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Veterans Law

VA Housebound Benefits

Jenna Zellmer

November 19, 2022

Updated: November 20, 2023

VA Housebound Benefits

Veterans who are housebound because of their service-connected disabilities, meaning that are prevented from leaving their house because of their conditions, are eligible to receive Special Monthly Compensation benefits from VA, in addition to their monthly VA benefits for their overall combined disability rating.  Continue reading to learn more about the types of benefits available to veterans who are housebound.

VA Benefits for Housebound Veterans

VA offers benefits for housebound veterans as part of Special Monthly Compensation Level S, or SMC(s). Importantly, most special monthly compensation rates are awarded in place of standard VA disability compensation rates, except for SMC(k).

Unlike the disability rating schedule, SMC is not meant to compensate a veteran for the effects that their disability has on earning potential, but rather for non-economic factors such as personal inconvenience, social inadaptability, or the profound nature of a disability.

VA Housebound Benefits: Special Monthly Compensation

Understanding SMC(S)

There are two ways to receive SMC(s):

  1. Housebound Status
  2. Qualifying Ratings

The 2023 SMC(s) monthly compensation rate for a single veteran with no dependents is $ 4,054.12.

What Does it Mean to Be Housebound?

If a veteran is considered permanently housebound, it means that they are unable to leave their home, hospital ward, or care facility due to a service-connected disability.  Housebound veterans are expected to remain this way for the rest of their lives, meaning that their condition is not likely to improve.

SMC(S) and Qualifying Ratings

In addition to proving housebound status, veterans can also receive SMC(s) by having one disability rated at 100 percent (or TDIU based on a single disability) with an additional disability (or disabilities) rated at 60 percent.

Do Veterans Need to Apply for SMC(S)?

VA should automatically grant Special Monthly Compensation if a veteran qualifies for it, especially if it is based on ratings.  So, while veterans should not have to apply for SMC(s), they may need to let VA know that they are interested in pursuing it to help ensure that it is properly addressed.

Veterans may also fill out VA Form 21-2680, Examination for Housebound Status and submit to VA.

Can Veterans Submit Evidence to Prove Housebound Status?

In addition to this form, veterans can submit evidence indicating that they should receive housebound status.  Evidence can include:

  • Doctor’s reports to indicate that the veteran is housebound
  • Lay statements indicating details such as:
    • What the veteran normally does day-to-day
    • How the veteran gets from place to place
    • What kind of symptoms of the veteran’s disability impacts their ability to do things on their own
    • Activities the veteran needs assistance with to take care of themselves

If you believe you qualify for SMC(s) but are not receiving it, you can call your VA regional office or contact an attorney.

5 Questions to Ask a VA Disability Lawyer or Representative Before Hiring Them

Need A VA Disability Lawyer to Help with Housebound Benefits?

If you are a veteran who needs representation to assist you in your pursuit of housebound benefits, the accredited representatives at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick may be able to help you.  Contact our office today for a free case evaluation.

About the Author

Bio photo of Jenna Zellmer

Jenna joined CCK in January of 2014 as an appellate attorney, was named Managing Attorney in September of 2019, and now serves as a Partner at the firm. Her law practice focuses on representing disabled veterans at the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

See more about Jenna