SMC = Special Monthly Compensation
Paid either in addition to (SMC K), or in place of regular ratings (all others). There are several different levels of SMC, and several different combinations of them as well. The most common are Housebound and Aid and Attendance, both typically paid at the rate of SMC L. Higher levels of Aid and Attendance are allowed, depending on the amount of care needed by the vet. They are typically paid at the rate of either SMC R1, or R2. If you are rated at 100% for a single disability, and have another single disability that is ratable at 50%, or 100%, then you are entitled to the next higher rate of SMC. This is in addition to the additional 60% (single or combined) disabilities that jbasser spoke of. SMC is a complicated beast that is very hard to understand. If you want to learn more about it, it is governed by 38 USC 1114, and regulated by 38 CFR 3.350
Can a Veteran Receive Additional Payments for Serious Disabilities?
- What Is Considered Loss or Loss of Use?Loss, or loss of use, is described as either an amputation or, having no effective remaining function of an extremity or organ. The disabilities VA can consider for SMC include:
- loss, or loss of use, of a hand or foot
- immobility of a joint or paralysis
- loss of sight of an eye (having only light perception)
- loss, or loss of use, of a reproductive organ
- complete loss, or loss of use, of both buttocks
- deafness of both ears (having absence of air and bone conduction)
- inability to communicate by speech (complete organic aphonia)
- loss of a percentage of tissue from a single breast, or both breasts, from mastectomy or radiation treatment
Member Carla writes and says “my husband has lost the use of his creative organ for all intents and purposes. They attribute this to his DM2. He was also blinded in one eye from shell fragments during a mortar attack in Vietnam during his tour. They were paying him Special Monthly Compensation (K).
I find SMC or Special Monthly Compensation S, as accorded to us true War Vets, to be highly misunderstood by-gasp-Veterans Service Officers who should, by rights, be well-versed in this. I just ran into one on another HCV helpsite and he is obviously a Veterans Service Officer.
We also have forums for specific SMC ratings
veterans compensation benefits, VA Disability Claims, VA benefits, VA Law, how to get your VA claims granted, how to file an appeal, what an appeal means, and our robust community forum. Search the site for your disability and see how many folks are dealing with the same disability.
How Can You Apply?
You should contact you local VA regional office for information about applying for SMC. In determining qualifications for SMC, the VA must review the medical evidence regarding the loss or loss of use and then make a decision regarding the level of SMC to be paid.
What if I Have a Combination of These Disabilities?
The VA will pay higher rates for combinations of these disabilities such as loss or loss of use of the feet, legs, hands, and arms, in specific monetary increments, based on the particular combination of the disabilities. There are also higher payments for various combinations of severe deafness with bilateral blindness.
Additional SMC is available if a veteran is service connected for paraplegia, with complete loss of bowel and bladder control.
In addition, if you have other service-connected disabilities that, in combination with the above special monthly compensation, meet certain criteria, a higher amount of SMC can also be considered.
Can VA Pay SMC for Being Bedridden, Housebound, or in Need of the Aid and Attendance of Another Person?
If a veteran is service connected at the 100% rate and is housebound, bedridden, or is so helpless to need the aid and attendance of another person, then consideration of payment of additional SMC can be considered. The amount of SMC will vary depending on the level of aid and attendance needed.
References useful for Special Monthly Compensation Claims
PREC 2-00 Special Monthly Compensation for Loss of Creative Organ–Mastectomy–38 U.S.C. § 1114(k); 38 C.F.R. § 3.350(a) Citation: Vet. Aff. Op. Gen. Couns. Prec. 2-00, VAOPGCPREC 2-00, 2000
PREC 30-97 Entitlement to Special Monthly Compensation for Disarticulation of the Hips following preexisting Paraplegia Citation: Vet. Aff. Op. Gen Couns. Prec. 30-97, VAOPGCPREC 30-97, 1997
What level of special monthly compensation (SMC) should be awarded to a claimant with nonservice-connected paraplegia who is entitled to compensation under 38 U.S.C. § 1151 for disarticulation of the hips?