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Hearing Aids and Funding For War Veterans

The Veterans Hearing Fund (VHF) is a service that provides funding for hearing aids for war veterans and other associated hearing technologies and services for ex-military personnel who acquired hearing loss during their Service. It is administered by the Royal British Legion and funded by HM Treasury.

We would recommend that any retired veteran requiring hearing aid assistance, should contact Your Hearing to discuss their options under the Veterans Hearing Fund.

In the past some of our clients have come to us after finding applying to the Veterans Hearing Fund themselves a little complicated. However here at Your Hearing we have worked with hundreds of veterans to get them the hearing aids and veterans hearing aid supplies that can make such a huge difference to their life - and all for free!

We will take all of the hassle out of the application, by working with you to find all of the relevant information and then helping to submit the application on your behalf. We believe that, after serving their country, veterans deserve the very best, and so here at Your Hearing we are committed to ensuring that you get the hearing aids that you need, funded by the Veterans Hearing Fund and without any fuss or bother - all you need to do is to call Your Hearing on 0800 567 7721 and we can start the process today.

Who is eligible for the veterans hearing aid program?

The veterans administration hearing aid program provides hearing aids for war veterans who can meet certain eligibility criteria. Veterans hearing aids eligibility involves initially ascertaining whether the hearing loss was acquired during, or as a result of, their military service. Evidence of this can include:

  • If you have a war pension AFCS award for hearing loss

  • If you have received a lump sum payment for hearing loss

  • Acknowledgement that your hearing loss was acquired during service, even if you were refused a claim for compensation

  • If you have been provided hearing aids by the MOD

  • Service medical records that show relevant hearing loss

How do I apply for free veterans hearing aids?

To apply to the Veterans Hearing Fund for hearing aids for war veterans is a 2 step process, but don’t worry, simply contact Your Hearing and we will handle the entire application process for you.

Step 1: Prove your veterans hearing aids eligibility

If you meet any of the above criteria we will work with you to provide evidence of this along with the audiometry portion of your service medical records to the Royal British Legion. To get a copy of your military records we can help you to apply online or get in touch with the Royal British Legion contact centre on 0808 802 8080. We will then send this information along with the completed application form to the Royal British Legion.

If this is approved you can move onto step 2.

Step 2: Audiologist Assessment

You will be sent the stage 2 form. We will then make you an appointment with your local Your Hearing audiologist who will assess your hearing and discuss what equipment or treatments will improve your hearing and wellbeing. Veterans hearing aid supplies can include any type of hearing aid that is not available on the NHS and the veterans administration hearing aid brands include all of those currently available. Your audiologist will then complete the form and this will then be sent back to the Royal British Legion for approval and the grant to be administered.

Any of the network of Your Hearing approved qualified local audiologists will be able to assist you in completing the second stage of your Veterans Hearing Fund application, and we can also guarantee to provide you with an extremely competitive price, thus leaving more of the fund available for other worthy ex-servicemen and women.

What types of veteran hearing aid assistance can the Veterans Hearing Fund provide?

The Veterans Hearing Fund can not only pay for hearing aids for war veterans, but also numerous other associated veterans hearing aid supplies. Many of the most up to date hearing aids that are currently available come with accessories such as specialist devices to stream sound from your phone, TV or stereo directly to your hearing aids, extra microphones for use in noisy situations and remote controls. Normally none of these are available on the NHS, and yet, along with a really great veterans hearing aid, they can really transform your aural life.

What about NHS hearing aids?

As we know anyone with hearing loss is entitled to free hearing aids from the NHS. However for the majority of veterans NHS hearing aids are not powerful or technologically advanced enough to really make a significant difference to their hearing loss. Whereas a NHS hearing aid may be just about sufficient for someone with low levels of hearing loss and a very sedentary lifestyle, most people, especially war veterans, would vastly benefit from the much more advanced hearing aids that are available privately.

However many veterans may find the cost of private hearing aids prohibitive, especially if they are using their war pension for hearing aids, and this is where the Veterans Hearing Fund comes in.

What type of hearing loss do veterans usually have?

The most common reason that UK veterans require hearing help is as a result of Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). With regards to military personnel this is most commonly a result of long term exposure to sudden high levels of noise e.g. gunshots and other artillery fire. This can damage the bones in the middle ear and often presents as veterans requiring hearing aid assistance due to inability to hear high pitched sounds, although with prolonged exposure this can spread to lower pitched sounds too. Veterans often also need hearing aid help due to suffering from tinnitus which is an ongoing ringing in the ears.

The veterans administration hearing aid program can provide the specialised hearing aids and other veterans hearing aid supplies to effectively counteract the effect of Noise Induced Hearing Loss, which are currently unavailable on the NHS and can be extremely expensive to buy privately.

Does my war pension cover hearing aids?

In most cases your war pension is supplied to provide a means of living during your retirement from military service, however even if it is specific to hearing loss, it is unlikely to be able to cover the cost of the specialised veterans affairs hearing aid supplies that you may require. In this case your war pension will not have to pay for your hearing aids, but the Veterans Hearing Fund may be able to.

Where does the money for the Veterans Hearing Fund come from?

Even when faced with the myriad of veterans administration hearing aid benefits, many veterans are wary about submitting their application for free veterans hearing aids due to concerns that the money is coming directly from the Royal British Legion. However the fund is actually only administered by the Legion, the money actually coming from HM Treasury and being taken from LIBOR fines.

The LIBOR scandal saw numerous financial institutions fixing the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), which basically meant that they could control the interest rates charged when one bank borrows from another. As a result of the discovery of this practice many banks were fined millions of pounds, some of which HM Treasury used to create the Veterans Hearing Fund and provide hearing aids for war veterans.

Can I claim veterans hearing loss compensation?

In some cases veterans hearing loss claims can be made and compensation can be paid. This is not something that would be applied for through the Veterans Hearing Fund, but instead you would either contact the MOD directly or engage the services of a specialist veterans affairs hearing loss compensation solicitor.

However if you are looking for veterans hearing loss compensation to fund the cost of veterans hearing aid supplies, then you may be able to simply apply to the Veterans Hearing Fund instead.

How can I get a veterans hearing aid for free?

The first step is to contact Your Hearing. Our friendly team is vastly experienced in helping people to access hearing aids for war veterans through the Veterans Hearing Fund. We will talk through your history and take the first steps to seeing if you are eligible. We can also arrange for a free consultation with one of our network of qualified local audiologists (they can even come to you) who will complete the necessary audiometry report and recommend the best veterans hearing aid supplies for you.

Contact Your Hearing today on 0800 567 7721 or online and take the first step in great hearing for free through the Veterans Hearing Fund.

Author: Paul Harrison

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