Our member, Ken Sider has brought to our attention some valuable information regarding hearing disability pensions that are available to former members of the RCMP through Veterans’ Affairs Canada. Ken notes that any member who has received hearing aids as part of a disability pension is aware that retesting of an individual’s hearing is usually required by a certified audiologist for upgrading every four years resulting in the audio test report being sent to the sent to the Veterans’ Affairs office in Charlottetown, PEI. This report is then retained by VAC and placed in the member’s respective file. The disability pension is determined based on the audiologist’s report (the severity of the hearing impairment) and thus pension amounts will vary in the amounts received since not all impairment is the same.
Ken notes that the audio report which has been sent is retained in the individual’s file with no further action being necessary. So any changes in hearing impairment are not reflected in the pension unless, and this is very important, a member makes a request for a reassessment based on the results of the most recent audiologist’s report. If a request is made and it has been found that the hearing ability has decreased since the previous report, it is possible that an upward adjustment in the pension may be made to reflect that decrease. Again, it is up to the member to contact Veterans’ Affairs and undertake a review of the pension based on the changes in hearing ability – Veterans’ Affairs will not do this automatically. Ken also noted that there is no value in pursuing this if there have been no changes.
Another hearing issue which is separate from the hearing disability pension is tinnitus, which is associated with hearing loss.
These issues should be explored directly with Veterans’ Affairs.