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Tinnitus is a medical condition characterized by a constant or recurring perception of ringing, buzzing, or other noises in the ears, without any corresponding external sound. It is often associated with hearing loss and can result from various underlying causes, including exposure to loud noises, ear infections, or head injuries. As a VA benefits term, Tinnitus refers to the disability caused by this condition, which is eligible for compensation if the veteran’s service contributed to its development.

Key Takeaways

  1. Tinnitus, also known as ringing in the ears, is the most common service-related disability for veterans and is covered under VA benefits.
  2. Veterans can receive compensation for tinnitus through a VA disability rating, determined by the severity of the condition and its impact on their daily life.
  3. To apply for VA benefits for tinnitus, veterans need to submit an application with proper documentation including medical records, service records, and potentially a hearing test from a licensed audiologist.


Tinnitus is an important term in the context of VA benefits as it refers to a common audiological issue that many veterans experience, especially those who have been exposed to loud noises during their military service.

This condition is characterized by a persistent ringing, buzzing, or other noise in the ears, which can have a significant impact on a veteran’s quality of life.

By including tinnitus in the VA benefits system, the Department of Veterans Affairs recognizes the severity of this condition and provides veterans with the necessary support, compensation, and healthcare resources to manage and mitigate the effects of tinnitus.

This focus on tinnitus reinforces the commitment to addressing the unique physical and mental health challenges faced by those who have served their country.


Tinnitus, a persistent ringing or buzzing in the ears, is a common and often debilitating condition experienced by many veterans, particularly those who have been exposed to loud noise levels during their service. Recognizing the impact that tinnitus can have on the daily lives and psychological well-being of veterans, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides assistance in the form of tinnitus disability compensation.

This benefit aims to offer financial support to veterans who suffer from tinnitus as a result of their military service and to address the challenges faced by those enduring this condition. The purpose of offering tinnitus disability compensation as a VA benefit is twofold. Firstly, it acknowledges the sacrifices made by veterans and the often overlooked, long-term consequences of their service.

Tinnitus can significantly affect an individual’s mental and emotional well-being, interfering with their ability to maintain relationships, work efficiently, or even enjoy simple day-to-day activities. By providing financial assistance, the VA helps veterans to overcome some of the challenges posed by tinnitus and maintain a better quality of life. Secondly, the compensation acts as a gateway to accessing a range of healthcare services and treatments specifically designed to assist veterans in managing and coping with their tinnitus.

Overall, the VA’s tinnitus disability compensation is a crucial support tool that helps veterans who are suffering from this condition to regain a sense of control in their lives.

Examples of Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a common symptom experienced by many veterans and is often associated with exposure to loud noises or trauma during their military service. VA Benefits for tinnitus aim to provide veterans with compensation and support to manage this condition. Here are three real-world examples of tinnitus in the context of VA Benefits:

A veteran who served as an artillery operator during their deployment experiences persistent ringing in their ears. After seeking medical attention, the veteran is diagnosed with tinnitus resulting from exposure to the loud noises of artillery fire. This veteran can claim VA Benefits for their service-connected tinnitus, which will provide them with a monthly disability compensation to help manage their condition.

A veteran who served in the infantry and was involved in multiple combat situations develops tinnitus as a result of the loud noises of gunfire and explosions during their service. This veteran can also apply for VA Benefits and, if their claim is approved, they will receive disability compensation to support them in managing their tinnitus.

A veteran who worked as an aircraft mechanic during their service develops tinnitus due to their constant exposure to loud noises from jet engines and other equipment. This veteran can also claim VA Benefits for their service-connected tinnitus, and if their claim is approved, they will receive disability compensation to help them manage their condition.

VA Benefits FAQ: Tinnitus

What is tinnitus and how is it related to VA benefits?

Tinnitus is the perception of noise or ringing in the ears, even when no external sound is present. It is a common condition for veterans, particularly those who have experienced exposure to loud noises during their service. The VA recognizes tinnitus as a disability, and eligible veterans can receive disability compensation for this condition.

How do I apply for VA disability benefits for tinnitus?

To apply for VA disability benefits for tinnitus, you’ll need to submit a claim through the VA’s online eBenefits portal, by mail or in person at a VA regional office. You’ll need to provide medical documentation, service records, and other evidence supporting your claim that your tinnitus is service-connected.

How are tinnitus disability ratings determined?

Tinnitus disability ratings are determined in accordance with the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD). The VA considers tinnitus as a non-schedular condition, meaning it does not have a specific rating percentage assigned. Instead, tinnitus is rated 10 percent disabling, regardless of the severity or whether it affects one or both ears. This means you can receive a 10 percent disability rating for tinnitus, which will determine your monthly compensation amount.

Can I receive VA benefits for both hearing loss and tinnitus?

Yes, you can receive VA disability benefits for both hearing loss and tinnitus if both conditions are service-connected. The VA will evaluate each condition separately, assigning a disability rating for each. These ratings are then combined, resulting in an overall disability rating which determines your monthly compensation amount.

Can I appeal a VA decision if my tinnitus claim is denied or if I disagree with the disability rating?

Yes, if the VA denies your tinnitus claim or you disagree with the assigned disability rating, you have the right to appeal the decision. You can file a Notice of Disagreement through the VA’s online portal, by mail, or in person at a VA regional office. It’s important to consult with a VA-accredited representative or an attorney specializing in VA disability claims to help you navigate the appeals process and increase your chances of a successful outcome.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Audiology
  • Hearing loss
  • Disability compensation
  • Veterans Affairs healthcare
  • Noise-induced hearing damage

Sources for More Information