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C-130 Flight Crew Hearing Loss


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I'm not sure where this post belongs as the VA claims threads are no longer on the site. Until a few months ago the word RAMP was where we parked the airplane or what I lowered to load rolling stock. I never parked on a Tarmac and never used that word until I heard it on CNN. At FedEx it was still a Ramp. I have had a hearing claim in the Black Hole since late 2014. No one could give me any information as to the progress or when I might get a decision. It was in the appeals process. In the Spring I got a letter from the VA inviting me to move my appeal out of the "legacy" appeals process and into the new RAMP (Rapid Appeals Modernization Process) system. My first thought was if it is good for them it must be bad for me. They claim in this process you could get an answer in less than 6 months. After some investigation and some deep thought, I "Opted in" as they say.

They sent me a letter that they had "closed" my appeal on the legacy program and re-entered it into the RAMP program. My first thought was back in the black hole. I did this on June 8th. To my surprise I got a call to schedule a hearing test with a Civillian Audiologist less than 4 weeks after I moved into the new program. I did the test and shared my entry Flight Physical hearing results and my last physical results with the Doctor. I also shared an aircraft explosion that blew into the cargo compartment. He shook his head and told me that this should never have gone to appeal and the VA shoulder have approved it on the first filling. In the first filing the VA doctor did not discuss any of my noise exposure and was not interested in anything but testing my ears. The civilian doctor said his report would state that " Military Combat Noise Exposure was more likely than not" to have caused my decline in hearing and the ringing. That is a legal term used by the VA. They also have a new website where you can actually track the claims in real time with a committed completion date. This was all part of the law that Trump signed last year to start fixing the VA. This was a long winded way to say that the VA actual came up with a better way to track and complete claims. If you get offered the opportunity to enter an appeal in the "RAMP" program I suggest you do it.    

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Thanks, don't have appeal won yet but at least I got to someone that would look at all my stuff. He said the VA sent him my file to review but they did not include my Flight Physicals or info on the explosion... I guess they just overlooked the three most valuable pieces of my evidence. Don't know if they overlooked this stuff or didn't want a civilian Doctor to see it. Something told me to grab that file on the way to see him...

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