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S. 3548: Veterans Hearing Benefits Act of 2022

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Feb 1, 2022.

Veterans Hearing Benefits Act of 2022

This bill provides a presumption of service-connection for hearing-related issues in certain veterans for purposes of wartime disability compensation. Under a presumption of service-connection, specific conditions diagnosed in certain veterans are presumed to have been caused by the circumstances of their military service. Health care benefits and disability compensation may then be awarded.

Per the bill, certain veterans with diagnosed hearing loss, tinnitus, or both shall be presumed to have incurred or aggravated such conditions during active military, naval, or air service.

This bill applies to veterans who (1) served in combat, or (2) were assigned to a military occupational specialty that likely exposed them to a sufficiently high level of acoustic trauma.

The bill also requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to adjust the schedule of rating disabilities to establish a minimum disability rating for a veteran who requires a hearing aid because of a service-connected disability.