What is the Difference Between SMC(k) and SMC(s)?
It’s vital to know the difference between SMC(k) and SMC(s). All service-related disabilities are serious, but the Veterans Administration considers some more serious than others. Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) might be available in these situations. The additional money helps Veterans and their families cope with extreme disabilities.
Technically, the VA should automatically give SMC benefits to Veterans who qualify. However, SMC determinations have lots of moving parts. To obtain the benefits you deserve, it is usually a good idea to partner with a VA disability attorney. These benefits include cash payments and access to free medical care, including physical therapy, at VA medical centers.
This type of Special Monthly Compensation is usually associated with loss (amputation or loss of use of a body part(s) or function(s). Specific examples include:
- Genitals, or
Total amputation is not a prerequisite for SMC(k) benefits. Loss of use is sufficient. This loss must be below the capability of a stump or prosthetic device. Additionally, if Veterans lose the other hand or foot, which is common, SMC benefits apply to both losses.
These same rules apply regarding sensory organs, such as the eyes, ears, or mouth. A veteran need not be totally blind, deaf, or mute to receive SMC. Severe loss of function is also a qualifying condition.
Moreover, Veterans must establish a service-related connection to the loss or loss of function. Generally, if a pre-existing or non-service-related condition contributed to the loss, SMC benefits are still available.
These benefits are considerably higher than SMC(k) benefits, usually because SMC(s) Veterans are much worse off from a physical standpoint. There are basically two qualifiers for SMC(s) benefits:
- Housebound: These Veterans must be unable to leave their homes, hospital wards, or other immediate living areas. Generally, these Veterans have severe physical disabilities or chronic medical conditions which require 24/7/365 attention. Additionally, the Veteran’s prognosis must be extremely poor.
- Dual Disability: Some Veterans are somewhat mobile, but they are still extremely disabled. If they have two severe disabilities, they might be entitled to SMC(s). One condition must be 100% disabling; the second condition must be at least 60% disabling.
This complex procedure is even more complex if the Veteran receives TDIU benefits for the 60% disability.
Other types of Special Monthly Compensation benefits include SMC(k) and SMC(r). SMC(k) is essentially a supplemental amputation or loss of function. SMC(r) is the aid and attendance benefit. These benefits are available to Veterans who need help performing everyday activities, like going to the bathroom, bathing, or dressing. Alternatively, these Veterans might be constant threats to themselves or others.
Contact Savvy Attorneys
SMC benefits could be the difference between making ends meet and not making ends meet. For a free consultation with an experienced Veterans disability, contact Cameron Firm, PC at 800-861-7262 or fill out the contact box to your right. Because we are here to represent Veterans nationwide.
This article is for educational and marketing purposes only. Consequently, it does not create an attorney-client relationship.