4.75 General considerations for evaluating visual impairment.§ 4.75 General considerations for evaluating visual impairment.
(a) Visual impairment. The evaluation of visual impairment is based on impairment of visual acuity (excluding developmental errors of refraction), visual field, and muscle function.
(b) Examination for visual impairment. The examination must be conducted by a licensed optometrist or by a licensed ophthalmologist. The examiner must identify the disease, injury, or other pathologic process responsible for any visual impairment found. Examinations of visual fields or muscle function will be conducted only when there is a medical indication of disease or injury that may be associated with visual field defect or impaired muscle function. Unless medically contraindicated, the fundus must be examined with the claimant's pupils dilated.
(c) Service-connected visual impairment of only one eye. Subject to the provisions of 38 CFR 3.383(a), if visual impairment of only one eye is service-connected, the visual acuity of the other eye will be considered to be 20/40 for purposes of evaluating the service-connected visual impairment.
(d) Maximum evaluation for visual impairment of one eye. The evaluation for visual impairment of one eye must not exceed 30 percent unless there is anatomical loss of the eye. Combine the evaluation for visual impairment of one eye with evaluations for other disabilities of the same eye that are not based on visual impairment (e.g., disfigurement under diagnostic code 7800).
(e) Anatomical loss of one eye with inability to wear a prosthesis. When the claimant has anatomical loss of one eye and is unable to wear a prosthesis, increase the evaluation for visual acuity under diagnostic code 6063 by 10 percent, but the maximum evaluation for visual impairment of both eyes must not exceed 100 percent. A 10-percent increase under this paragraph precludes an evaluation under diagnostic code 7800 based on gross distortion or asymmetry of the eye but not an evaluation under diagnostic code 7800 based on other characteristics of disfigurement.
(f) Special monthly compensation. When evaluating visual impairment, refer to 38 CFR 3.350 to determine whether the claimant may be entitled to special monthly compensation. Footnotes in the schedule indicate levels of visual impairment that potentially establish entitlement to special monthly compensation; however, other levels of visual impairment combined with disabilities of other body systems may also establish entitlement.(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 1114 and 1155) [73 FR 66549, Nov. 10, 2008]