Helping UK Veterans Regain Better Hearing
Last year we got involved with a new initiative formulated by Sam and Ben Bennett (husband and wife team from Leicester). Ben was Royal Artillery and suffered what is euphemistically called Gunner's Ear (moderate to severe noise-induced hearing loss). The problem is a difficult one to help and to give decent results, you need to think about the very best hearing aids available. While Ben had access to them through their business, they both thought that every Veteran should have access too. So they decided to do something about it. Let's talk about the Veterans Hearing Fund and UK Veterans Hearing Help.
A new initiative to deliver the best hearing aids available to Uk Veterans
Veterans Hearing Fund
The Veterans Hearing Fund (VHF) is a fund managed and run by the British Legion that provides support to veterans who acquired hearing loss during their Service. It is open to ex-servicemen and women who have a wellbeing need that cannot be met through statutory services (such as the NHS). The VHF may fund hearing aids, hearing device peripherals or therapies (e.g. lip reading).
UK Veterans Hearing Help
And so, UK Veterans Hearing Help was born to help every Veteran get access to the very best hearing technology available. They made arrangements with hearing device manufacturers to get very special prices for Veterans and they also made arrangements to ensure that financing was in place in the cases where it was needed. However, they have found that in fact most of the Veterans they have helped were entitled to funding under the Veterans Hearing Fund run by the British Legion. They asked us to publicise this fund and explain how it works.
Accessing The Veterans Hearing Fund
As we said, the Veterans Hearing Fund is managed by the British Legion and supplies financial support for hearing aids or hearing equipment for eligible Veterans. UK Veterans Hearing Help have worked closely with the British Legion in order that they can understand clearly everything that needs to be done during the application process. The process is as follows:
You contact UK Veterans Hearing Help and they get the details/history of your service and hearing loss. They will help answer the question, are you eligible for the Veterans Hearing Fund.
Requirements For the Veterans Hearing Fund are one of the following;
- In receipt of a war pension or armed forces compensation scheme for your hearing loss
- Received a lump sum payment for your hearing loss
- Applied for compensation for your hearing loss
- Provided hearing aids by the MOD
- Have service medical records that show hearing loss
If you meet the requirements, the team will fill out Veterans Hearing Fund (VHF) form and send it off along with any relevant medical records. The British Legion make a decision to be issued the second stage of the application. If you are successful the team will find out your location and book you in for a hearing test.
After the hearing test, they will then send off the second stage of the application, the Veterans Hearing Fund (VHF) Final Stage Application, along with your audiogram. The application is then anonymised and presented to the VHF Advisory Panel to make the final decision.
If the application is approved, the team will then organise you to be fitted with hearing aids. You will then be treated on an ongoing basis as a usual customer of the Practice, getting the aftercare and assistance you need. We think it is a fantastic programme and we have talked about it before. If you are a UK Veteran and you have hearing loss related to your service, then UK Veterans Hearing Help is a great place to start.
There has been an argument in the past that the NHS supplies hearing aids suitable for veterans. They do, however, some Veterans need more support and better technology than is available. For these people, we think that the UK Veterans Hearing Help concept is a fantastic service. They are a dedicated team that wants to see UK Veterans treated with the best technology available.
Some of the Independent Network of Hearing Care Professionals we are building across the UK are involved with the network and we hope many more will become involved. We will be putting a UK Hearing Help Logo on their profiles as we go. You can contact UK Veterans Hearing Help on 01455 234 600.
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Posted by Geoff
Geoffrey (Geoff, anything else makes him nervous) Cooling is an Irish hearing aid blogger and has been involved with the hearing aid industry for over ten years. He has worked in private practice dispensing hearing aids and as a manufacturer's rep. He has written two books and they are both available on Amazon. He loves technology, passing on knowledge and is legendary for many other things, primarily the amount he curses, his dry and mischievous sense of humour and his complete intolerance of people who are full of themselves. Please feel free to connect with him
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