Service Connected Disability Compensation
It is a monthly payment made to a veteran who has a disability for a disease or injury that was incurred or aggravated by service in the armed forces. Payments are based on the degree of disability. Veterans Affairs (VA) pays additional allowances for your dependents if your disabilities are evaluated as 30% or more disabling. A special monthly compensation rate may be authorized for veterans whose service connected disabilities are very severe and meet certain statutory requirements.
Service connection for a disability may be granted based on the following conditions:
- A presumption of service connection may also be granted for certain chronic and tropical diseases under certain circumstances, even if the conditions were not manifest or diagnosed during active service.
- Service connection may also be established for a secondary disability or disease which is approximately the result of a service connected disease or injury.
- A service connected disability may entitle you to additional benefits such as VA medical care, vocational rehabilitation, adaptive equipment / homes, etc.
Important Note: When a service connection for a disability or disease has been established and the condition worsens, a claim for an increase of the rating should be filed.
Total disability will be found to exist when there is an impairment of mind or body which is certain to continue throughout the life of the disabled veteran and renders it impossible for the average person to follow a substantially gainful occupation. A single or combined disability that is rated at 100%.
Note: There are specific benefits that apply when a rating is classified as total and permanent.
Individual unemployable may be applied for when there is an exceptional disability factor that substantially interferes with the veterans ability to sustain gainful employment. A veteran must meet one of the following criteria:
- Have 1 service connected disability rate at 60% or more
- Have 2 or more service connected disabilities totaling 70% combined, 1 that is rated at least 40%, and unable to follow gainful employment because of the service connected disability
100% Temporary Disability Rating
A total 100% temporary disability rating will be assigned, without regard to the rating schedule, when a service connected disability has required hospitalization treatment by the Department of Veterans Affairs, for a period in excess of 21 days.
A total 100% temporary disability rating may be assigned when your service connected disability resulted in surgery, post hospital convalescence, immobilization with cast, or surgery of a major joint. When the requirements are met, the rating will be effective from the first day of hospitalization and will continue for a period of 1, 2, or 3 months. Extensions may be authorized under certain circumstances.
Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) Awards
Loss of Use
A special monthly compensation is payable in addition to the basic rate of compensation for the anatomical loss OR loss of use of body members or function, due to a service connected disability. Examples include: hand, foot, eyes, paired organs or extremities, creative organs, buttocks, kidneys, loss of speech (aphonia), deafness.
Is payable to a veteran who has a service connected disability rated at 100%, or has multiple service connected disabilities, independently rated at 60% and is permanently housebound as a result of the service connected disabilities and will remain confined for the foreseeable future to his dwelling or immediate premises, or if institutionalized, to the ward or clinical areas.
Aid & Attendance
Aid and attendance will be considered when the veteran is so nearly helpless that they are unable to care for themselves, such as dressing, undressing, keeping clean, feeding, attending to the wants of nature, frequent adjustments of special prosthetic or orthopedic appliances, or to protect them from the hazards and dangers incident to daily living. All conditions requiring this care, must be service connected.
When a veteran is in need of a higher level of care (hospitalization, nursing home, or institutional care) because of his service connected disabilities, a higher level of monthly aid and attendance allowance may be granted.