In the fourth quarter of 2018, the military reported nearly 3,000 eye injuries. According to a Military Medicine article cited in ProQuest, military personnel are especially vulnerable to eye injuries due to changes in combat warfare, and there has been an increase in eye injuries compared to injuries to other body parts. This increase was caused by improved battlefield weaponry and advances in technology. Many eye injuries were a result of projectile and blast fragments.
If you’re a veteran and can connect your eye injury to your military service, you may qualify for disability benefits from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Having an experienced VA disability benefits lawyer help with your claim will increase your chances of obtaining fair compensation.
How Will the VA Rate My Eye Injury?
The VA rates eye conditions using the VA Schedule of Ratings Disabilities under Section 4.79 and uses the following three primary measurements:
Central Visual Acuity
Central visual acuity is the eye’s ability to discern details and shapes of objects at certain distances. The VA wants to know how blurry or focused an object is when you look at it from different ranges. A doctor tests for central visual acuity by performing a basic eye chart exam and may use the terms near-sighted or far-sighted to characterize a veteran’s central visual acuity. The doctor will assign a rating based on the veteran’s corrected vision—how much better their vision is with glasses or contacts. It’s important to note that the VA rates both eyes together, so a veteran receives a combined rating even if both eyes are impaired.
Testing a patient’s visual field tells the doctor how much a veteran can see when looking at a fixed point. It tests the range of vision a veteran has without moving the eye. A normal visual field equals 500 degrees, and a disability rating will be given for vision loss if their visual field doesn’t match the required measurements.
Testing for muscle dysfunction tells the doctor how well or poorly the eye moves. Using another type of visual chart divided into four quadrants, the doctor measures for a decrease in muscle function. Even if muscle dysfunction exists in both eyes, the VA will only give one disability rating.
You May Qualify for VA Eye Disability
As a VA disability benefits lawyer at Cuddigan Law, we have been supporting veterans for years, and we can help you if you need VA disability benefits due to a service-connected eye condition. Call us today to speak to an intake specialist for free.