Veteran Vision Care

Veterans often have the same eye disorders as civilians, but they are more likely to suffer from traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), which can cause vision damage. The Veterans Administration (VA) has provided vision care since it was founded, and those services continue to improve. Preventative care and routine care are included. Glasses and contact lenses may or may not be covered depending on whether there is an underlying condition, service-related injury involved, or other factors.

One way the VA may expand support for veterans with underlying vision conditions is telemedicine, including teleretinal screening.

Low vision and legal blindness are more common among veterans, so the VA offers several special programs to treat and support former service members. These services do not currently include guide dogs, but the VA can help veterans find service animals.

To get care through the VA, you may need to have your disability rating measured, which may require legal representation for an appeal. There are nonprofit organizations that can help with this, so you can get the best possible vision care with your benefits.

Veterans are eligible for glasses (and other devices like hearing aids) or related higher order vision care services if they meet the following criteria:

They have any compensable service-related injury, they are a former prisoner of war, they have been awarded a Purple Heart, they have received compensation for an injury or an aggravation of an injury that was the result of VA treatment, they are receiving an increased pension due to being permanently house-bound and needing regular attendance, they have a vision impairment caused by an underlying condition that they are already receiving VA services for, like traumatic brain injury (TBI), diabetes, vascular disease, ocular photosensitivity, cataract surgery, or another related eye surgery or injury,

they have significant functional or cognitive impairment shown in a reduced ability to perform daily activities, or they have a vision impairment that is serious enough that it interferes with their ability to participate actively in medical treatment.

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