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Veterans with severe disabilities may pursue special monthly compensation (SMC) claims through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in order to collect disability benefits. However, obtaining SMC benefits can be complicated for a former servicemember, especially if they need to appeal one or more denials.

It may be in your best interest to discuss your claim with a VA-accredited attorney before filing so you can increase your chances of success. If VA denied your SMC claim, a skilled attorney from the experienced team at VetLaw can help you achieve a positive outcome in your case.

Qualifying for SMC Benefits

VA awards SMC to veterans with certain disabilities. It is a tax-free benefit that is awarded in addition to a former servicemember’s compensation for their service-connected disabilities. Circumstances which may qualify a veteran for special monthly compensation include:

  • Loss or loss of use of a body part
  • A combination of certain service-connected conditions rated at levels above 100 percent disability
  • Being housebound
  • Requiring the aid and attendance of another
  • Total deafness
  • Blindness

Veterans do not have to specifically request special monthly compensation when they apply for disability benefits because the VA presumes that all applicants are seeking the maximum amount of compensation available based on the severity and scope of their conditions. However, if the VA denies SMC benefits to a qualifying veteran, it may be in their best interests to consult one of VetLaw’s dedicated attorneys who can assist them with filing effective appellate claims.

Supplemental Evidence

Veterans should be proactive when seeking special monthly compensation and are advised to submit any relevant evidence which supports their claim. A qualified lawyer from our firm can help gather a former servicemember’s medical records to include in their SMC claim. Moreover, medical experts may be needed to examine a veteran’s condition and give an informed opinion to the VA based on their professional training, experience, and evaluation.

A former servicemember’s loved ones are also encouraged to send statements to the VA detailing the amount of care the applicant requires as a result of their service-connected injuries. Veterans should submit as much positive evidence as possible to the VA when filing SMC claims.

Receiving Back Pay

If a veteran does not receive special monthly compensation when they apply for VA benefits, a successful appeal may entitlement them to back pay of the compensation they should have received while their claim was pending. A VA-accredited attorney can help a former servicemember calculate the back pay they may be entitled to.

Seek Out an Attorney for Assistance with Filing SMC Claims

VetLaw’s qualified legal team can assist a veteran with appealing denied SMC claims. If you are still preparing your initial application for benefits, a lawyer from our firm can advise you on what evidence to include.

Having legal representation can make a substantial difference in obtaining special monthly compensation. For advice on how to initiate the process or help with appealing a rejection from the VA, schedule a consultation with our firm as soon as possible.