Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) is a term used to describe additional benefits that a Veteran can receive on top of their monthly disability payments. Because the VA recognizes that certain conditions require greater compensation, they may add additional benefits to the compensation that a Veteran’s disability rating warrants. Special compensation includes compensation based on:
The VA will give more benefits for combinations of any of these disabilities (loss of sight and loss of a hand, for example). The amount received in these cases depends on the specific combinations of disabilities. If a veteran has other service-connected disabilities in addition to those described above, an even higher amount of VA Special Monthly Compensation may be considered. Through the combination of a high disability rating and special monthly compensation, a severely disabled Veteran can stay financially stable even when they are unable to work.
Special Monthly Compensation can also be granted for housebound status. If you are unable to leave your home because of your service-connected disabilities, you may be entitled to this benefit. You will need a letter from your doctor, from trusted friends, or from family members who can confirm to the VA that you are housebound.
The term “housebound” can also be used to describe a Veteran who is unable to leave a medical facility, rehab center, or their assisted living center. If you are actively getting medical care for service-connected disabilities and are unable to leave due to the severity of your condition, you can still qualify for housebound status.
To qualify for housebound SMC benefits, you must have at least one disability rated at 100 percent, either schedular or with TDIU (Total Disability Based On Individual Unemployability) with at least one additional unrelated disability rated at 60 percent or more. This combination of disabilities is enough to leave a Veteran completely unable to work, and often unable to move or take care of themselves without assistance.
If you are granted Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU), it must be based on a single disability to qualify for special monthly compensation. If you’ve been granted IU, but haven’t been granted special monthly compensation based on housebound, we can help you request those benefits. One of Berry Law’s team of dedicated attorneys can help you qualify for the monthly compensation that you deserve, even if it means appealing a VA decision.
Remember, SMC is given instead of the standard VA disability rates except in special circumstances. The VA Special Monthly Compensation Rates Table defines exactly how much a veteran will receive for SMC. If you qualify for SMC, these benefits will also encompass your monthly disability compensation.
The VA should automatically grant you SMC if you qualify, but there are cases in which they overlook information and fail to give you the benefits you deserve. Our team of veterans’ law attorneys can help you claim those benefits. If you need to appeal a VA decision, it is always wise to recruit a skilled attorney to help you along the way. The VA appeals process can be complicated, and it is immensely helpful to have an expert attorney at your side to support you in court and help you compile the evidence that you need to support your claim.
The Berry Law team comprises many Veterans from a wide range of branches of the military. Our cumulative decades of legal and military experience make our attorneys the ideal supporters to have on your team when making an appeal. We’re a team of Veterans seeking to help our fellow Veterans, and we’ll do whatever it takes to help you make a strong case and get the benefits that you deserve.
If the VA has previously denied your claim to qualify for SMC, the best way to get a better outcome for your claim is to make an appeal. The VA appeals process begins at your regional Department of Veterans’ Affairs office. There, you and your attorney can make a case to the VA that you should qualify for special monthly compensation. During the appeals process, the VA will review their decision regarding your claim. They will also accept additional evidence from you that can support your case that you should qualify for SMC.
During the VA appeals process, you will have an opportunity to present evidence to the VA that can have an impact on the outcome of your claim. There are several forms of evidence that can play a role in changing the VA’s decision:
If you are not receiving the benefits that you deserve from the VA and believe that you should qualify for special monthly compensation, we can help you make an appeal.
Please contact us for a free consultation.
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