Veterans who have certain disabilities that were caused or aggravated by their military service may be eligible for additional, tax-free benefits under the Special Monthly Compensation program. The VA says this additional higher rate benefit is paid in cases of specific disabilities such as the loss of use of a hand or leg…or when there are special circumstances such as the need of aid and attendance by another person. This benefit is paid on top of regular disability compensation.
A partial list of disabilities that qualify for SMC includes blindness, deafness in both ears, loss of breast tissue due medical treatment, paralysis, or any disability that leaves the vet completely bedridden. The VA pays higher rates for combinations of qualifying disabilities.
The VA has to review all the medical evidence available before they make a decision regarding the level of SMC to be paid. Spouses and surviving spouses may also be eligible for benefits under SMC. This is paid when there is need of aid and attendance by another person.
Determining the amount of Special Monthly Compensation you may be entitled to can be complicated. SMC is divided into levels and the eligibility requirements for each level are complex especially if you qualify for multiple levels. On our website you will find a blog post about SMC. This blog examines SMC in greater detail, spells out the requirements, and is complete with tables to help you determine the amount of compensation you would receive if you qualify.