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May 12, 2024

2024 VA Hearing Loss Compensation Tables Explained

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Determining your final VA rating for hearing loss can be wildly confusing, which is why in this article, we’ve decided to explain it simply with an easy to understand 2-step process.

We’ve also included the new compensation tables for hearing loss by VA rating from 0% to 100%.

Hearing loss is extremely common among veterans, especially those exposed to loud noises during their service.

Okay, let’s explore the hearing loss pay tables, common signs and symptoms of hearing loss in veterans, how the VA rates hearing loss, the hearing test for VA disability, and how the VA determines your final rating for hearing loss.

Summary of Key Points

  • VA Ratings and Compensation for Hearing Loss: VA ratings for hearing loss range from 0% to 100% with breaks at 10% increments. VA compensation tables for hearing loss range from non-compensable at the 0% rating to a minimum of $3,737.85 per month at the 100% rating for total deafness in both ears. Hearing Loss is the #2 most claimed VA disability right now just behind Tinnitus (ringing in your ears) at #1.
  • Service Connection for Hearing Loss: Getting your hearing loss service-connected can be tough, especially if you’ve been out of the service for more than one year. Veterans should consider direct service connection, secondary service connection, or aggravation of a pre-service disability.
  • VA Rating Process for Hearing Loss: The process involves using an audiogram to measure hearing impairment, which includes tests such as the Maryland CNC and puretone audiometry. The results from these tests are then used in conjunction with VA tables to determine the Roman numeral designation for each ear, which ultimately influences the final VA rating.

2024 VA Hearing Loss Compensation Tables

Here are the 2024 VA compensation rates for hearing loss for a veteran alone, adjusted for a 3.2% COLA increase:

  • 0%: Non-compensable at $0 per month
  • 10%: $171.23 per month
  • 20%: $338.49 per month
  • 30%: $524.31 per month
  • 40%: $755.28 per month
  • 50%: $1,075.16 per month
  • 60%: $1,361.88 per month
  • 70%: $1,716.28 per month
  • 80%: $1,995.01 per month
  • 90%: $2,241.91 per month
  • 100%: $3,737.85 per month

These rates reflect the monthly tax-free benefits a veteran with no dependents can expect to receive based on their VA disability rating.

Note: Your monthly pay rate will be even higher with dependents.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Hearing Loss in Veterans

Hearing Loss is defined by one of three types:

  • Conductive (involves outer or middle ear).
  • Sensorineural (involves inner ear).
  • Mixed (combination of the two).

Aging and chronic exposure to loud noises (e.g., aircraft flight lines, gun ranges, heavy equipment) most contribute to Hearing Loss in veterans.

Symptoms of hearing loss in veterans may include:

  • Muffling of speech and other sounds.
  • Trouble understanding words, especially when in a crowd or a noisy place.
  • Trouble hearing the letters of the alphabet that aren’t vowels.
  • Often asking others to speak more slowly, clearly, and loudly.
  • Needing to turn up the volume of the television or radio.
  • Staying clear of some social settings.
  • Being bothered by background noise.
  • Ringing in the ears, known as tinnitus.

VA Service Connection for Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is difficult to get service connected, especially if you’ve been out of the military for more than 12 months.

There are the three main ways veterans can get service connected for Hearing Loss:

  • #1: Direct Service Connection for Hearing Loss with a rating of 0%, 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, 50%, 60%, 70%, 80%, 90%, or 100%; however, the average VA rating for Hearing Loss is 10%, and many veterans have a 0% rating, if they’re lucky enough to get their Hearing Loss service connected. Direct Service Connection means an in-service event, injury, or disease related to your military service caused you to develop Hearing Loss.
  • #2: Secondary Service Connection for Hearing Loss with a VA rating of 0%, 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, 50%, 60%, 70%, 80%, 90%, or 100%. This is uncommon, however, as Hearing Loss is mainly directly service connected.
  • #3. Aggravation of a Pre-Service Disability for Hearing Loss. Perhaps you entered active duty service with minor Hearing Loss, but the military made it worse. If your military service “aggravated” the condition beyond its natural progression, you can get Hearing Loss service connected and rated based on aggravation of a pre-service disability.

Pro Tip: If you’ve been out of the military for more than 12 months, Hearing Loss is one of the most difficult claims to get service connected and rated above 0%. Get a Medical Nexus Letter to improve your odds of service connected Hearing Loss. Do you need a Nexus Letter for Hearing Loss? Click HERE to become an “Insider” and get reduced “members-only” rates on Nexus Letters.

How Does the VA Rate Hearing Loss?

Hearing Loss is the #2 most claimed VA disability right now just behind Tinnitus (ringing in your ears) at #1.

The VA rates Hearing Loss under CFR Title 38, Part 4, Schedule for Rating Disabilities, DC 6100, Hearing Loss.

VA Ratings for Hearing Loss range from 0 percent to 100 percent, with breaks at 10 percent, 20 percent, 30 percent, 40 percent, 50 percent, 60 percent, 70 percent, 80 percent, and 90 percent although the average VA rating for Hearing Loss is 10 percent, and many veterans have a 0 percent rating.

The highest scheduler rating for Hearing Loss is 100 percent, which means you have total deafness in both ears.

What is the Hearing Test for VA Disability?

The hearing test for VA disability involves an audiogram, which includes (#1) A controlled speech discrimination test (Maryland CNC) and (#2) A puretone audiometry test without the use of hearing aids.

VA Ratings for Hearing Loss are based on the hearing ability of BOTH ears.

Each ear is not rated separately and only one rating can be given for both ears.

Even if an ear has no Hearing Loss, it’s still used to determine the overall disability that results from hearing loss for both ears.

How Does the VA Determine My Hearing Loss VA Rating?

Hearing loss VA ratings are determined by following a 2-step process with multiple parts in each step along with 3-tables to help you cross reference each ear including the best and worst ear.

In step one, you can expect:

  • Controlled Speech Discrimination Test (Maryland CNC) – This test measures how well you can understand speech in a controlled environment. The Maryland CNC test doesn’t contain “questions” in the traditional sense. Instead, it comprises a list of 50 phonetically balanced monosyllabic words that are used to assess speech discrimination. Here are some examples of the types of words that might be included in a Maryland CNC test: Words like “ask,” “bat,” “seat,” “dip,” “love,” “shoe,” etc. You’ll be asked to repeat the word you heard back to the examiner.
  • Puretone Audiometry Test – This test determines the softest tones you can hear at different pitches and volumes, performed without the use of hearing aids.

In step two, you can expect:

  • Percent of Speech Discrimination (measured by the Maryland CNC test), displayed in horizontal rows.
  • Puretone Threshold Average (PTA), displayed in vertical columns.

The complete process is explained in detail below.

Step-by-Step Process Used to Determine Your VA Rating for Hearing Loss:

  • Step #2: Second, Using Table #1 below, “Numeric Designation of Hearing Impairment Based on Puretone Threshold Average and Speech Discrimination Percentage,” assign a Roman numeral designation (I through XI) for Hearing Loss based on a combination of the percent of Speech Discrimination (horizontal rows) and the Puretone Threshold Average (PTA) (vertical columns). The appropriate Roman numeral is located at the point where the percentage of Speech Discrimination and Puretone Threshold Average intersect.

Note: If both tests have been performed, then use the following table to determine the Roman numerals. This should be repated twice, once for each ear. Find the result for the Speech Discrimination test and the Puretone Threshold Average (PTA) for a single ear to find the Roman numeral for that ear. For example, if the puretone test result is 65, and the speech test result is 82%, then the Roman numeral for this ear would be IV.

Table #1: Numeric Designation of Hearing Impairment Based on Speech Discrimination Percentage and Puretone Threshold Average (PTA)

Speech Discrimination PercentagePTA: 0-41PTA: 42-49PTA: 50-57PTA: 58-65PTA: 66-73PTA: 74-81PTA: 82-89PTA: 90-97PTA: 98+

Once a Roman numeral is assigned to each ear, the appropriate VA disability for Hearing Loss can be found using Table #2 below.

  • First, find the Roman numeral for the ear that hears the best (the one with the smaller Roman numeral), the VA calls this “the better ear” for VA rating purposes.
  • Second, find the Roman numeral of the ear that hears the worst (the one with the bigger Roman numeral), the VA calls this “the poorer ear” for VA rating purposes.
  • Lastly, a veteran’s final VA rating for Hearing Loss can be found in the intersecting box of these two Roman numerals.

For example, if the best ear has a Roman numeral of II, and the worst ear has a Roman numeral of V, then the appropriate Hearing Loss VA Rating is 10%.

As you can see from the chart, it’s very difficult to get above a 10% VA rating for Hearing Loss.

Table #2: The VA Hearing Loss Rating Chart

Hearing Loss VA Rating ChartWorst Ear: IWorst Ear: IIWorst Ear: IIIWorst Ear: IVWorst Ear: VWorst Ear: VIWorst Ear: VIIWorst Ear: VIIIWorst Ear: IXWorst Ear: XWorst Ear: XI
Best Ear: I0%0%0%0%0%0%0%0%0%10%10%
Best Ear: II0%0%0%10%10%10%10%10%10%10%
Best Ear: III0%10%10%10%20%20%20%20%20%
Best Ear: IV10%10%20%20%20%30%30%30%
Best Ear: V20%20%30%30%40%40%40%
Best Ear: VI30%30%40%40%50%50%
Best Ear: VII40%40%50%60%60%
Best Ear: VIII50%50%60%70%
Best Ear: IX60%70%80%
Best Ear: X80%90%
Best Ear: XI100%

According to the VA Hearing Loss Compensation Tables above, at the 20% VA disability rating for Hearing Loss (worth $338.49 per month in 2024), you’d have a IV in your Best Ear and VI in your Worst Ear or a V in your Best Ear and a V in your Worst Ear.

Table #3: Numeric Designation of Hearing Impairment Based Only on Puretone Threshold Average (PTA)

Puretone Threshold Average (PTA)0-4142-4849-5556-6263-6970-7677-8384-9091-9798-104105+

Note A: If a speech discrimination test was not performed by an audiologist, then a Roman numeral is assigned to each ear based on Table #3 above. Similarily, if tests were not performed on an ear, it is assumed that the ear has perfect hearing, and is assigned a Roman numeral of I (0% VA rating for Hearing Loss).

Note B: “Puretone Threshold Average” or PTA as used in Tables 1 and 3, is the sum of the puretone thresholds at 1,000, 2,000, 3,000 and 4,000 Hertz, divided by four. This average is used in all cases to determine the Roman numeral designation for hearing impairment from Table 1 or 3.

Note C: If Hearing Loss is service-connected in only one ear, in order to determine the percentage evaluation from Table 3, the ear with either perfect hearing or (non-service connected Hearing Loss) will be assigned the Roman numeral I.

About the Author

Brian Reese
Brian Reese

Brian Reese

Brian Reese is one of the top VA disability benefits experts in the world and bestselling author of You Deserve It: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Veteran Benefits You’ve Earned (Second Edition).

Brian’s frustration with the VA claim process led him to create VA Claims Insider, which provides disabled veterans with tips, strategies, and lessons learned to win their VA disability compensation claim, faster, even if they’ve already filed, been denied, gave up, or don’t know where to start. 

As the founder of VA Claims Insider and CEO of Military Disability Made Easy, he has helped serve more than 10 million military members and veterans since 2013 through free online educational resources.

He is a former active duty Air Force officer with extensive experience leading hundreds of individuals and multi-functional teams in challenging international environments, including a combat tour to Afghanistan in 2011 supporting Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

Brian is a Distinguished Graduate of Management from the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO, and he holds an MBA from Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business, Stillwater, OK, where he was a National Honor Scholar (Top 1% of Graduate School class).

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