The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers various forms of disability compensation. The objective is to provide financial support to veterans who have been injured or become ill as a result of their service. Here, we take a look at several broad categories of VA disability.
If you want to learn more about your eligibility for these, an Oklahoma VA benefits lawyer can advise you. Our law firm also serves veterans from across the country.
Service-Connected Disability Compensation
This is perhaps the most well-known type of VA compensation and is paid as a tax-free monetary benefit. Disability compensation helps veterans whose disabilities are the result of a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during military service.
Evidence of a direct connection between the condition and the military service must exist. While many of these injuries are physical, they can also be mental health disorders linked to the stresses of service.
The compensation amount is based on the degree of disability, from 10% to 100% and in increments of 10%. A higher rating indicates a more severe disability and therefore results in a greater amount of financial support. Some disabilities can arise during time in the military, while others arise after leaving the service.
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
This tax-free benefit is available to surviving spouses, children, and dependent parents of veterans who died while on:
- Active duty;
- Active duty for training; or
- Inactive duty training.
DIC is also available to survivors of veterans who died because of service-related disabilities. The objective of this compensation is to provide financial stability to a veteran’s loved ones who are left behind. There are various eligibility criteria depending on whether the claimant is a child, spouse, or parent of a deceased veteran.
Ask an Oklahoma veterans’ disability benefits attorney for more information.
Special Monthly Compensation (SMC)
Special Monthly Compensation is another benefit provided to veterans, their spouses, surviving spouses, and parents. The nature of the benefit depends on who is claiming it.
For veterans, SMC provides a higher rate of compensation due to special circumstances. Examples include the need for aid and attendance by another person. The circumstances may also arise out of a specific disability, like the loss of a hand or leg. SMC ensures that veterans receive extra support to pay for specialized care, adaptive equipment, and additional assistance.
For spouses and surviving spouses, meanwhile, this benefit is generally referred to as aid and attendance. It may be used, for example, to cover home care services the veteran needs.
Other Special Circumstances
There are various other types of special support based on a veteran’s unique situation. Some of the special VA disability compensation programs include:
- Individual unemployability
- Automobile allowance
- Clothing allowance
- Birth defect benefits
Making the Most of Your VA Disability Claim
If you’re a veteran or a family member seeking assistance, it’s important to understand the various options available. Our firm will work to ensure you receive the maximum veteran benefits possible. We can handle all aspects of the VA disability benefits process, from applying to appealing an adverse decision.