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

12.2. Scope

a. Prescriptions for eyeglasses must be filled in accordance with Title 38 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 17.149, and with policies and guidelines established by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the local facility.

b. Eligible beneficiaries may be furnished an initial pair of corrective eyeglasses when prescribed by a VA or fee-basis ophthalmologist or optometrist. Two pairs of single-vision eyeglasses, one for reading and one for distance vision, will be provided if prescribed by the ophthalmologist or optometrist in cases where bifocal lenses are contraindicated. Post-surgical aphakic cataract patients may also be provided two pair of eyeglasses (in addition to contact lenses): a pair of cataract eyeglasses (aspheric lenticular) and a pair of single-vision eyeglasses (for use over contact lenses) when prescribed by a VA or VA fee-basis ophthalmologist or optometrist.

c. When a beneficiary is found to need an ophthalmic prescription, but is not eligible to receive prescription optics at VA expense, the beneficiary may request and obtain a copy of the prescription from the examining ophthalmologist or optometrist. These prescriptions must be issued and stamped with a disclaimer reading, "Not to be filled at VA expense," to indicate that the beneficiary must spend personal funds to obtain the prescribed item(s).

d. Ophthalmic prescriptions are filled for beneficiaries receiving medical care when determined medically necessary for the beneficiary's care by an ophthalmologist or optometrist.

e. Beneficiaries with a service-connected disability for the loss of vision in an eye (or the enucleation or evisceration of one eye) are eligible for eyeglasses for defective vision in the remaining eye and/or to protect the vision in the remaining eye (safety eyeglasses or polycarbonate lenses, as appropriate).


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