Many veterans indeed are eligible to receive hearing aids as well as eye glasses from a VA Medical Center. A veteran generally must fall into one of the following categories to receive this program:
(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.
(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, such as 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.
The first step to verifying your eligibility would be to ensure you are enrolled in the VA Healthcare Network. Enrollment in the VA also allows access to comprehensive inpatient and outpatient services, such as preventive services (immunizations) , screenings, health education, primary health care, surgery, mental health, spinal cord injury care, physical medicine and rehabilitation, services for the blind, outpatient pharmacy services, home health, emergency services, and drugs and pharmaceuticals.
How do I apply?
The first step in applying should be a call to your local county veteran service officer. Every county in the tri-state area has a Veteran Service Office. The service officer will work both as an advocate and a guide to veterans and their family members. These services are provided free of charge to all veterans and their family members.