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June 20, 2019

What is VA Special Monthly Compensation?

Last updated on December 23, 2022

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VA Special Monthly Compensation, also known as VA SMC, is additional tax-free compensation that can be paid to disabled veterans, their spouses, surviving spouses, and parents.

For disabled veterans, VA Special Monthly Compensation is a higher rate of compensation paid due to special circumstances such as the need of aid and attendance by another person or by specific disability, such as loss or use of a creative organ, like erectile disfunction VA claim.  

For spouses and surviving spouses, this benefit is referred to as “aid and attendance” and is paid based on the need of aid and attendance by another person.

You might also like my post called “Special Monthly Compensation from A-Z. Click HERE to read it now.

Can a veteran receive additional payments for more serious VA disabilities?

VA can pay more additional compensation, above and beyond the veteran’s scheduler VA disability rating, who has lost some or all use of specific organs or body parts due to military service.

For example, if a veteran is “housebound” due to their service-connected PTSD, they are eligible to receive an additional tax-free monetary benefit known as “VA SMC for PTSD.”

What is considered the loss or loss of use in VA SMC claims?

Loss, or loss of use, means amputation or no effective remaining function of an extremity or organ. VA considers the following disabilities for Special Monthly Compensation (SMC):

• Loss, or loss of use, of a hand or foot

• Immobility of a joint

• Paralysis

• Loss of sight of an eye (only seeing light)

• Loss, or loss of use, of a reproductive organ

• Complete loss, or loss of use, of both buttocks

• Deafness of both ears (no air and bone conduction)

• Inability to communicate by speech (complete organic aphonia)

• Loss of a percentage of tissue from a single breast, or both breasts, from mastectomy or radiation treatment

How does the VA determine SMC pay rates?

The VA will pay higher rates, in specific monetary increments, if you have more than one of these disabilities.

For example, if you have loss, or loss of use, of your feet, legs, hands and arms, you will receive more compensation based on your specific combination of disabilities.

There are also higher payments for various combinations of severe deafness with blindness in both eyes.

For example, you can receive more Special Monthly Compensation if you’re service connected for paraplegia, with complete loss of bowel and bladder control.

If you have other service-connected disabilities that, when combined with any of the above, meet certain criteria, you may also receive a higher amount of SMC.

Can VA Pay SMC for being bedridden, housebound, or in need of the aid and attendance of another person?

If a Veteran is service connected at the 100 percent rate, and meets one of the following criteria, additional SMC payment can be considered:

• Housebound

• Bedridden

• Requires the aid and attendance of another person

This is very commonly how VA SMC for PTSD works.

If you’re rated at the 100% level for PTSD, and you’re considered to be housebound, bedridden, or require the aid and attendance of another person, the VA will add an additional $500 tax free benefit or so, to your overall VA compensation payment.

How do I apply for VA Special Monthly Compensation?

You don’t really “apply” for VA Special Monthly Compensation.

Once you file an initial VA disability claim or file for a VA claim increase, the VA Rater, also known as the RVSR, will automatically add any VA Special Monthly Compensation benefits to your overall rating.

If you feel you’ve been denied VA SMC benefits, however, you can also open a new claim on eBenefits or and add “Special Monthly Compensation for xyz” to your VA disability claim.

This will force the C&P examiner, VSR, and RVSR to consider all the evidence presented, which will determine if you’re eligible for VA SMC benefits under the law.

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About the Author

Brian Reese
Brian Reese

Brian Reese

Brian Reese is one of the top VA disability benefits experts in the world and bestselling author of You Deserve It: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Veteran Benefits You’ve Earned (Second Edition).

Brian’s frustration with the VA claim process led him to create VA Claims Insider, which provides disabled veterans with tips, strategies, and lessons learned to win their VA disability compensation claim, faster, even if they’ve already filed, been denied, gave up, or don’t know where to start. 

As the founder of VA Claims Insider and CEO of Military Disability Made Easy, he has helped serve more than 10 million military members and veterans since 2013 through free online educational resources.

He is a former active duty Air Force officer with extensive experience leading hundreds of individuals and multi-functional teams in challenging international environments, including a combat tour to Afghanistan in 2011 supporting Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

Brian is a Distinguished Graduate of Management from the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO, and he holds an MBA from Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business, Stillwater, OK, where he was a National Honor Scholar (Top 1% of Graduate School class).

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