VA Compensation Appeals for Corneal Transplant – Everything You Need to Know
If you underwent a corneal transplant due to a corneal condition you developed, or that was aggravated while you served in the U.S. military, and you are experiencing complications or residuals as a result of the transplant, you deserve benefits for your condition. However, this is not a guarantee that you will receive the corneal transplant veterans benefits you deserve.
One of our VA disability lawyers can review your corneal transplant benefits claim. Then they can piece together the likely reasons why the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) denied your claim. They can then file an appeal on your behalf. Call (888) 392-5392 today to learn more.
How VA Rates Your Corneal Transplant
VA rates your post-corneal transplant condition by applying a general rating formula for diseases of the eye. VA categorizes what it calls “status post corneal transplant” under 38 CFR $4.79- Code 6036.
According to the Schedule for Rating Disabilities, if you are experiencing ALL of the following symptoms, VA gives your corneal transplant disability a minimum rating of 10 percent.
- Photophobia (sensitivity to light), and
- Glare sensitivity
To pinpoint the exact rating for your corneal transplant condition, the schedule refers veterans to the portion of the ratings schedule called “General Rating Formula for Diseases of the Eye.”Using this formula, VA rates your condition based on “either visual impairment due to the particular condition or on incapacitating episodes, whichever result in a higher evaluation.”
Incapacitating Episodes: General Rating Formula for Corneal Transplants
An incapacitating episode is “an eye condition severe enough to require a clinic visit to a provider specifically for treatment purposes.”VA notes that “Examples of treatment may include but are not limited to: Systemic immunosuppressants or biologic agents; intravitreal or periocular injections; laser treatments; or other surgical interventions.”
Incapacitating Episodes: General Rating Formula for Diseases of the Eye
- 60 percent disability rating: “With documented incapacitating episodes requiring 7 or more treatment visits for an eye condition during the past 12 months.”
- 40 percent disability rating: “With documented incapacitating episodes requiring at least 5 but less than 7 treatment visits for an eye condition during the past 12 months.”
- 20 percent disability rating: “With documented incapacitating episodes requiring at least 3 but less than 5 treatment visits for an eye condition during the past 12 months.”
- 10 percent disability rating: “With documented incapacitating episodes requiring at least 1 but less than 3 treatment visits for an eye condition during the past 12 months.”
Visual Impairment: General Rating Formula for Corneal TransplantsVA considers the extent of your visual impairment based on visual acuity, visual field, and muscle function.
The schedule of ratings presents a very specific list of defining characteristics within each of the above visual impairment rating categories.
VA will assign you monthly benefits that correspond with your specific visual impairment characteristics.
Calculating Your Monthly Benefit Based on Your Disability Rating for Your Corneal Transplant
VA Benefits Pay Schedule (as of December 2019) for a single veteran with no dependents:
- 10 percent disability rating: $142.29 per month
- 20 percent disability rating: $281.27 per month
- 30 percent disability rating: $435.69 per month
- 40 percent disability rating: $627.61 per month
- 50 percent disability rating: $893.43 per month
- 60 percent disability rating: $1,131.68 per month
- 70 percent disability rating: $1,426.17 per month
- 80 percent disability rating: $1,657.80 per month
- 90 percent disability rating: $1,826.96 per month
- 100 percent disability rating: $3,106.04 per month
VA Requires That These Three Items Appear in Every Appeal
As you go through the effort to submit an appeal for your corneal transplant veterans benefits, keep in mind that VA must see the following items in your appeal.
Three Required Elements for a Successful Visual Impairment Benefits Appeal
- A current diagnosis of corneal transplant
- A specific event you experienced in service in the U.S. military that resulted in injury or trauma (or that your corneal transplant occurred during service)
- A “nexus” that connects your service event from and your diagnosis
Hiring a veterans’ disability lawyer to compose your appeal will save you the time required to write and submit everything. You can also rest assured that a lawyer will handle and execute each step precisely.
A Veterans’ Disability Lawyer May be Able to Help You With an Appeal for Corneal Transplant Veterans Benefits
When you submit your appeal for corneal transplant veterans’ benefits, you are signing up for a complex appeal system and the VA scrutinizes every word of the appeal. If you have already walked through this process—winding up frustrated, empty-handed, and still suffering from your disability—you might want to hand the appeal over to someone who does this for a living.
Take this time to rest and be relieved knowing your appeal is in the hands of a legal professional who knows the ropes of VA policies and procedures.
Call a veterans’ disability law firm today: (888) 392-5392.