Changes to hearing-loss disability benefits

September 7, 2018 by Legion Magazine

If you are in receipt of partial entitlement (1/5, 2/5, 3/5 or 4/5) for hearing loss, you should contact a Royal Canadian Legion command service officer to review your file. Why?

Because on Feb. 23, 2018, Veterans Affairs Canada promulgated a new partial entitlement policy. The new policy provides guidance in awarding partial or full disability entitlement benefits for:

Disabilities arising from both service-related and non-service-related injury or disease (causation);

Disabilities arising from non-service-related injury or disease that was aggravated by service (aggravation); and

Disabilities arising from a consequential relationship (consequential).

Where it is determined that hearing loss was documented during service, or at the time of discharge, and/or service is reasonably found to be the initiating factor causing the current hearing-loss disability, then full entitlement to disability benefits may be awarded.

If the first injury/event factor to cause a hearing loss is service-related, then causation is considered and full entitlement is awarded. There would be no need to consider other possible contributing factors.

Prior to Feb. 23, partial entitlement was awarded where the disability was the result of both service and non-service-related factors. When it is discovered that partial entitlement has been granted for causation, the department will initiate a departmental review on the minister’s own motion and provide full entitlement.

In cases where entitlement was granted by the Veterans Review and Appeal Board, the department does not have the jurisdiction to do a departmental review unless the case has been referred back to Veterans Affairs Canada.

Members or veterans in receipt of partial entitlement for a hearing-loss disability can contact a command service officer to review their file by calling 613-591-3335 or toll-free at 1-877-534-4666 to speak with a service officer. They can also e-mail or visit the website to contact a local command service officer.

Serving You is written by Legion command service officers. To reach a service officer, call toll-free 1-877-534-4666, or consult a command website. 

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