HomeVA ProstheticsVA Handbook 1173.12 - Prescription Optics and Low-Vision DevicesEligibility

12.4. Eligibility

NOTE: Beneficiaries' eligibility for prescription optics is determined using criteria and guidelines set forth in 38 CFR 17.149 and present VHA policy.

a. Facility Director. The facility Director is responsible for

(1) Furnishing needed eyeglasses to the following veterans:

(a) Those with any compensable service connected disability.

(b) Those who are former prisoners-of-war (POWs) or recipients of Purple Heart.

(c) Those in receipt of benefits under Title 38 United States Code (U.S.C.) 1151.

(d) Those in receipt of an increased pension based on being permanently housebound or in need of regular aid and attendance (Priority 4); and

(e) Those other veterans with non-service connected or non-compensable service connectedisabilit5ies with one of the following conditions:

1. Those who have visual impairment resulting from the existence of another medical condition for which the veteran is receiving VA care, or which resulted from treatment of that medical condition, e.g., stroke, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, vascular disease, geriatric chronic illnesses, ocular toxicity from drugs, ocular photosensitivity from drugs, cataract surgery, and/or other surgeries performed on the eye resulting in visual impairment.

2. Those with significant functional or cognitive impairment evidenced by deficiencies in the ability to perform activities of daily living, but not including routinely occurring visual impairments correctable by conventional lenses.

3. Beneficiaries who are visually impaired with subnormal vision to the degree that the provision of corrective optics or other similar devices is necessary to permit active participation in their own medical treatment and/or care may be provided prescription optics and low-vision devices.

4. Those who are so severely hearing-impaired that the provision of sensori-neural aids is necessary to permit active participation in their own medical treatment and to reduce the impact of dual sensory impairment.

b. Eye Care Practitioner (optometrist or ophthalmologist). Since visual disorders requiring eyeglasses are so varied and complex that in some cases, a combination of visual acuity level and clinical guidelines does not address all possible prescribing indications, the eye care practitioner is responsible for using all the following in prescribing eyeglasses:

(1) Visual acuity;

(2) Literature-based clinical guidelines (see subpars. 15c, 15d, and 15l); and

(3) Guidelines for Furnishing Sensori-neural Aids (see subpar. 15a);

(4) Prescription optics will not be provided to otherwise ineligible beneficiaries with normally occurring correctable visual impairments, such as near-sightedness, far-sightedness, or presbyopia (see subpars. 15h, 15i, 15j, and 15k).


This page was: Helpful | Not Helpful