The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs (VA) recently ordered a report on the Tinnitus Research and Treatment Act, a veterans legislation that would increase funding for tinnitus research and raise awareness for tinnitus as a debilitating condition that affects a significant number of veterans. Here are some key points of the Tinnitus Research and Treatment Act:
Tinnitus among Veterans
Tinnitus is a serious health concern among many US veterans; in 2012, tinnitus claims cost the VA $1.5 million in disability compensation. Tinnitus is the most common cause of disability for veterans in all branches of service, whether it is the army, air force, or marines.
Yet the VA only spends about $1.2 million each year on research for tinnitus and other hearing impairments that occur in the line of duty- a miniscule amount compared to other programs they offer.
“It seems to me that $1.2 million is not enough for the VA’s participation in it. It seems to me that if this is something, and clearly it is, that our veterans are suffering from, that the VA should be taking a significant leadership role in trying to lead the research…to find cures for this,” said Ranking VA Member Brownley of the need for more tinnitus research.
Tinnitus Research and Treatment Act
The Tinnitus Research and Treatment Act would increase funds to support more tinnitus research and treatment, including filling in “gap areas” in tinnitus research.
The Tinnitus Research and Treatment Act would also require the VA to work in correlation with the Department of Defense Hearing Center of Excellence on Auditory Injury, in order to implement tinnitus research and provide advanced clinical care for US veterans suffering from tinnitus.
From the Congressional Budget Office:
“H.R. 1443 would require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to treat tinnitus as a condition for research and treatment at VA Auditory Centers of Excellence. Tinnitus, the medical term for the sensation of hearing sound when no external sound is present, is the most common disability among veterans and may be caused by exposure to loud sounds during military service. The VA already provides tinnitus treatment at all its audiology clinics.”
Read the Congressional Budget Office HR 1443 form on the Tinnitus Research and Treatment Act.
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