VA Compensation Claims for Intraocular Melanoma – Everything You Need To Know
If you are suffering from intraocular melanoma due to military service, you have a right to seek compensation for your illness from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). If VA denied your claim or assigned you an improperly low rating, you have the right to file an appeal.
Eye diseases, such as intraocular melanoma, are among the most commonly reported to VA. If VA issued an unfavorable decision on your appeal for intraocular melanoma veterans benefits, a veterans’ disability lawyer can help. Contact a veterans’ disability lawyer today for a free and confidential consultation about your case: (888) 392-5392.
Intraocular melanoma occurs when cancer cells form in the tissues in the middle layer of the eye. In many people, this malignant disease of the eye may not produce early symptoms; it is often found during routine eye exams during pupil dilation. However, as the disease progresses, symptoms may become more pronounced.
Intraocular Melanoma Symptoms
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms of intraocular melanoma, it is in your best interest to consult your health care provider:
- Loss of vision
- Detached retina
- A dark spot on the iris of the eye
- Change in the pupil’s size or shape
- Change in the eyeball’s position in the socket
Risk Factors and Treatment
Although intraocular melanoma may be linked to military service, people who fall into the categories below may also be at risk of developing this deadly eye disease:
- People with light-colored eyes
- The elderly
Treatment for intraocular melanoma is dependent on the size and location of the melanoma, as well as the patient’s overall health. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), there is one available drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat intraocular melanoma: aldesleukin. Surgery is the most common treatment, according to the NIH.
People suffering from this disease may experience pain, vision problems, and difficulty performing daily tasks. Intraocular melanoma can also result in emotional suffering and can even lead to death if not treated in time. If you believe your intraocular melanoma is related to your military service or began during service consult with a veterans’ disability lawyer today to learn more about obtaining disability benefits: (888) 392-5392
Appealing a Denial for VA Benefits
As explained above, initial claims for VA benefits are frequently denied or assigned improperly low ratings. If this happens to you, do not give up. By demonstrating the existence of the following three criteria, you can position yourself for the most favorable outcome possible:
- You have a current diagnosis of intraocular melanoma.
- Your intraocular melanoma was caused or worsened by an in-service event, or your intraocular melanoma began during service.
- There is a link between your intraocular melanoma and the in-service event (known as a nexus).
Proving the medical link between your condition and an in-service event is essential to a positive outcome. For example, did you suffer exposure to a carcinogenic chemical during an explosion? A VA disability lawyer can identify the missing evidence you need to present a winning appeal and assist you with gathering that missing evidence.
Intraocular Melanoma is Rated Under VA’s General Rating for Disease of the Eye
The monthly disability benefit you receive will be based on the disability rating assigned to you by VA, ranging from 0 to 100%. VA uses the following U.S. Code of Federal Regulations criteria to assign ratings:
- “Evaluate on the basis of either visual impairment due to the particular condition or on incapacitating episodes, whichever results in a higher evaluation”
- 60% rating: “With documented incapacitating episodes requiring seven or more treatment visits for an eye condition during the past 12 months”
- 40%rating: “With documented incapacitating episodes requiring at least five but less than seven treatment visits for an eye condition during the past 12 months”
- 20% rating: “With documented incapacitating episodes requiring at least three but less than five treatment visits for an eye condition during the past 12 months”
- 10% rating: “With documented incapacitating episodes requiring at least one but less than three treatment visits for an eye condition during the past 12 months”
Monthly Benefits Based on Your Assigned Rating
The 2019 veterans disability rates are as follows for a single veteran with no dependents:
- 60% disability rating: $1,131.68 per month
- 40%disability rating: $627.61 per month
- 20% disability rating: $281.27 per month
- 10% disability rating: $142.29 per month
A VA Disability Lawyer Can Help You Seek the Maximum Compensation for Service-Related Intraocular Melanoma
As with any type of melanoma, if left untreated for too long, intraocular melanoma can spread and become life-threatening. In many cases, surgery and radiation may be required, and vision problems may be permanent. If military service caused or contributed to your intraocular melanoma, you have a right to seek compensation for your injury. And if your claim is denied or improperly rated, you have the right to an appeal.
Unfortunately, obtaining benefits from VA is generally a difficult process, especially if you attempt it on your own. Fortunately, you do not have to fight VA alone. A veterans’ disability lawyer can help you gather pertinent evidence and position yourself for a successful appeal. Get veterans’ disability legal help today by calling (888) 392-5392.