Special Monthly Compensation: What Is It?
Veterans provide a crucial service to our country. They risk their lives to protect our civil liberties. As a reward for their service, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides benefits to veterans for issues like injuries, illness or disability.
Usually, the type of compensation that veterans receive is Disability Compensation. However, when someone loses vision, a limb, speech, hearing or mobility, they may qualify for additional benefits called Special Monthly Compensation, or SMC.
What Kinds Of Injuries Does SMC Cover?
Only a few types of injuries qualify for SMC benefits. If a veteran has a combination of these injuries, they may receive higher rates of compensation from the VA. Some of the eligible disabilities include:
- Partial or total loss of use of a hand or foot
- Loss of sight in one or both eyes
- Deafness in each ear
- Loss of speaking ability
SMC benefits can also cover injuries that do not involve the loss of one of the senses. For example, immobility of a joint, paralysis, loss of a percentage of breast tissue and loss of a reproductive organ.
How Can I Obtain SMC?
The application process for Special Monthly Compensation seems simple at face: contact your regional VA office and inquire about receiving benefits. Unfortunately, Special Monthly Compensation is one of the most confusing programs in the VA’s bureaucracy.
The red tape that many veterans encounter when applying for these benefits is time-consuming and exasperating. In addition, the VA has been known to decline the applications of numerous qualifying veterans for seemingly inexplicable reasons.
Many veterans find that they need outside assistance to determine whether they qualify, help them navigate the red tape and communicate with the often-slow VA. But the tedious process is well worth it for injured veterans to receive the disability benefits that they deserve. After their brave service, compensation is a small price to request.