VA Compensation Claims for Retinal Dystrophy – Everything You Need to Know
If you have retinal dystrophy, and your claim for U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability benefits has been denied, a veterans’ disability lawyer can help you appeal the decision.
Veterans who are suffering from a medical condition related to their military service have a right to seek compensation for their injuries. Any condition that limits the body’s ability to function normally may be considered a physical disability. If you are at least 10% disabled by service-related retinal dystrophy, you may be entitled to a monthly, tax-free benefit.
VA assigns a rating to each qualifying medical condition, and the compensation you are eligible to receive is calculated based on this rating. As such, it is essential to submit your appeal in a manner that allows for the highest possible rating for your specific condition(s). There are many health problems related to military service, and eye conditions are among the most common. If you have retinal dystrophy or any other vision-related medical condition, you may be entitled to obtain compensation for your injury.
If the VA denied your claim for retinal dystrophy veterans benefits, you have the right to appeal the denial. Do not be discouraged, initial claims are frequently denied or assigned an improper rating. The appeals process can be difficult. Fortunately, you do not need to handle it alone. Get help from a veterans’ disability lawyer today: (888) 392-5392.
Retinal Dystrophy Explained
Located at the back of the eye, the retina is made up of light-sensitive cells. The retina sends this information to the brain, allowing us to see. There are many retinal diseases with varying symptoms, but the vast majority result in vision problems.
Retinal dystrophy is a progressive disorder, which means it continues to worsen over time. Although retinal dystrophy is commonly considered to be a hereditary condition that one is born with, it may also be caused or compounded by trauma to the eye. Retinal dystrophy and other ophthalmological conditions may be eligible for VA disability compensation. A veteran’s disability lawyer can help you determine your options.
Symptoms of Retinal Dystrophy
If you are suffering from retinal dystrophy or another disease of the eye, treatment may be available to stop or slow the condition’s progress. Left untreated, retinal dystrophy can result in total blindness. The following symptoms may indicate retinal damage:
- Blurred vision
- The appearance of floating specks
- Problems with peripheral vision
- Vision loss
VA will evaluate your appeal of retinal dystrophy veterans’ benefits and other diseases of the eye, such as glaucoma, cataracts, and inflammation, to determine if it may be connected to military service. A retinal dystrophy veterans’ benefits lawyer will work with you to seek the maximum compensation available.
Appealing a Denial for Retinal Dystrophy Benefits
If your initial application for retinal dystrophy veterans’ benefits was denied, or if you believe you were assigned an unfairly low rating, you have a right to appeal the decision. Your appeal must establish three things — a current diagnosis, an in-service event or onset, and a “nexus” (connection) between the two.
A Current Diagnosis of Retinal Dystrophy
Your diagnosis must be current to qualify for VA benefits.
Evidence of an In-Service Event
You must have documents to show that a specific event during your military service (such as an attack or an explosion) caused or contributed to your disorder or that your condition started while you were in the service.
A Nexus Between the Event and Your Diagnosis
You must also show evidence of a nexus between the event and your diagnosis of retinal dystrophy.
VA Rates Retinal Dystrophy Under the General Rating for Disease of the Eye
To determine your monthly benefit, VA issues a disability rating, ranging from 0 to 100%. The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations criteria VA uses to determine this rating are as follows:
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 You Can Expect to Receive 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 Obtain the Maximum Compensation Possible for Your Retinal Dystrophy
If you developed retinal dystrophy during service or after your military service but you believe it is related to an in-service event, you deserve to be compensated for your injury. Vision impairment can have a devastating impact on a person’s ability to complete even the most basic daily tasks. Getting the benefits you are entitled to can be difficult, but you do not have to go it alone. A retinal dystrophy veterans’ benefits lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Call a veterans’ disability lawyer today at (888) 392-5392 for a FREE, confidential consultation about your case.