Adjust Font Size:

CCK LIVE: Special Monthly Compensation (SMC)

CCK LIVE: Special Monthly Compensation (SMC)

Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) is a monthly benefit for veterans who have service-connected conditions that result in severe impairment, including the loss or loss of use of extremities, blindness, the need of regular aid and attendance, and many combinations therefo. There are multiple levels of compensation depending on a veteran’s disabilities and the limitations caused by those disabilities.

Contrary to popular belief, veterans do not have to apply for this benefit, meaning there is no specific form that a veteran needs to fill out in order to raise the issue before VA. When reviewing a veteran’s claim for benefits, VA should consider if the veteran is entitled to SMC and grant the benefit if it is warranted.

SMC rates, except that of SMC (K), are paid instead of a veteran’s VA disability rating, not in addition to their disability compensation.

 

 

Levels of SMC – What They Mean

There are multiple levels of SMC that have varying requirements for eligibility, and each pay at different rates in order to compensate veterans for the severity of their disabilities.

 

SMC (K)

SMC (K) compensates veterans for the loss of use of an organ or body part such as a creative organ, reproductive organ, vision or eye sight, breast tissue, etc.  Veterans can receive (K) in addition to their monthly disability compensation no matter their disability rating.

What Is Loss of Use?

Loss of use of an extremity occurs when a part of the body functions equally well with an amputation with use of a suitable prosthesis.  Amputation is not required in order for to experience loss of use. For example, if a veteran is no longer able to use their hand due to a disability, that could be considered loss of use even though amputation is not required.

 

SMC (L)

SMC (L) compensates veterans who experience the loss or loss of use of both feet, or loss or loss of use of one hand and one foot. Veterans can also receive (L) if they have blindness in both eyes (meaning vision at 5/200 or worse), are permanently bedridden, or require regular aid and attendance.

Permanently bedridden refers to a person who is permanently and physically confined to a bed. Being permanently bedridden does not include periods of bed rest prescribed by a doctor if the veteran is still physically get out of bed.

A veteran may be in need of aid and attendance when his or her service-connected disability(s) requires someone else to help them with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, preparing meals, eating, etc. The need for aid and attendance does not need to be constant, but must be regular.

 

SMC (S)

Veterans may be entitled to SMC (S) in two ways. The first is to have a total rating for one disability, or Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU) on the basis of one disability, and then have another disability, or multiple disabilities, that combine to 60 percent or more disabling.

The second way veterans can receive (S) is if they are housebound due to their disabilities. Housebound status is when a veteran’s disabilities render the veteran permanently unable to leave their house at all.

A veteran may be in need of aid and attendance when his or her service-connected disability(s) requires someone else to help them with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, preparing meals, eating, etc. The need for aid and attendance does not need to be constant, but must be regular.

 

SMC (M), (N), (O) (and their intermediate rates, i.e., between (M) and (N))

Similar to SMC (L), these SMC rates compensate veterans for various combinations, and severities, of loss or loss of use of their extremities, blindness, blindness together with deafness, and many combinations of these.

 

SMC (R-1) and (R-2)

To be eligible for SMC (R-1), veterans need to be eligible for (O) and in need of regular aid and attendance.

The second level of SMC (R) is (R-2). The main difference between (R-1) and (R-2) is that to be eligible for (R-2) a veteran must require aid and attendance from a licensed medical professional.  This differs from the (R-1) requirement of needing regular aid and attendance because the assistance can be performed by someone who is not a licensed medical professional, while (R-2) requires professional care.

 

SMC (T)

SMC (T) compensates veterans who suffer from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), specifically. If a veteran has a TBI and is in need of regular aid and attendance for the residuals of that TBI, he or she can be eligible for (T). This includes veterans who need to be in a residential care program or hospitalized due to the residuals of their TBI.

The rate for (T) is the same as the rate for (R-2).

Category: Veterans Law

Related Articles

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

CONTACT US FOR A FREE CASE EVALUATION










Related Articles

To Top
Click to call
x

CONTACT US FOR A FREE CASE EVALUATION