Veterans who have been disabled in the line of duty are able to collect certain benefits from the government. The problem with veterans' benefits is that people may not understand them or know how to access them. This week, this column will address one type of veterans' benefits, Special Monthly Compensation, in the hope that doing so will help disabled veterans residing in Pennsylvania get the funds they need to live their best lives following their military service.
What is SMC? Special Monthly Compensation is money paid to qualifying disabled veterans on top of their regular disability compensation. This is a tax-free benefit, but it is only offered to those individuals who have suffered the loss of certain extremities or organs.
How does one know if he or she qualifies for this benefit? There is a long list of qualifying disabilities, which can be found here. If one qualifies for SMC, the amount he or she is paid will be determined on the type of disability experienced and family situation. For example, a veteran who is married and who has dependent children will receive a higher payout than a veteran who is single.
To obtain veterans' benefits such as Special Monthly Compensation, veterans residing in Pennsylvania have to apply for them through the Office of Veterans' Affairs. For SMC, the VA will require medical proof of disability before it can make a decision. Those who are unsure for which benefits they may qualify or whose requests for benefits have been denied can turn to legal counsel for assistance. With help, the brave men and women who have been injured in the line of duty can achieve the help they need to move forward with their lives.