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GardenArtist--this is a great start. Thanks so much.
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Sienna, the first time around I downloaded and completed the forms and sent them to one of the local VAs. It did require compilation of financial data as well as the level of medical expense detail required to itemize deductions for a federal tax return (i.e., financial assets, medical expenses, etc.).

That was over a decade ago; the forms were difficult to complete because the print was so small it was difficult to read, and because some of the issues re financial holdings just weren't clear.

This issue of financial detail is a question that should be asked if you request any help. And BTW, the County officers discussed below provide this service for free. There are elder law firms with attorneys who "specialize" in VA issues. There are also a number of so-called VA qualification firms, commercial firms that brag they don't charge for their work and others that DO charge, which is illegal.

I'd stick with the county people; you don't have to pay anything and they're knowledgable, at least in our situation. The commercial firms that brag about providing free service have other, more devious ways, of getting "paid". They'll ask about ALL your financial assets, which gives them information on how they can plan to restructure them to sell you financial products. Stay away from these guys!

Second time around, I had less time to research and more or less reluctantly decided to just let a pro handle it. We went to the local County VA office, staffed with people knowledgeable about VA issues and procedures.

This is what could be "scratch" for your husband. One of the County VA staffers completed the application, prepared a letter for the ENT doctor to support the claim for service-connected hearing loss, and e-mailed everything to the American Legion, which took it from there.

You will need your husband's DD-214 and any letters from an ENT confirming hearing loss. There are specific phrases to be used, including the fact that "it's likely as not" that the hearing loss was service connected. I also provided information on the noise exposure during boot camp that helped support Dad's claim.

We were then contacted by one of the local VAs asking for more documentation on Dad's service, and I had to complete a few more forms.

Be aware that a large number of military records were lost during a fire, so you might have to complete a "substitute" form - I don't remember for sure but I believe it might have been a substitute for the DD-214. But don't focus on that; just get the process going.

Some links to help you get started:

AZ state veteran's service office: See the "Office Locator" section to find a state office close to you.

Maricopa County Veterans' Services:

Spend some time getting acquainted with these websites; they can provide a wealth of information.

This forum also has information to offer: see the "Veterans Benefits Guide" to the right of this response box.
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Thanks GardenArtist. We haven't filed yet. So far, he has not been treated by the VA. He needs to start from scratch and doesn't yet know where scratch is.
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Yes. The VA provided hearing aids before my father was diagnosed with a service-connected disability (hearing deficit) and then again after diagnosis.

Have you filed any applications with the VA yet? Are you or the person in question getting any medical treatment from the VA, or do you need to start from scratch to get qualified?
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