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Tinnitus and Veterans Disability Q&A

Tinnitus and Veterans Disability Q&A

Navigating the intricacies of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability claims can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to conditions like tinnitus. In Tinnitus and Veterans Disability Q&A session, Leah Bucholz provides insights into common concerns related to tinnitus and its potential connection to other conditions. Let’s delve into the questions raised and Leah’s valuable responses.

1. Tinnitus Without Hearing Loss: Overcoming the Silent Service Record

One of the initial questions revolves around having a tinnitus diagnosis without accompanying hearing loss. The individual, in high-probability MOS for Loadmaster, wonders if this might hinder the process of getting service-connected, considering the service record is silent on the matter.

Leah’s Response: Leah acknowledges that many individuals have successfully obtained service connection for tinnitus even when their records lack explicit documentation. She highlights the importance of leveraging a high-probability MOS and encourages the use of a compelling personal statement detailing the individual’s experiences during active duty. Leah also suggests incorporating supporting documents such as buddy letters and references to literature on delayed onset hearing loss and/or tinnitus.


2. Sleep Apnea Secondary to Tinnitus: Weighing the Options

The next question concerns whether the individual should pursue a claim for sleep apnea secondary to tinnitus, sinusitis, or PTSD. Leah shares her perspective on considering multiple factors that may impact the condition, emphasizing the need to address all relevant risk factors, including potential “bad facts.” She underscores the importance of acknowledging and weighing various risk factors to present a comprehensive medical rationale.

Leah’s Response: Leah advises including all potential contributing factors in the claim, recognizing that conditions like sinusitis, PTSD, and weight gain could be interconnected. She stresses the importance of addressing all relevant information, even if it may seem unfavorable, and provides insights into the thought process of evaluating risk factors.


3. Tinnitus and Sleep Apnea: Debunking Controversies

The controversial relationship between tinnitus and sleep apnea is explored in the next set of questions. Leah addresses the query of whether tinnitus can cause sleep apnea, expressing her opinion that there is no causative link between the two. Despite acknowledging the existence of service-connected cases, she encourages a critical evaluation of potential intermediate steps, such as mental health conditions, in establishing a connection between tinnitus and sleep apnea.

Leah’s Response: Leah talks about the lack of literature supporting tinnitus as a direct cause or aggravating factor for sleep apnea. She introduces the concept of a potential human factor in decision-making, acknowledging the variability among examiners and raters. While she doesn’t discount pursuing a claim if there’s a perceived connection, Leah emphasizes the importance of critical assessment and encourages veterans to advocate for conditions they genuinely believe are service-related with the assistance of an accredited legal professional.


Conclusion

Navigating the complexities of VA disability claims requires a nuanced understanding of both the medical aspects and the VA’s evaluation process. Leah’s responses shed light on the significance of presenting a comprehensive history, leveraging supporting documents, and critically evaluating potential connections between conditions. Veterans seeking service connection for tinnitus and related conditions can benefit from these insights as they navigate the path toward disability claims success.

Also read: How does the VA Measure Range of Motion?

At Prestige Veteran Medical Consulting, a veteran-owned company, we specialize in Independent Medical Opinions (IMOs) known as Nexus letters.

Our purpose is to empower YOU, the veteran, to take charge of your medical evidence and provide you with valuable educational tools and research to guide you on your journey.

Understanding the unique challenges veterans face, our commitment lies in delivering exceptional service and support.

Leveraging an extensive network of licensed independent medical professionals, all well-versed in the medical professional aspects of the VA claims process, we review the necessary medical evidence to incorporate in our reports related to your VA Disability Claim.

Prestige Veteran Medical Consulting is not a law firm, accredited claims agent, or affiliated with the Veterans Administration or Veterans Services Organizations. However, we are happy to discuss your case with your accredited VA legal professional.

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Danielle McClaskey

Client Relations Specialist U.S. Navy Veteran

In her active-duty service in the United States Navy, Danielle undertook a variety of responsibilities, ranging from essential administrative duties to providing crucial medical care. Her multifaceted contributions played a pivotal role in enhancing her fellow service members’ operational effectiveness and well-being.

As a disabled veteran, she developed a profound understanding of the unique challenges faced by her fellow service members. Now, in her civilian role, Danielle is a valued member of the Prestige Veteran Medical Consulting team, where she continues to leverage her extensive background and educational achievements to provide exceptional support to veterans.

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LETICIA

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Leticia has been in the medical field for nearly 14 years. She has always had a passion for medicine and caring for her community. Leticia has spent the last 4 years caring for veterans and first responders with alcohol and substance abuse in a medical rehabilitation setting whilst continuing her education working towards a degree in software development.

Someday she hopes to develop medical software that further enhances the patient’s experience in medical care. Leticia has a deep respect and love for those who have served as she comes from a family of law enforcement and military veterans.

Alan Bucholz

ALAN BUCHOLZ, PA-C:

U.S ARMY VETERAN, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Alan enlisted in the US Army as a combat medic, where he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Influenced by his time as a combat medic, he attended the Interservice Physician Assistant program while on
active duty, was commissioned as an officer, and subsequently deployed to Afghanistan.  

Alan’s military and medical background inspired him to form Prestige Veteran Medical Consulting with his
wife, Leah Bucholz, a Physician Assistant and Army Combat Veteran.  He has devoted himself to using his
knowledge gained in the military as a medical professional to serve the Veteran community.

Alan Bucholz

ALAN BUCHOLZ, PA-C:

U.S ARMY VETERAN, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Alan enlisted in the US Army as a combat medic, where he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Influenced by his time as a combat medic, he attended the Interservice Physician Assistant program while on
active duty, was commissioned as an officer, and subsequently deployed to Afghanistan.  

Alan’s military and medical background inspired him to form Prestige Veteran Medical Consulting with his
wife, Leah Bucholz, a Physician Assistant and Army Combat Veteran.  He has devoted himself to using his
knowledge gained in the military as a medical professional to serve the Veteran community.

Julie Pereira

JULIE PEREIRA:

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

During her Active-Duty time in the US Navy as a Hospital Corpsman, Julie provided medical administration
and patient care services in the field, the hospital, and base medical office settings.  This military medical and
administrative background has given Julie the hands-on experience and extensive knowledge necessary to
provide unparalleled service to her fellow Veterans through the Prestige Veteran Medical Consulting team.

Julie’s educational achievements include a Bachelor of Arts with a minor in Human Services and a pre-nursing associate in arts and science.

Julie has been inspired by her firsthand knowledge of navigating the VA Benefits process. She has dedicated
most of her adult life to serving Veterans through her knowledge derived from her military and civilian medical
education and training.

Jennifer Januta

JENNIFER JANUTA

U.S ARMY VETERAN, CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER

During her Active-Duty service in the Army, Jennifer supported various research efforts centered on combat casualty care and Soldier performance. Her military background gave her unique insights into veterans’ distinct challenges, ultimately inspiring her to join the Prestige Veteran Medical Consulting team.

Jennifer’s educational achievements include a master’s in molecular biology from George Washington University and a master’s in data science from Texas Tech University. Jennifer wholeheartedly dedicates herself to utilizing her knowledge and expertise gained from 15 years of healthcare experience to impact the well-being of those who have served positively.

Alan Bucholz

ALAN BUCHOLZ, PA-C:

U.S ARMY VETERAN, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Alan enlisted in the US Army as a combat medic, where he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Influenced by his time as a combat medic, he attended the Interservice Physician Assistant program while on
active duty, was commissioned as an officer, and subsequently deployed to Afghanistan.  

Alan’s military and medical background inspired him to form Prestige Veteran Medical Consulting with his
wife, Leah Bucholz, a Physician Assistant and Army Combat Veteran.  He has devoted himself to using his
knowledge gained in the military as a medical professional to serve the Veteran community.

Leah - Meet the Team

LEAH BUCHOLZ, PA-C

U.S ARMY VETERAN, MEDICAL EXPERT & FORMER C & P EXAMINER

Meet Leah, the founder, and leader of our organization. ​​A combat veteran herself, she understands the unique challenges veterans face, making her mission about much more than running a successful business. It’s about the opportunity to provide a legacy of exceptional service for our heroes.​

​“It is essential to remember that there is no greater honor than caring for service members on the battlefield. Continuing to care for Veterans after separation is an opportunity that I have been afforded to extend that care in this new battlefield related to service-incurred disabilities.”

Her inspiration comes from years of military experience working alongside her fellow servicemembers, particularly key leaders who have influenced her journey, applying their wisdom to her path. She values her team deeply, most of whom are also disabled combat veterans, each member a trusted individual sharing her vision.

 “Driven by passion and purpose, I aim to create a sustainable change that empowers veterans and future generations.”

Leah’s journey hasn’t been without challenges. From overcoming and living with her service-related disabilities to navigating work-life balance, she’s learned to face each hurdle head-on with resilience.  Like many of her veteran brothers and sisters, her early background consisted of limited resources and opportunities. Her military service has helped shape her into a steadfast leader, offering relatable inspiration to others.

Join us in celebrating Leah, a compassionate leader, and resilient veteran, driving our mission to serve those who served our nation.