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Veterans Law

2024 VA Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) Rates

Kaitlyn Degnan

October 13, 2023

Updated: April 4, 2024

2024 VA Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) Rates

The 2024 cost of living adjustment (COLA) increase is 3.2 percent. Veterans will see an increase in VA special monthly compensation (SMC) rates come next year.  Read on for a full breakdown of the 2024 SMC rates by each level.

What Is Special Monthly Compensation (SMC)?

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) awards special monthly compensation (SMC) to veterans with service-connected conditions so severe that they warrant a rating higher than 100 percent.  These ratings are for certain disabilities or combinations of disabilities that are more severe than accounted for by the regular VA rating schedule.

There are many types of SMC, which are divided into the following levels:

  • Levels L through O list specific disabilities and combinations of disabilities that qualify a veteran to obtain SMC.  Level L contains the least severe conditions and lower SMC rates, while Level O contains severe conditions and greater SMC rates.
  • Level K provides SMC to veterans who experienced a loss or loss of use of an extremity or creative organ.  For example, the loss of use of a hand or the loss of a foot.
  • Level R provides compensation to veterans who require aid and attendance (A&A) from another person.  It is divided into levels R-1 and R-2, with the R-2 requiring regular aid and attendance from a medical professional.
  • Level S provides compensation to veterans who are completely and permanently housebound, meaning they cannot leave their home or care facility and are expected remain this way for the rest of their life.
  • Level T provides compensation to veterans who suffer from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and require regular aid and attendance.  SMC Levels R-2 and T provide the same amount of monthly compensation.

VA awards most SMC rates in place of standard rates except for SMC(k), which is offered in addition to standard disability compensation.

2024 COLA and Standard VA Compensation Rates

Every fiscal year, the SSA sets forth an updated COLA based on the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earnings and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).  In October 2023, the Social Security Administration (SSA) determined that the 2024 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is 3.2 percent.

The 2023 COLA of 8.7 percent was the highest in years. The 3.2 percent rate for 2024 is still substantial compared to years past. Veterans who receive disability compensation will see the 3.2 percent increase reflected in their monthly VA payments.

VA Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) Rates for 2024

All levels of special monthly compensation will see an increase in 2024.

To calculate estimates for the 2024 SMC rates, the 2023 SMC rates can be used as a baseline.  Take the 2024 COLA of 3.2 percent and multiply it by your 2023 SMC compensation rate.  This result can then be added to your 2023 rate.  This adjusted figure is your 2024 VA monthly SMC payment.

The table below shows the 2024 VA special monthly compensation rates for a single veteran without any dependents:

SMC LevelVA Special Monthly Compensation Amount
L ½$4,891.50
M ½$5,485.61
N ½$6,182.55

*Note that SMC(k) is added to a veteran’s standard disability pay.

Additional Compensation for Dependents

Veterans may qualify for compensation in addition to their SMC rates if they have eligible dependents.  Eligible dependents include:

  • A spouse
  • Dependent parents
  • Children under the age of 18
  • Children between the age of 18 and 23 who are in school
  • A child who was permanently disabled before the age of 18

For a full breakdown of dependent payment rates for 2024, visit CCK’s 2024 disability pay blog.

Was Your SMC Claim Denied?

If VA denied your claim for special monthly compensation, you have the right to appeal.  Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD may be able to help you secure the benefits you have earned.  CCK has decades of success in representing veterans before VA, the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, and the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC).

Call CCK today at 800-544-9144 or contact us to schedule a free case evaluation.

About the Author

Bio photo of Kaitlyn Degnan

Kaitlyn joined CCK in September of 2017 as an Associate Attorney. Her practice focuses on representing disabled veterans before the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

See more about Kaitlyn