I began a series of blogs dealing with the various forms of special monthly compensation that are available to certain disabled Veterans in specific situations. This “Special Monthly Compensation” is applied because the level of compensation for the particular condition is not included within the Rating Schedule. This includes conditions such as erectile dysfunction, amputation of one or both limbs, payments for in home care, etc. Special Monthly Compensation is payable on top of the Veteran’s compensation for his overall disability evaluation. Today, I will be discussing the highest level of Special Monthly Compensation available to a disabled Veteran, Special Monthly Compensation, R.2.
Codified at Chapter 38 U.S. Code § 1114 (r)(2), the regulations states “if the Veteran, in addition to such need for regular aid and attendance, is in need of a higher level of care, such Veteran shall be paid a monthly aid and attendance allowance at the rate of $2,983… if the Secretary finds that the Veteran, in the absence of the provision of such care, would require hospitalization, nursing home care, or other residential institutional care.” 38 U.S.C. § 1114 (r)(2). The regulation goes on to state that “need for a higher level of care shall be considered to be need for personal health-care service provided on a daily basis in the Veteran’s home by a person who is licensed to provide such services or who provides such services under the regular supervision of a licensed health-care professional.
The last portion of the rule really defines the requirement for this type of Special Monthly Compensation. It is not enough that you have a friend or family member that cares for you on a daily basis. To receive compensation under this rule, your service-connected condition has to be such that you require a medical professional to come to your home daily to care for you. Further, if you did not have this in-home medical care, you would require inpatient hospitalization for medical care. This special monthly compensation would be awarded in addition to the previous level of special monthly compensation afforded to the Veteran for his service-connected condition.
According to the VA.gov website, a Veteran who is eligible for SMC-R, without any dependents, is able to receive a maximum total of $9,535.91 in disability benefits per month. If the Veteran has a spouse, the payment increases to $9,721.69. It is important to remember that this compensation is only available to those Veterans who have the absolute highest level of disability recognized under the Rule.
An experienced Veterans’ Disability Compensation attorney is familiar with the various facets of this SMC as well as other forms of SMCs. Consultation with a Veteran’s Disability attorney could be invaluable in your selection and qualification for this Special Monthly Compensations.