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Orbital Trauma Veterans Benefits

As a member of the U.S. military who sustained an orbital trauma injury while on active duty, you should be entitled to receive benefits, including financial support, for your condition. If you applied for orbital trauma veterans’ benefits but received a denial, do not give up hope.

A VA disability lawyer can help you determine why the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) denied your claim for orbital trauma veterans benefits and file an appeal on your behalf.

Call (888) 392-5392 today for more information.

How VA Rates Visual Orbital Trauma to Determine Benefits

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) categorizes orbital trauma as an “unhealed eye injury” (38 CFR § 4.79 – Schedule of ratings – eye). VA rates your orbital trauma condition using its general rating formula for diseases of the eye.

This schedule of ratings evaluates your injury based on “visual impairment due to the particular condition or on incapacitating episodes, whichever result in a higher evaluation.”

For the purposes of this evaluation, VA defines an incapacitating episode as “an eye condition severe enough to require a clinic visit to a provider specifically for treatment purposes.”

Incapacitating Episodes: General Rating Formula for Diseases of the Eye

The following list includes the general rating formula for diseases of the eye:

  • 60 percent disability rating: “With documented incapacitating episodes requiring seven or more treatment visits for an eye condition during the past 12 months”
  • 40 percent disability rating: “With documented incapacitating episodes requiring at least five 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 three but less than five treatment visits for an eye condition during the past 12 months”
  • 10 percent disability rating: “With documented incapacitating episodes requiring at least one but less than three treatment visits for an eye condition during the past 12 months”

Visual Impairment: Rating Schedule

Because VA will consider both visual impairment and incapacitating episodes, use the higher of the two ratings.

VA will rate the extent of your visual impairment based on the following set of characteristics:

Impairment of Central Visual Acuity

  • Anatomical loss of both eyes
  • No more than light perception in both eyes
  • Anatomical loss of one eye
  • No more than light perception in one eye
  • Vision in one eye 5/200 (1.5/60)
  • Visual acuity in one eye 10/200 (3/60) or better
  • Vision in one eye 10/200 (3/60)
  • Vision in one eye 15/200 (4.5/60)
  • Vision in one eye 20/200 (6/60)
  • Vision in one eye 20/100 (6/30)
  • Vision in one eye 20/70 (6/21)
  • Vision in one eye 20/50 (6/15)
  • Vision in one eye 20/40 (6/12)

Impairment of Visual Field

  • Visual field defects
  • Loss of temporal half of the visual field
  • Loss of nasal half of visual field
  • Loss of inferior half of the visual field
  • Loss of superior half of the visual field
  • Concentric contraction of the visual field
  • With a remaining field of 6 to 15 degrees
  • With a remaining field of 16 to 30 degrees
  • With a remaining field of 31 to 45 degrees
  • With a remaining field of 46 to 60 degrees
  • Scotoma, unilateral

Impairment of Muscle Function

  • Diplopia (double vision)

Visual Impairment: Rating Formula for Visual Impairment Veterans Benefits

Based on how your vision performs with regard to the above characteristics, VA will rate your impairment. This rating, specified as a percentage, correlates to a table of monthly benefits to which you are entitled.

For example, if your visual impairment consisted of a central visual acuity “vision in one eye,” VA tests your specific condition with regard to this characteristic, then makes a rating based on your vision in the other eye.

Example Rating Criteria for Visual Impairment

The following are the Code of Federal Regulations rating criteria for 10/200 vision in one eye:

  • 90 percent disability rating: “In the other eye 10/200 (3/60)”
  • 80 percent disability rating: “In the other eye 15/200 (4.5/60)”
  • 70 percent disability rating: “In the other eye 20/200 (6/60)”
  • 60 percent disability rating: “In the other eye 20/100 (6/30)”
  • 50 percent disability rating: “In the other eye 20/70 (6/21)”
  • 40 percent disability rating: “In the other eye 20/50 (6/15)”
  • 30 percent disability rating: “In the other eye 20/40 (6/12)”

The corresponding pay schedule as of December 2019 is as follows for a single veteran with no dependents:

  • 10 percent: $142.29 per month
  • 20 percent: $281.27 per month
  • 30 percent: $435.69 per month
  • 40 percent: $627.61 per month
  • 50 percent: $893.43 per month
  • 60 percent: $1,131.68 per month
  • 70 percent: $1,426.17 per month
  • 80 percent: $1,657.80 per month
  • 90 percent: $1,862.96 per month
  • 100 percent: $3,106.04 per month

Evaluating your orbital trauma, incapacitating episodes and visual impairment can be a complicated undertaking, and accurate evaluation is critical to your receiving the orbital trauma benefits you deserve.

An orbital trauma veterans’ benefits lawyer can help you execute this step of your benefits appeal process accurately so you can get the appropriate compensation for your injury.

How to Appeal Your Denied Claim for Optical Trauma Benefits

VA looks for three essential criteria when considering an optical trauma veterans benefits appeal. If your initial claim did not meet all three criteria—perhaps you did not include documentation, for example—it could explain why VA denied your claim. A veterans’ disability lawyer will assist you with satisfying the appeal criteria.

Essential Criteria for a Successful Orbital Trauma Appeal

  1. A current diagnosis of orbital trauma
  2. A specific event you experienced while on active duty in the U.S. military that resulted in injury or trauma
  3. A “nexus” (direct “cause and effect” connection) between the event and your orbital trauma diagnosis

How to Appeal a Denied Claim for Visual Impairment Veterans Benefits

Now that you know VA’s approach to orbital trauma benefits, you should be ready to start your appeals process.

Filing an appeal is difficult. Enlist the help of a veterans’ disability lawyer.

Call (888) 392-5392 to Learn How a Veterans’ Disability Lawyer Can Help You

Now that you are ready to appeal your orbital trauma veterans’ benefits claim denial, you should call a disability lawyer today. Get help from a veterans’ disability law firm today by calling (888) 392-5392.