What is VA Clothing Allowance?
VA Clothing Allowance is a single, annual benefit paid to veterans whose clothing is worn or damaged due to the use of prescribed skin medications or prosthetic/orthopedic devices for a service-connected disability. Veterans who qualify can receive up to $795.21 each year as of 2018. VA’s Clothing Allowance is referred to as a “special claim,” in a similar category to Specially Adaptive Housing and Automobile Special Adaptive Equipment.
Articles of clothing covered by VA’s Clothing Allowance includes:
- Similar garments
Items of clothing NOT included are:
- Similar garments
Eligibility requirements for VA Clothing Allowance
Veterans who use a prescribed prosthetic or skin medication for a service-connected condition may qualify for an annual clothing allowance. To be eligible, a veteran’s prosthetic or orthopedic device must cause wear and tear, or their skin medication must cause “irreparable staining” to outer garments.
Typically, a VA clothing allowance is only awarded once per year. Certain veterans can qualify to receive more than one annual clothing allowance if they meet the following criteria:
- More than one prosthetic or orthopedic device is used to treat more than one service-connected disability;
- More than one skin medication is used to treat more than one service-connected disability;
- The prosthetic/orthopedic device or skin medication affects more than one type of clothing.
How to apply for VA Clothing Allowance
Veterans who wish to apply for VA’s Clothing Allowance program must first have their condition service connected through the Veterans Benefits Administration, and then complete VA Form 10-8678. This form should be sent to the Prosthetic and Sensory Aids Service at your local VA Medical Center (VAMC), not the regional office. In order to be considered for an annual clothing allowance, you must submit your VA Form 10-8678 to your local VAMC by August 1st of that year. These annual benefits are usually distributed to veterans between September 1st and October 31st.
Veterans with permanent disabilities, such as the loss of an extremity, do not need to reapply for the clothing allowance each year. Those who require the use of orthopedics or prosthetics on a temporary basis must reapply for this benefit.