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2019 VA special monthly compensation rates

VA special monthly compensation (SMC) is a higher rate of compensation that we pay to Veterans as well as their spouses, surviving spouses, and parents with certain needs or disabilities. Find the 2019 special monthly compensation rates that may apply to you.

Special monthly compensation rate payment variations

Effective December 1, 2018

Levels K and Q are special rates called SMC rate payment variations. We may add Level K to your basic SMC rate.

  • SMC rate payment variations—all rates in $ U.S. dollars
    SMC letter designation Monthly payment How this payment variation works
    SMC-K 108.57 If you qualify for SMC-K, we add this rate to your basic disability compensation rate for any disability rating from 0% to 100%. We also add this rate to all SMC basic rates except SMC-O, SMC-Q, and SMC-R. You may receive 1 to 3 SMC-K awards in addition to basic and SMC rates.
    SMC-Q 67.00 This is a protected rate that we haven’t awarded since August 19, 1968. If we awarded you an SMC-Q designation, we pay this rate in place of your basic disability compensation rate.

Special monthly compensation rates for Veterans without children

Effective December 1, 2018

Levels L through O cover specific disabilities and situations. Learn how we assign SMC levels L through O

Level R may apply if you need daily help from another person for basic needs (like dressing, eating, and bathing).

Level S may apply if you can’t leave the house because of your service-connected disabilities.

  • Start with the Basic SMC rates table. Find the dependent status in the left column that best describes you. Then look for your SMC letter designation in the top row. Your monthly basic rate is where your dependent status and SMC letter meet.

    If you have more than one child or your spouse receives Aid and Attendance benefits, be sure to also look at the Added amounts table, and add these to your amount from the Basic SMC rates table.

    Basic SMC rates—all rates in $ U.S. dollars
    Dependent status SMC-L SMC-L 1/2 SMC-M SMC-M 1/2 SMC-N
    Veteran alone

    (no dependents)

    3,804.04 4,000.69 4,198.14 4,486.58 4,775.68
    With spouse

    (no parents or children)

    3,974.49 4,171.14 4,368.59 4,657.03 4,946.13
    With spouse and 1 parent

    (no children)

    4,111.28 4,307.93 4,505.38 4,793.82 5,082.92
    With spouse and 2 parents

    (no children)

    4,248.07 4,444.72 4,642.17 4,930.61 5,219.71
    With 1 parent

    (no spouse or children)

    3,940.83 4,137.48 4,334.93 4,623.37 4,912.47
    With 2 parents

    (no spouse or children)

    4,077.62 4,274.27 4,471.72 4,760.16 5,049.26
    Added amounts—all rates in $ U.S. dollars
    Dependent status SMC-L SMC-L 1/2 SMC-M SMC-M 1/2 SMC-N
    Spouse receiving Aid and Attendance 156.32 156.32 156.32 156.32 156.32
  • Start with the Basic SMC rates table. Find the dependent status in the left column that best describes you. Then look for your SMC letter designation in the top row. Your monthly basic rate is where your dependent status and SMC letter meet.

    If you have more than one child or your spouse receives Aid and Attendance benefits, be sure to also look at the Added amounts table, and add these to your amount from the Basic SMC rates table.

    Basic SMC rates—all rates in $ U.S. dollars
    Dependent status SMC-N 1/2 SMC-O/P SMC-R.1 SMC-R.2/T SMC-S
    Veteran alone

    (no dependents)

    5,055.60 5,338.04 7,627.64 8,749.09 3,421.90
    With spouse

    (no parents or children)

    5,227.05 5,508.49 7,798.09 8,919.54 3,592.35
    With spouse and 1 parent

    (no children)

    5,363.84 5,645.28 7,934.48 9,056.33 3,729.14
    With spouse and 2 parents

    (no children)

    5,500.63 5,782.07 8,071.67 9,193.12 3,865.93
    With 1 parent

    (no spouse or children)

    5,193.39 5,474.83 7,764.43 8,885.88 3,558.69
    With 2 parents

    (no spouse or children)

    5,330.18 5,611.62 7,901.22 9,022.67 3,695.48
    Added amounts—all rates in $ U.S. dollars
    Dependent status SMC-N 1/2 SMC-O/P SMC-R.1 SMC-R.2/T SMC-S
    Spouse receiving Aid and Attendance 156.32 156.32 156.32 156.32 156.32

Special monthly compensation rates for Veterans with dependents, including children

Effective December 1, 2018

Levels L through O cover specific disabilities and situations. Learn how we assign SMC levels L through O

Level R may apply if you need daily help from another person for basic needs (like dressing, eating, and bathing).

Level S may apply if you can’t leave the house because of your service-connected disabilities.

  • Start with the Basic SMC rates table. Find the dependent status in the left column that best describes you. Then look for your SMC letter designation in the top row. Your monthly basic rate is where your dependent status and SMC letter meet.

    If you have more than one child or your spouse receives Aid and Attendance benefits, be sure to also look at the Added amounts table, and add these to your amount from the Basic SMC rates table.

    Basic SMC rates—all rates in $ U.S. dollars
    Dependent status SMC-L SMC-L 1/2 SMC-M SMC-M 1/2 SMC-N
    Veteran with one child

    (no spouse or parents)

    3,918.03 4,114.68 4,312.13 4,600.57 4,889.67
    With 1 child and spouse

    (no parents)

    4,099.32 4,295.97 4,493.42 4,781.86 5,070.96
    With 1 child, spouse, and 1 parent

    4,236.11 4,432.76 4,630.21 4,918.65 5,207.75
    With 1 child, spouse, and 2 parents

    4,372.90 4,569.55 4,767.00 5,055.44 5,344.54
    With 1 child and 1 parent

    (no spouse)

    4,054.82 4,251.47 4,448.92 4,737.36 5,026.46
    With 1 child and 2 parents

    (no spouse)

    4,191.61 4,388.26 4,585.71 4,874.15 5,163.25
    Added amounts—all rates in $ U.S. dollars
    Dependent status SMC-L SMC-L 1/2 SMC-M SMC-M 1/2 SMC-N
    Each additional child under age 18 84.69 84.69 84.69 84.69 84.69
    Each additional child over age 18 in a qualifying school program 273.58 273.58 273.58 273.58 273.58
    Spouse receiving Aid and Attendance 156.32 156.32 156.32 156.32 156.32
  • Start with the Basic SMC rates table. Find the dependent status in the left column that best describes you. Then look for your SMC letter designation in the top row. Your monthly basic rate is where your dependent status and SMC letter meet.

    If you have more than one child or your spouse receives Aid and Attendance benefits, be sure to also look at the Added amounts table, and add these to your amount from the Basic SMC rates table.

    Basic SMC rates—all rates in $ U.S. dollars
    Dependent status SMC-N 1/2 SMC-O/P SMC-R.1 SMC-R.2/T SMC-S
    Veteran with one child

    (no spouse or parents)

    5,170.59 5,452.03 7,741.63 8,863.08 3,535.89
    With 1 child and spouse

    (no parents)

    5,351.88 5,633.32 7,922.92 9,044.37 3,717.18
    With 1 child, spouse, and 1 parent

    5,307.38 5,770.11 8,059.71 9,181.16 3,853.97
    With 1 child, spouse, and 2 parents

    5,625.46 5,906.90 8,196.50 9,317.95 3,990.76
    With 1 child and 1 parent

    (no spouse)

    5,307.38 5,588.82 7,878.42 8,999.87 3,672.68
    With 1 child and 2 parents

    (no spouse)

    5,444.17 5,725.61 8,015.21 9,136.66 3,809.47
    Added amounts—all rates in $ U.S. dollars
    Dependent status SMC-N 1/2 SMC-O/P SMC-R.1 SMC-R.2/T SMC-S
    Each additional child under age 18 84.69 84.69 84.69 84.69 84.69
    Each additional child over age 18 in a qualifying school program 273.58 273.58 273.58 273.58 273.58
    Spouse receiving Aid and Attendance 156.32 156.32 156.32 156.32 156.32

 

Note: We’re required by law to match the percentage of cost-of-living adjustments made to Social Security benefits. These adjustments help to make sure that the purchasing power of your benefits keeps up with inflation. You can get the latest cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) information on the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) website.

 

How to use the tables to find your monthly payment

Find your basic rate

Go to the SMC rate that applies to you. On the Basic SMC rates table, find the amount for your disability rating and SMC letter designation. This is your monthly basic rate.

Example (Veteran with no children): If you were a Veteran with a dependent spouse (no dependent parents or children), and you had an SMC-M designation, your monthly basic rate would be $4,368.59 each month.

 

Find your added amounts, if any apply

If your spouse receives Aid and Attendance benefits or you have more than one child, you may qualify for additional monthly payment amounts as listed in the Added amounts table.  

First, determine your basic rate.

Example (Veteran with children): If you’re a Veteran with an SMC-L designation, and you have 4 dependent children (1 child over age 18 in a qualifying school program and 3 children under age 18), and a dependent spouse, you would start with a basic SMC rate of $4,099.32 for a Veteran with one child and spouse (no parents).

Next, look at the Added amounts table. Find the amount for children under age 18 ($84.69).

Since your basic rate already provides payment for 1 child, you would add the rate of $84.69 for each additional child under age 18 (so $84.69 x 2).

Then, look for the rate for each additional child over 18 in a qualifying school program ($273.58).

If your spouse receives Aid and Attendance, you would also add $156.32 (which is the added amount for a spouse receiving Aid and Attendance, for a Veteran with a SMC-L designation).

Add these amounts to your basic rate to get your total monthly payment amount.

In our example of a Veteran with a SMC-L designation, your total monthly payment amount would be:

$4,099.32 basic rate (1 spouse, 1 child)
+ 84.69 (second child under 18)
+84.69(third child under 18)
+273.58 (1 child over 18, in a qualifying school program)
+$156.32 (spouse who receives Aid and Attendance)
Total $4,698.60


How we assign SMC levels L through O

We assign SMC levels based on very specific situations and combinations of situations, including:

  • The amputation of one or more limbs or extremities
  • The loss of use of one or more limbs or extremities (meaning you have no effective function remaining)
  • The physical loss of one or both eyes
  • The loss of sight or total blindness in one or both eyes
  • Being permanently bedridden (unable to get out of bed)
  • Needing daily help with basic needs (like eating, dressing, and bathing), also called “Aid and Attendance”

Select an SMC letter below to learn more about the specific situations and combinations of situations that fall within that designation.

  • You may receive an SMC-L designation if any of the below situations are true for you.

    You have:

    • Had both feet amputated, or
    • Had one foot amputated, and have lost the use of the other foot, or
    • Had one hand and one foot amputated, or
    • Had one foot amputated, and have lost the use of one hand, or
    • Had one hand amputated, and have lost the use of one foot

    Or you have:

    • Lost the use of both feet, or
    • Lost the use of one hand and one foot

    Or you:

    • Have lost sight in both eyes (blindness), or
    • Are permanently bedridden, or
    • Need daily help with basic needs (like eating, dressing, and bathing)
    • You may receive an SMC-L 1/2 designation if any of the below situations are true for you.

      You have:

      • Had one foot and the other knee amputated, or
      • Had one foot amputated, and have lost the use of the other knee, or
      • Had one foot and one elbow amputated, or
      • Had one foot amputated, and have lost the use of one elbow, or
      • Had one knee and one hand amputated, or
      • Had one knee amputated, and have lost the use of one hand

      Or you have:

      • Lost the use of one foot, and have had the other knee amputated, or
      • Lost the use of one foot, and have had one elbow amputated, or
      • Lost the use of one foot and one elbow, or
      • Lost the use of one knee, and have had one hand amputated, or
      • Lost the use of one knee and one hand

      Or you have:

      • Blindness in one eye and total blindness in the other eye with only the ability to perceive light, or
      • Blindness in both eyes, and have lost the use of one foot (rated as less than 50% disabling)
    • You may receive an SMC-M designation if any of the below situations are true for you.

      You have:

      • Had both hands amputated, or
      • Had one hand amputated, and have lost the use of the other hand, or
      • Had both knees amputated, or
      • Had one elbow and one knee amputated, or 
      • Had one foot amputated, and have lost the use of one arm at the shoulder, or
      • Had one foot amputated, and have had one leg amputated so close to the hip that you can't wear a prosthesis, or
      • Had one foot amputated, and have had one arm amputated so close to the shoulder that you can't wear a prosthesis, or
      • Had one hand amputated, and have had one leg amputated so close to the hip that you can't wear a prosthesis

      Or you have:

      • Lost the use of both hands, or
      • Lost the use of both knees, or
      • Lost the use of one elbow and one knee, or
      • Lost the use of one foot and the use of one arm at the shoulder, or
      • Lost the use of one foot, and have had one leg amputated so close to the hip that you can't wear a prosthesis, or
      • Lost the use of one foot, and have had one arm amputated so close to the shoulder that you can't wear a prosthesis, or
      • Lost the use of one hand, and have had one leg amputated so close to the hip that you can't wear a prosthesis

      Or you have blindness in one eye, and you have:

      • Physically lost the other eye, or
      • Total blindness without the ability to perceive light in the other eye, or
      • Total blindness in the other eye with only the ability to perceive light, and have total deafness in one ear, or
      • Total blindness in the other eye with only the ability to perceive light, and have lost the use of one foot (rated as less than 50% disabling)

      Or you have blindness in both eyes:

      • That's considered total blindness, with only the ability to perceive light, or
      • That requires you to have daily help with basic needs (like eating, dressing, and bathing)

      Or you have blindness in both eyes, and you have:

      • Deafness in both (rated as 30% or more disabling), or
      • Had one hand amputated, or
      • Lost the use of one hand, or
      • Had one foot amputated, or
      • Lost the use of one foot (rated as 50% or more disabling)
    • You may receive an SMC-M 1/2 designation if any of the below situations are true for you.

      You have:

      • Had one knee amputated, and have had one leg amputated so close to the hip that you can’t wear a prosthesis, or
      • Had one knee amputated, and have had one arm amputated so close to the shoulder that you can’t wear a prosthesis, or
      • Had one elbow amputated, and have had one leg amputated so close to the hip that you can’t wear a prosthesis, or
      • Had one hand and one elbow amputated, or
      • Had one hand amputated, and have lost the use of one elbow

      Or you have:

      • Lost the use of one knee, and have had one leg amputated so close to the hip that you can’t wear a prosthesis, or
      • Lost the use of one knee, and have had one arm amputated so close to the shoulder that you can’t wear a prosthesis, or
      • Lost the use of one elbow, and have had one leg amputated so close to the hip that you can’t wear a prosthesis, or
      • Lost of use of one hand, and have had one elbow amputated, or
      • Lost the use of one hand and of one elbow

      Or you have total blindness with only the ability to perceive light:

      • In one eye, and have physically lost the other eye, or
      • In one eye, and have total blindness without the ability to perceive light in the other eye, or
      • In both eyes, and have lost the use of one foot (rated as less than 50% disabling)

      Or you have blindness in one eye, and you have:

      • Physically lost the other eye, and have total deafness in one ear, or
      • Total blindness without the ability to perceive light in the other eye, and have total deafness in one ear, or
      • Total blindness with only the ability to perceive light in the other eye, and have deafness in both ears (rated as 30% or more disabling), or
      • Total blindness with only the ability to perceive light in the other eye, and have had one foot amputated, or
      • Total blindness with only the ability to perceive light in the other eye, and have lost the use of one foot (rated as 50% or more disabling), or
      • Total blindness with only the ability to perceive light in the other eye, and have had one hand amputated, or
      • Total blindness with the only ability to perceive light in the other eye, and have lost the use of one hand

      Or you have blindness in both eyes:

      • And total deafness in one ear, or
      • That requires you to have daily help with basic needs (like eating, bathing, and dressing), and have lost the use of one foot (rated as less than 50% disabling)
    • You may receive an SMC-N designation if any of the below situations are true for you.

      You have:

      • Had both elbows amputated, or
      • Had both legs amputated so close to the hip that you can’t wear a prosthesis, or
      • Had one arm and one leg amputated so close to the shoulder and hip that you can’t wear a prosthesis on either, or
      • Had one hand amputated and one arm amputated so close to the shoulder that you can’t wear a prosthesis

      Or you have:

      • Lost the use of both elbows, or
      • Lost the use of one hand, and have had one arm amputated so close to the shoulder that you can’t wear a prosthesis

      Or you have:

      • Physically lost both eyes, or
      • Have total blindness without the ability to perceive light

      Or you have total blindness with only the ability to perceive light in one eye, and you have:

      • Physically lost the other eye, and have deafness in both ears (rated as 10% or 20% disabling), or
      • Total blindness without the ability to perceive light in the other eye, and have deafness in both ears (rated as 10% or 20% disabling), or
      • Physically lost the other eye, and have lost the use of one foot (rated as less than 50% disabling), or
      • Total blindness without the ability to perceive light in the other eye, and have lost the use of one foot (rated as less than 50% disabling)

      Or you have total blindness with only the ability to perceive light in both eyes, and you have:

      • Deafness in both ears (rated as 30% or more disabling), or
      • Had one hand amputated, or
      • Lost the use of one foot, or
      • Lost the use of one hand, or
      • Had one foot amputated, or
      • Lost the use of one foot (rated as 50% or more disabling)

      Or you have blindness in one eye, and you have:

      • Physically lost the other eye, and have deafness in both ears (rated as 30% or more disabling), or
      • Total blindness without the ability to perceive light in the other eye, and have deafness in both ears (rated as 30% or more disabling)

      Or you have blindness in both eyes that requires you to have daily help with basic needs (like dressing, eating, or bathing), and you have:

      • Deafness in both ears (rated as 30% or more disabling), or
      • Had one hand amputated, or
      • Lost the use of one hand, or
      • Had one foot amputated, or
      • Lost the use of one foot (rated as 50% disabling)
    • You may receive an SMC-N 1/2 designation if any of the below situations are true for you.

      You have:

      • Had one elbow amputated, and have had one arm amputated so close to the shoulder that you can’t wear a prosthesis, or
      • Lost the use of one elbow, and have had one arm amputated so close to the shoulder that you can’t wear a prosthesis, or
      • Physically lost both eyes, and have lost the use of one foot (rated as less than 50% disabling), or
      • Total blindness without the ability to see light, and have lost the use of one foot (rated as less than 50%)

      Or you have total blindness with only the ability to perceive light in one eye, have physically lost the other eye, and you have:

      • Deafness in both ears (rated as 30% or more disabling), or
      • Had one foot amputated, or
      • Lost the use of one foot (rated as 50% or more disabling), or
      • Had one hand amputated, or
      • Lost the use of one hand

      Or you have total blindness with only the ability to perceive light in one eye and total blindness without the ability to perceive light in the other eye, and you have:

      • Deafness in both ears (rated as 30% or more disabling), or
      • Had one foot amputated, or
      • Lost the use of one foot (rated as 50% or more disabling), or
      • Had one hand amputated, or
      • Lost the use of one hand
    • You may receive an SMC-O designation if any of the below situations are true for you.

      You have:

      • Had both arms amputated so close to the shoulder that you can’t wear a prosthesis, or
      • Complete paralysis of both legs that’s resulted in being unable to control your bladder or bowels

      Or you have:

      • Hearing loss in both ears (with at least one ear’s deafness caused by military service) that’s rated as 60% or more disabling, and you have blindness in both eyes, or
      • Hearing loss in both ears (with at least one ear’s deafness caused by military service) that’s rated as 40% or more disabling, and you have blindness in both eyes with only the ability to perceive light, or
      • Total deafness in one ear as well as blindness in both eyes with only the ability to perceive light

      Or you have total blindness without the ability to see light, and you have:

      • Deafness in both ears (rated as 30% or more disabling), or
      • Had one foot amputated, or
      • Lost the use of one foot (rated as 50% or more disabling), or
      • Had one hand amputated, or
      • Lost the use of one hand

      Or you have physically lost both eyes, and you have:

      • Deafness in both ears (rated as 30% or more disabling), or
      • Had one foot amputated, or
      • Lost the use of one foot (rated as 50% or more disabling), or
      • Had one hand amputated, or
      • Lost the use of one hand

    Historic rates

    View special monthly compensation rates for past years.

    Rates effective December 1, 2017
    Rates effective December 1, 2016
    Rates effective December 1, 2014 and earlier

    Last updated: