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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   

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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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Raybob

Dry Eye Due To Lasik Denied As Not Sc

Question

While on active duty in 2002 (I just retired this past June 1st) I had Lasik surgery done by an outside physician (who also did Tiger Woods!). I developed dry-eye as documented in my SMRs which is treated with eye drops. On my C&P determination, VA said that since I had it done outside of the military as an elective procedure, even though I was on AD, they consider the dry-eye condition to NOT be service connected. Are all "elective" surgery and any resulting conditions treated this way? I chose Lasik as the Air Force only does PRK. I wasn't sure whether I should file a NOD on this finding. Thanks for any advice.

Cheers, Ray

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5 answers to this question

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While on active duty in 2002 (I just retired this past June 1st) I had Lasik surgery done by an outside physician (who also did Tiger Woods!). I developed dry-eye as documented in my SMRs which is treated with eye drops. On my C&P determination, VA said that since I had it done outside of the military as an elective procedure, even though I was on AD, they consider the dry-eye condition to NOT be service connected. Are all "elective" surgery and any resulting conditions treated this way? I chose Lasik as the Air Force only does PRK. I wasn't sure whether I should file a NOD on this finding. Thanks for any advice.

Cheers, Ray

Well the way I look at it, I'd have to (unfortunately) agree with the VA. It was elective and done outside of the military. You can always file an NOD, but I'm not sure what good it would be. Good luck.

JMO,

Bergie

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I disagree with Bergie as the surgery if not completed with an alternative surgery will cause dry eye. The fact that it was done while you were in and you were treated indicates a condition that was aggravated. Did the Doc not explain to you that dry eye was almost 100% if you did not have a procedure on tear ducts?

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Hmm... I agree with Pete. The VA tried this same BS with me and I won by fighting it. My third molars were extracted and I had treatment for weeks. They tried to say it was elective surgery. They treated me constantly afterwards. I won my appeal.

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Thanks guys for the advice, I will at least file a NOD and see what they do.

At the time, the Air Force only offered PRK to pilots and members who were deploying... so I had Lasik donw while staioned at the Pentagon....now PRK is open to all AF on actove duty, but they still only do PRK. Since it was so long ago, I dont remember if they said I needed a follow-on for tear ducts, but it was not in the literature. The military did get the benefit of improved eyesight and no glasses for the rest of my career after surgery. I did see the military optometrist to discuss before I had the surgery done (it is in my records).B

But the key question I had was that since I was active duty, does that mean any elective surgery outside of the military is never covered? I would think it would be SC unless I did something unlawful or not allowed by regs.

Cheers, Ray

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6.1.6. Elective Surgery or Treatment. Prior to any elective treatment by the Military Health Services System (MHSS), a Service member must consult with a competent military medical authority. A Service member who elects to have such treatment done at his or her own expense will not be eligible for compensation under the provisions of this Instruction for any adverse residuals resulting from the elected treatment, unless it can be shown that such election was reasonable or resulted from a significant impairment of judgment that is the product of a ratable medical condition. A record of the counseling will be made by the Health Benefits Advisor or other designated individual to document that the member was counseled about the elective treatment and his or her subsequent ineligibility for disability compensation for any adverse residuals incurred secondary to the elective treatment.

http://biotech.law.l...f2/i133239p.pdf

Edited by sharon

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