Proposed updates to the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities by The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) may shrink payments to veterans for disorders that include tinnitus and sleep apnea, according to an article in the Military Times.

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The Schedule, which governs evaluation and compensation for service-related injuries, was updated with “modern medical data and terminology” to presumably provide a more accurate compensation amount, according to a press release from the VA. The proposed changes will not affect veterans’ existing benefits or lower their disability rating (in some cases, it could increase it), but could affect those that apply for benefits in the future. A higher disability rating, according to the article in Military Times, could conceivably increase the amount of compensation a veteran receives.

With regard to tinnitus, the VA proposes that: “Evaluating tinnitus (ringing in the ears) as a symptom of the underlying disease which causes it, rather than as a stand-alone disability.” This could mean a “higher bar for higher levels of disability compensation,” according to Military Times, a benefit that more than 1.5 million veterans currently receive.

The public has a 60-day comment period to respond to the proposed changes which can be done by visiting the Federal Register website here and here.

To read the article in its entirety, please visit here.

Source: Military Times, VA