Jump to topic
Since 1944, veterans have received vision benefits from the federal government. This was the year when President Franklin Roosevelt signed an executive order providing services and training to blinded service members to help them deal with the challenges they faced.
Today, that support is available to blind and low-vision veterans who need assistance with day-to-day functioning. The Veterans’ Association’s Office of Blind Rehabilitation Services works with more than a million blind and low-vision vets.
Additionally, all veterans receiving VA health care benefits receive coverage for routine eye exams and preventive vision testing, including glaucoma testing. Coverage might also cover the cost or partial cost of corrective eyewear.
Vision services offered by the VA include everything from primary eye care services to intermediate and advanced clinical vision care.
The eye health issues that most frequently affect veterans include:
Many health issues cause secondary eye health conditions that are common in veterans, including:
Additionally, there are medications given to vets that tend to increase the risk of eye health problems. These include:
The Veterans Affairs Department is an agency of the federal government that provides support and services to former members of the military. The Veterans Health Administration is the largest integrated healthcare network in the country and has more than 1,250 health care facilities serving nine million enrolled vets each year.
Additionally, the VA offers a range of other benefits intended to help vets transition back to civilian life when they return home. This includes help transitioning out of military service, and assistance with education, home loans, life insurance, and more.
The VA also operates a network of national cemeteries through the National Cemetery Administration and offers burial services for vets and their eligible family members.
The VA’s “Fourth Mission” is to improve the preparedness of the country to respond to war, terrorism, national emergencies, and natural disasters. It does this by providing continued services to veterans and supporting national, state, and local emergency management, public health, safety, and homeland security efforts.
The VA has provided preventive and routine vision care since it was founded.
Anyone who qualifies for VA health care benefits is eligible to get some or all of their vision care covered. This includes routine eye exams and preventive vision testing (like testing for glaucoma).
People with advanced vision problems might be eligible for additional services and support.
Vision services offered by the VA include everything from primary eye care services to intermediate and advanced clinical vision care, including:
VA healthcare benefits include coverage for the cost of eyeglasses. To qualify for coverage for eyeglasses a vet must:
Yes. Anyone receiving VA healthcare benefits is entitled to routine eye exams and other preventative vision testing services. Vets who wish to schedule an eye examination can do so by contacting their primary care provider or their local VA medical center or clinic.
The VA provides more advanced vision care services to vets with blindness and low vision.
Vets who need more than the services they are provided through their VA benefits have several options. For example, coverage is available from:
If you aren’t sure what benefits you’re eligible for, you can speak to your local VA office.
“VA Vision Care | Veterans Affairs.” Veterans Affairs, 13 June 2019.
“Get Help Paying for Eye Care | National Eye Institute.” www.nei.nih.gov.
“Vision Loss.” www.research.va.gov.
“Healthy Vision | National Eye Institute.” www.nei.nih.gov,.
US Department of Veterans Affair: VA Benefits and Healthcare: Optometry. “Optometry Home.” www.va.gov.
LOPS Insurance Service. CHAMPVA Supplement Insurance Plan. “What is Champva Supplement Insurance Plan?”