Understanding Special Monthly Compensation for Veterans

VA claims can assist various veterans in sustaining their lifestyles and covering their medical needs after suffering severe injuries.

Despite it being an advantage for veterans, there are some circumstances where your VA disability pay is often insufficient.

It led the VA to implement the SMC, or Special Monthly Compensation for Veterans, serving as additional financial assistance on top of the veterans’ disability pay, especially for those who received grave injuries.

But what is VA special monthly compensation exactly? And how can you file this? Let’s look at this blog post to find out more.

The Importance of Special Monthly Compensation among Veterans

On our VA claims page, we provide coaching guides for veterans on acquiring their appropriate VA rating to acquire the best financial support. Our coaching is not limited to VA claims, as we can also provide information and guidance about special monthly compensation for military veterans. 

The VA’s special monthly compensation is a special tax-free benefit to help veterans who received severe injuries, such as the loss of an organ or other extreme injuries, during their active duties.

It can help veterans afford items and devices to help with their daily lives. Most of these items involved the following:

  • Vehicles to help transport items to help with a veteran’s movement
    • Wheelchairs
    • Walkers
  • Veteran care
  • Devices for communication
  • Items to help the veteran get in and out of the house
    • Ramps
    • Lifts

Its contributions to the veteran’s overall finances, especially for their medical necessities, are significant. To ensure seamless distribution of this benefit, the VA implements certain eligibility criteria for veterans who will need it.

Who is eligible for Special Monthly Compensation (SMC)?

Qualification for VA special monthly compensation requires a careful assessment of the veteran’s disability and how it impacts their daily lives.

These disabilities can either be physical injuries or mental health conditions. To receive your VA special monthly compensation rates, it is important to note that the veteran already has an existing VA disability rating and is already receiving their VA claims for their service-connected disabilities. 

You must keep in mind that the VA will only grant you special monthly compensation if you are:

  • A veteran who served on active duty.
    • It can either be for active or inactive duty training.

The veteran receives injuries during military service or has an existing illness aggravated during their line of service.

Confirmation of these qualifications gives you the opportunity to receive the special monthly compensation; however, the VA will still need to evaluate your illness and determine your eligibility. It is critical that you at least have one of the following to be eligible.

  • VA disability rating of 100%, referred to as Permanent and Total disability
  • Loss of body parts or tehir functions (e.g., loss of a hand or a foot, inability to move limbs, or complete paralysis)
  • Blindness, or the ability to only see with one eye
  • Loss of speech functions
  • Loss of hearing

There are veterans who may raise the question of what if they fail to reach the 100% VA disability rating. There is a different category for veterans who received a 90% VA disability in 2024, which also involves numerous benefits.

Different Types of Special Monthly Compensation

For the proper determination of special monthly compensations, the VA developed special monthly compensation codes categorized into different divisions.

  • SMC-K: Loss of body function or body parts.
  • SMC-L: Loss of a specific combination of two body functions or their parts
  • SMC-M and SMC-N: Loss of functions critical to sight, ambulation, or the capability to wear prostheses.
  • SMC-O: Loss of sight, hearing, and body controls and the ability to wear prostheses.
  • SMC-R: Officially requires daily aid or assistance for the veteran’s activities.
  • SMC-S: 100% rated condition with complete or permanent disability, leaving them housebound.
    • The veteran can also have a 60% rating, or at least a 60% rating, for conditions separate from the 100%-rated condition.
  • SMC-T:  Severe traumatic injuries in the brain requiring assistance for daily activities

Each category has different calculations that will help determine the amount of compensation a veteran can receive. Here is a breakdown of all the compensation packages.

Calculating The Special Monthly Compensation

The calculation of the special monthly compensation can vary. The VA will use these codes, along with some other factors, to determine the amount of SMC you can receive. 

The VA will also consider your dependents; this includes your spouse, the number of children you have and your surviving parents. 

If you need help identifying the correct calculation for your special monthly compensation, you can count on us to help.

It is critical that you supply the necessary and official medical evidence or documentation to guarantee approval of your request and receive further compensation on top of your VA claim benefits.  

Just4Veterans It is a dedicated veteran coaching firm that aims to help all veterans process their claims and support them in their journey in obtaining the correct rating and disability benefits. You may book a free strategy call to directly reach our veteran coaches. You may also visit our VA claims assistance page to learn more about us.

DISCLAIMER : Just4Veterans LLC is NOT an accredited agent, attorney, entity or VSO recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and is not affiliated with the VA in any way. Veterans shall prepare and file their own claim with an accredited representative, who may offer their services for FREE. Veterans may search for and appoint an accredited VSO.