Tools for Advocacy Success
Because you all have your own unique experience with tinnitus, you are truly the best advocates when it comes to convincing lawmakers that public funding for tinnitus need to continually increase!
One of the most helpful things you can do is write letters to your Senators and Representatives to communicate to them as their constituent that the time to increase public funding for tinnitus research is now! If you are unsure who your Senators and Representatives are, you can visit Congress.gov and easily contact your state and federal representatives.
We have provided a sample letter for you to download (the link opens a Word document) and use as is, or personalize to capture your own tinnitus experience (recommended). This letter will make it easy for you to communicate with these influential policy makers about ATA's advocacy agenda. Make sure they know that you live in their state or district by including your address in your signature. Please also download the PDF to the right which will support your letter and illustrate the severity of tinnitus in both civilian and military populations.
This following information will provide you with the additional tools you need to make the evident case of why tinnitus research deserves public funding for research.
Tinnitus Continues to Increase in Returning Veteran Population
The following information shows the dramatic increases of tinnitus in veterans from all periods of service. Tinnitus is now the number-one service connected disability for all veterans and is particularly prevalent in servicemen and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
This graph shows the most common service-connected disabilities for all veterans at the end of 2011.
The following graph demonstrates the staggering increases in service-connected disability payments for tinnitus to veterans from all periods of service and reflect some of the largest increases in tinnitus disability payments to veterans, ever. Compared with $10 million research budget (between all public and private funding for research in the U.S.), these payments are expected to exceed $2.75 billion for tinnitus alone by the end of 2016. This severe disconnect, coupled with the exciting advances in tinnitus research, promote an unmatched urgency as to why the government needs to continue to invest in tinnitus research now, more than ever.
The final graph here shows Tinnitus and Hearing Loss disability trends at the VA. These findings support the research that shows someone can have tinnitus in the absence of measurable hearing loss.