Receiving Compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs

The Department of Veterans Affairs disability provides monthly benefits to veterans in recognition of the effects of disabilities, diseases, or injuries received or aggravated during active military service. The program also provides monthly payments to surviving spouses, dependent children, and dependent parents in recognition of the economic loss caused by a veteran’s death during military service or, after discharge from military service, as a result of a service-connected disability.  The following is a summary of the VA’s disability compensation programs.

Disability Compensation is a tax-free monetary benefit paid to veterans with disabilities that are the result of a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active military service. The benefit amount is graduated according to the degree of the veteran’s disability on a scale from 10 percent to 100 percent (in increments of 10 percent). Compensation may also be paid for disabilities that are considered related or secondary to disabilities occurring in service and for disabilities presumed to be related to circumstances of military service, even though they may arise after service. Generally, the degrees of disability specified are also designed to compensate for considerable loss of working time from exacerbations or illnesses.

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a tax-free monetary benefit generally payable to a surviving spouse, child, or parent of Servicemembers who died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, or to survivors of veterans who died from their service-connected disabilities. Parents DIC is an income-based benefit for parents who were financially dependent on a servicemember or veteran who died from a service-related cause.

Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) is an additional tax-free benefit that can be paid to Veterans, their spouses, surviving spouses and parents. For Veterans, Special Monthly Compensation is a higher rate of compensation paid due to special circumstances such as the need of aid and attendance by another person or by specific disability, such as loss of use of one hand or leg. For spouses and surviving spouses, this benefit is commonly referred to as aid and attendance and is paid based on the need of aid and attendance by another person.

Veterans may be eligible for other types of disability compensation once a disability has been determined to be service connected. Special VA disability compensation programs include: individual unemployability, automobile allowance, clothing allowance, prestabilization, hospitalization, convalescence, dental, and birth defects.  Each program has their own special circumstances.  For example, the VA may provide compensation for injuries incurred or aggravated while receiving care from VA, such as medical treatment or vocational rehabilitation.

Automobile Allowance is a program where the VA may provide veterans with a one-time allowance to purchase a new or used car to accommodate a service-connected disability. This benefit is available to Veterans with certain severe service-connected disabilities, such as loss of, or permanent loss of use of, a hand or foot. This benefit can also be used to purchase adaptive equipment. There is also a Clothing Allowance.  The VA may provide an annual clothing allowance to veterans, who use a prosthetic or orthopedic device (including a wheelchair) because of a service-connected disability, or has a service-connected skin condition and uses a medication that causes irreparable damage to outer garments.

Some of the many medical programs are the Birth Defects and Spina Bifida program, where the VA may provide a tax-free monetary allowance to children with Spina Bifida or certain birth defects born to women who served in the Republic of Vietnam or served in or near the demilitarization zone in Korea during certain time periods.  Dental benefits are provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) according to law. In some instances, VA is authorized to provide extensive dental care, while in other cases treatment may be limited.

VA may grant a temporary 100 percent disability compensation rating to recover from surgery or immobilization of a joint by a cast without surgery for a service-connected disability.  VA may also grant a temporary 100% disability compensation rating to a Veteran who is hospitalized for more than 21 days for a service-connected disability.

There are so many programs and compensations, each made specifically to meet the needs of the veterans who served our country.  Spread the word to others about the programs, so that veterans can receive compensation.


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