issued Directive 2002-039 to establish uniform policy for the provision of hearing aids and eyeglasses.
    3. POLICY: It is VHA policy that all enrolled veterans and those veterans exempt from enrollment are eligible for medical services that include diagnostic audiology and diagnostic and preventive eye care services, and that the prescription and provision of hearing aids and eyeglasses must be furnished to all eligible veterans in accordance with the parameters and criteria defined in this Directive.
    4. ACTION
    a. Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) Director. The VISN Director is responsible for ensuring that VISN and facility policies on eligibility for and access to diagnostic audiology, diagnostic and preventive eye care services, and the provision of hearing aids and eyeglasses comply with provisions of this Directive.
    b. Facility Director. The facility Director is responsible for:
    (1) Ensuring access to audiology and eye care services including preventive health (care) services and routine vision testing for all enrolled veterans and those veterans exempt from enrollment. Eyeglasses and hearing aids must be provided to the following veterans:
    (a) Those with any compensable service-connected disability.
    (b) Those who are former Prisoners of War (POWs).
    (c) Those who were awarded a Purple Heart.
    (d) Those in receipt of benefits under Title 38 United States Code (U.S.C.) 1151.
    THIS VHA DIRECTIVE EXPIRES OCTOBER 31, 2013
    VHA DIRECTIVE 2008-070
    October 28, 2008
    2
    (e) Those in receipt of an increased pension based on being permanently housebound and in need of regular aid and attendance.
    (f) Those with vision or hearing impairment resulting from diseases or the existence of another medical condition for which the veteran is receiving care or services from VHA, or which resulted from treatment of that medical condition, e.g., stroke, polytrauma, traumatic brain injury, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, vascular disease, geriatric chronic illnesses, toxicity from drugs, ocular photosensitivity from drugs, cataract surgery, and/or other surgeries performed on the eye, ear, or brain resulting in vision or hearing impairment.
    (g) Those with significant functional or cognitive impairment evidenced by deficiencies in the ability to perform activities of daily living.
    (h) Those who have vision and/or hearing impairment severe enough that it interferes with their ability to participate actively in their own medical treatment and to reduce the impact of dual sensory impairment (combined hearing and vision loss). NOTE: The term “severe” is to be interpreted as a vision and/or hearing loss that interferes with or restricts access to, involvement in, or active participation in health care services (e.g., communication or reading medication labels). The term is not to be interpreted to mean that a severe hearing or vision loss must exist to be eligible for hearing aids or eyeglasses.
    (i) Those veterans who have service-connected vision disabilities rated zero percent or service-connected hearing disabilities rated zero percent if there is organic conductive, mixed, or sensory hearing impairment, and loss of pure tone hearing sensitivity in the low, mid, or high-frequency range or a combination of frequency ranges which contribute to a loss of communication ability; however, hearing aids are to be provided only as needed for the service-connected hearing disability.
    (2) Ensuring that hearing aids are provided in accordance with the following policies:
    (a) Hearing aids must be issued only to eligible veterans who are otherwise receiving VA care or services in accordance with 38 CFR §17.149 and this Directive.
    (b) Veterans meeting the eligibility requirements to receive health care are eligible for diagnostic audiology services. Eligibility rules are the same for both inpatient and outpatient medical services. Veterans must not be denied access to audiology services covered by the Medical Benefits Package (38 CFR §17.38) because they do not meet the eligibility criteria for hearing aids.
    (c) Audiologists must utilize the Remote Order Entry System (ROES) to review and request eligibility for hearing aids; by requesting the hearing aid in ROES, the audiologist stipulates that medical need exists based on the evaluation. Veterans in Priority Groups 1-5 are eligible for hearing aids.
    VHA DIRECTIVE 2008-070
    October 28, 2008
    3
    (d) Non-service connected (NSC) veterans (Priority Groups 6, 7, and 8) must receive a hearing aid evaluation (HAE) prior to determining eligibility for hearing aids to establish medical justification for provision of these devices. These veterans must meet the following criteria for eligibility based on medical need:
    1. Be enrolled or exempt from enrollment and receiving a vested level of care from a VA medical facility; and
    2. Have hearing loss that interferes with or restricts communication to the extent that it affects their active participation in the provision of health care services as determined by the audiologist (see paragraph 4.c).
    (e) Prosthetics must approve the ROES request when medical need is established. The cost of hearing aids is not a basis for denying these devices.
    (f) In those instances where the veteran presents to the audiology clinic with a hearing aid provided from a non-VA source, the audiologist determines the effectiveness of the device in meeting the veteran’s rehabilitative needs. If the device is sufficient for the veteran’s needs, no device will be prescribed, but the audiologist may register the hearing aids through ROES for battery and repair services. If the device is not sufficient for the veteran’s needs, the audiologist must apply the replacement provisions detailed in this Directive (see subpar. 4c(4)).
    (3) Ensuring that eyeglasses are provided in accordance with the following policies:
    (a) Eyeglasses are issued only to eligible veterans who are otherwise receiving VA care or services in accordance with 38 CFR §17.149 and this Directive.
    (b) In accordance with 38 U.S.C .§1701 and enabling regulations (38 CFR §17.38), all enrolled veterans or those exempt from enrollment are entitled to optometric and ophthalmologic services as well as preventive health (care) services that include routine vision testing and eye care services.
    (c) Veterans meeting the eligibility requirements to receive health care are eligible for eye care services. Eligibility rules are the same for both inpatient and outpatient medical services. Veterans must not be denied access to eye and vision care services covered under the Medical Benefits Package (38 CFR §17.38) because they do not meet the eligibility criteria for eyeglasses. Veterans in Priority Groups 1-5 are eligible for eyeglasses.
    (d) NSC veterans (Priority Groups 6, 7, and 8) must receive an appropriate evaluation by an optometrist or ophthalmologist, prior to determining eligibility for eyeglasses, to establish medical justification for provision of these devices. In those instances where the veteran presents to the eye clinic with eyeglasses provided from a VA or non-VA source, the eye care practitioner or provider determines the effectiveness of the device in meeting the veteran’s
    VHA DIRECTIVE 2008-070
    October 28, 2008
    4
    rehabilitative needs. If the device is sufficient for the veteran’s needs, no device will be prescribed. If the device is not sufficient for the veteran’s needs, the eye care practitioner or
    provider will apply the replacement provisions detailed in this Directive. These veterans must meet the following criteria for eligibility based on medical need:
    1. Be enrolled or exempt from enrollment and receiving a vested level of care from a VA medical facility; and
    2. Have vision loss that interferes with or restricts communication, quality of life or activities of daily living to the extent that it affects their active participation in the provision of health care services as determined by the eye care practitioner or provider (see subpar. 4d).
    (4) Replacing hearing aids and eyeglasses in accordance with VHA Handbooks 1173.7 and 1173.12, to include: NOTE: Hearing aids or eyeglasses are not to be replaced solely for cosmetic purposes.
    (a) Hearing aids or eyeglasses are to be replaced when the device proves to be ineffective, irreparable, or the veteran’s medical condition has changed and a different device is needed.
    (b) Hearing aids or eyeglasses are to be replaced if the device was destroyed or lost due to circumstances beyond the control of the veteran.
    (c) Hearing aids or eyeglasses are not to be replaced because of availability of newer technology, unless there is evidence that the replacement will significantly benefit the veteran.
    (d) For hearing aids, replacement may be based on age of the device, whether they are beyond economical repair, technical performance is reduced, parts or accessories are unavailable, or the device is no longer sufficient for the veteran’s communication needs.
    (e) Replacement hearing aids can be prescribed at any time that change of amplification characteristics are required to maintain or improve communication function. Hearing aids have an expected life span of 3 to 4 years depending on the model of the instrument, daily hours of use, wear and tear, frequency of repair and maintenance, ear conditions, and user lifestyle.
    (f) For eyeglasses, replacement of corrective eyeglasses necessitated by fair wear and tear, loss, or breakage due to circumstances beyond the control of the veteran, or due to required change of prescription, may be made at any time.
     
  12. GunDr

    GunDr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
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    2,913
    for those that are not SC, Cosco has a comprehensive free exam, and they also discount the named brands. My helper just got his and saved a few thousand dollars. He needed his regular physican to write the perscription.

    Doug
     
  13. motordoctor

    motordoctor Shoji Tabuchi in Branson

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
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    Location:
    ohio
    I am not luck to get the va deal but I did go to costco and get my hearing aids. I got Resound brand. <My hearing doctor wanted 5800 dollars for the pair and costco was 2600. NOW I know that are not exactly the same but they work great. Get an american express card from costco--instant approval and you get an extra one year warranty and 30 days to pay for them. The will fit them asnd you get 90 days free trial. If you do not like them give them back and get your money back., They are water resistant, the batteries are 8 dollars for 40 batteries and the service is fantastic. You have to go to costco for service and adjustments but that can be done on most cities. Motordoc
     
  14. beeper

    beeper Member

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    Dec 12, 2007
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    JONO2... good luck! I lost my right hearing aid on Sunday and called the VA on Monday and since it is within the 2 year warranty, they offer a free one time replacement. I'll have it in 3 weeks. he VA has an exclusive contract with ReSound out of Denver. Top line behind the ear hearing aids. About $2,500 a pair if you buy them.

    beeper