VA Special Monthly Compenstation Payments
There is no doubt that United States veterans deserve every benefit that is afforded to them. Too often, vets come home with injuries that include the loss of use of at least one of their organs or limbs. Vets who are in this position, are eligible for a Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) on top of their regular monthly disability payment. Below is valuable information for you or someone you love who may be entitled to these this benefit.
What Does “Loss” or “Loss of Use” Mean?
According to the Veterans Administration (VA), the terms “loss” and “loss of use” can be described as an amputation of a limb or an organ or limb that has no effective functionality remaining.
Disabilities That can be Considered for SMC
The disabilities that can be considered for SMC include:
- – Loss or loss of use of a foot or hand
- – Immobility of a joint
- – Paralysis
- – Loss of sight in at least one eye
- – Loss or loss of use of a reproductive organ
- – Complete loss or loss of use of the buttocks
- – Deafness in both ears
- – Inability to communicate by using speech
- – Loss of a percentage of tissue from at least one breast from a mastectomy or radiation
The VA will pay a higher SMC benefit for those vets who have a combination of these issues. They will also consider higher payments for vets who have one of these conditions combined with another, non-listed, ailment for which disability benefits are received.
Categories and Levels of SMC
There are over 50 levels of SMC that are separated into nine categories that are designated with the letters K, L, M, N, O, P, R, S, and T. There are also subcategories,which are identified by a “½” symbol after the letter. These categories and subcategories are partially based on the percentage disability rating that has been determined by the VA. The VA will let recipients know for which category they qualify.
SMC Rate Tables
The VA has set up specific rate tables to help determine the benefit amount to which people are entitled. The tables are set up in different categories based largely on marital status and number of dependents the veteran had. This chart makes it easier for the VA to distribute SMC payment fairly, based on the financial needs of the family.
Vets who are Housebound or Bedridden
If a vet becomes housebound or bedridden as a direct result of a service-related issue,
the VA will consider additional SMC benefits. Higher benefits will also be considered if the veteran in question is so disabled that he or she needs care by another individual. The amount of benefit that is granted is dependant on how much assistance is needed.
Applying for SMC
If you think you are eligible for SMC benefits, then you can begin the application process by contacting your local regional office. Be sure to have your medical records on hand, as they will be necessary to make a final determination.
If you have additional questions regarding applying for Special Monthly Compensation benefits, contact Clauson Law today. We are here to help you get the benefits that you deserve.