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A Guide for Special Monthly Compensation

Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) is a tax-free monthly benefit that can be paid to veterans with serious disabilities or combinations of disabilities.  Certain conditions and combinations of conditions can be more disabling than regular VA disability benefit rates account for, therefore, VA pays a larger compensation rate.  Essentially, SMC is a higher rate of VA disability compensation paid because of special disability pictures such as the need of aid and attendance by another individual or by specific disability, such as loss of use of a limb.

There are several ways to qualify for Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) and the different types are split into levels based on severity of the condition(s).  For example, the Level K provides special monthly compensation (SMC) for veterans who have experienced the loss (amputation) or loss of use of a creative organ; this level of SMC is paid in addition to your regular monthly VA disability benefits per your combined rating.   Level R provides SMC for veterans who need aid and attendance daily from another individual.  All SMC rates are given instead of the standard VA disability compensation rates, except for Level K, which is given in addition to the standard monthly compensation rate.

VA special monthly compensation infographic