Blind Rehabilitation Centers

To provide personal and social adjustment programs and medical or health-related services for eligible blinded veterans at selected VA Medical Centers maintaining blind rehabilitation centers.


Agency - Department of Veterans Affairs

The Department of Veterans Affairs strives for excellence in patient care and veteran's benefits for its constituents through high quality, prompt and seamless service to United States veterans.

Office - Initial contact should be made at the nearest VA Medical Center or outpatient clinic listed in Appendix IV under the Veterans Health Administration.


Program Accomplishments

During fiscal year 2007, 2,118 veterans received the intensive inpatient rehabilitation program for severely disabled blind and visually impaired patients nationally at the 10 Blind Rehabilitation Centers. Blind Rehabilitation Service deployed the national BR v.5.0 database to enhance patient referral and streamline clinical data management; additional functionality enhancements are underway. Mechanisms for tracking OEF/OIF service personnel have been developed and deployed. Sixty-eight OEF/OIF veterans and active duty personnel have been provided intensive rehabilitation for severe disability in the centers; some patients have received multiple episodes of care, resulting in a total of 81 inpatient stays at the centers. Blind Rehabilitation Centers have developed and deployed new assessments and interventions for visual consequences of traumatic brain injury following a joint VHA/DoD conference providing current practices and innovative research ongoing in this area.

Uses and Use Restrictions

To assist in the rehabilitation of blinded veterans.



Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Any visually impaired or blind veteran who meets the following requirements: Must have enlisted in the armed forces before September 7, 1980.

Veterans who enlisted in the armed forces after September 7, 1980, or entered on active duty after October 16, 1981, must have 24 continuous months of active duty service or completed the full period of time for which the individual was called or ordered to active duty.

In either case the individual must have been discharged or released from active duty under conditions other than dishonorable.

Must be enrolled in the VA health care system or have: A VA service-connected rating of 50 percent or greater, an adjudicated service-connected disability, or; been recently discharged from the military (within the past 12 months) for a disability the military determined was incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.

When approved, the VA and at the Department of Defense request, active duty personnel may be transferred to a Blind Center.

Beneficiary Eligibility

All blinded veterans.

Credentials/Documentation

Military discharge papers.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

None.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

Application may be made by completing a VA Form 10-10, "Application for Health Benefits." Applications may be made: (1) In person at any VA health care facility; (2) through any veterans organization's representative; (3) by mailing the 10-10 to the nearest VA health care facility or (4) contacting the Visual Impairment Service Team (VIST) Coordinator at a VA facility.

Award Procedures

VA ward physician determines, with recourse to Hospital Director.

Deadlines

None.

Authorization

38 U.S.C. 101(2), 1705, 1710, and 5303A.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Immediately.

Appeals

Not applicable.

Renewals

Not applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Not applicable.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Following admission, veterans are provided specialized inpatient rehabilitation in a VA Blind Rehabilitation Center plus any necessary medical or health related services. The time that a veteran spends in a Blind Rehabilitation Center is individual to each veteran. Normally the stay is three to five weeks, but will vary.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Not applicable.

Audits

Not applicable.

Records

Not applicable.

Financial Information

Account Identification

36-0160-0-1-703.

Obigations

(Salaries and Expenses) FY 07 $71,818,000; FY 08 est $86,507,000; and FY 09 est $92,494,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Not applicable.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

"Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents," VA Fact Sheet 80-991-1, $5.00, available from Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402. Fax orders (202) 512-2250. Mail Requests to P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954. Coordinated Services for Blinded Veterans, IB 11-59 (Revised), available from Director, Blind Rehabilitation Service (117B), Department of Veterans Affairs, Central Office, Washington, DC 20420.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Initial contact should be made at the nearest VA Medical Center or outpatient clinic listed in Appendix IV under the Veterans Health Administration.

Headquarters Office

Blind Rehabilitation Service (117B), Patient Care Services, Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC 20420. Telephone: (202) 461-7317.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not applicable.



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