Special Monthly Compensation
Special monthly compensation is paid to compensate veterans for service-connected disabilities that involve anatomical loss or loss of use, such as loss of use of a hand or a foot, or impairment of the senses, such as loss of vision or hearing. While the basic rates of compensation are predicated on the average reduction in earning capacity, special monthly compensation benefits are based on noneconomic factors such as personal inconvenience, social inadaptability, or the profound nature of the disability.
In addition to the conditions described above, a veteran can also receive special monthly compensation under the Aid and Attendance or Housebound rates.
Aid and Attendance
A veteran may be eligible for the additional Aid and Attendance Benefit if their service connected disability(s) meets one of the following requirements:
- The veteran requires the aid of another person in order to perform personal functions required in everyday living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, using the restroom, or using prosthetic devices.
- The veteran is bedridden, where his disability or disabilities requires that the veteran remain in bed separate from any prescribed course of treatment.
- The veteran is a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity.
- The veteran’s eyesight is limited to a corrected 5/200 visual acuity or less in both eyes, or has concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less.
A surviving spouse may also be eligible for the Aid and Attendance Benefit if they meet one of the qualifications.
An additional amount is also available where the veteran’s spouse is either:
- a patient in a nursing home; or
- blind, or so nearly blind or significantly disabled as to need or require the regular aid and attendance of another person
A veteran or veteran’s survivor may be eligible for the additional Housebound Benefit if they are substantially confined to their immediate premises due to permanent disability caused by service connected disability.
A veteran or veteran’s survivor cannot claim both the Aid and Attendance Benefit and the Housebound Benefit at the same time.