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Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) for Serious Disabilities

Can a Veteran Receive Additional Payments for Serious Disabilities?

VA can pay additional compensation to a veteran who, as a result of military service, incurred the loss or loss of use of specific organs or extremities.

  • 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

  • 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. 

     Call Toll-Free 1-800-827-1000

    or Visit Our Web Site at http://www.va.gov.

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


May the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) through rulemaking authorize special monthly compensation under 38 U.S.C. § 1114(k) (k-rate SMC) for a service-connected mastectomy?

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?


Special Monthly Compensation Rate Tables

38CFR3.350 Special monthly compensation ratings

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 addtional 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

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