VA Special Monthly Compensation (SMC)

VA Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) provides financial aid to eligible veterans and their families affected by serious disabilities. It is an extension of the standard disability benefits package offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). If you or a veteran you love has mesothelioma and a qualifying SMC disability, we can help you access this benefit and any others you may qualify for.

File for or Increase VA Benefits

What Is VA Special Monthly Compensation?

VA Special Monthly Compensation is tax-free money for veterans who have specific and severe disabilities, such as the loss of a limb, deafness, or blindness.

SMC is an extra payout awarded to those already receiving VA disability compensation. It allows veterans and families to afford care for circumstances that may not be fully covered by standard disability benefits.

U.S. veterans with mesothelioma may qualify for SMC depending on the circumstances of their case. The VA almost always rates veterans with mesothelioma as 100% disabled, allowing them to get the highest disability payouts and, in some cases, additional benefits like SMC.

The Mesothelioma Veterans Center can help you file for VA benefits like SMC or increase your disability rating after a diagnosis. Get started right now.

Need help filing for VA benefits?

VA-Accredited Attorney Eric Hall (Major USAFR) can help you file for free.

  • 20+ years of experience
  • Get or increase your VA payouts
  • Access benefits with no stress

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Eligibility Factors

Several factors determine whether disabled veterans can receive VA Special Monthly Compensation.

To qualify, veterans must have one or more of the following health issues:

  • Amputations
  • Loss of use of body parts
  • Loss of senses like hearing and smell
  • Traumatic brain injuries

U.S. veterans with mesothelioma may qualify for SMC if they have any of these additional health issues.

Veterans are strongly encouraged to work with VA representatives for expert guidance when filing for Special Monthly Compensation and VA disability benefits.

The Mesothelioma Veterans Center has VA-accredited lawyers on staff who can help veterans file for or increase their benefits. Call (877) 450-8973 now.

How Does VA Special Monthly Compensation for Veterans Work?

VA Special Monthly Compensation awards different amounts depending on the veteran’s disability or disabilities. These amounts are broken up into different rates.

SMC disability rates are denoted by letters (SMC-K, L, and M, for example).

SMC rates include:


This is the base Special Monthly Compensation rating. It’s available to any veteran who has lost the use of their hand, foot, eye, or voice, or for veterans who are deaf.

SMC-K provides $132.74 a month, which is added to a veteran’s VA disability compensation payout.

A veteran with mesothelioma could qualify for SMC if they have any of the other health problems mentioned above.

SMC-L Through SMC-O

These SMC levels are assigned by having at least one of the following:

  • Loss or loss of use of one or more limbs or extremities
  • Loss or loss of use of one or both eyes (for example, blindness)
  • Partial or total deafness
  • Permanently bedridden because of an illness
  • Needing daily help with basic tasks (like dressing, bathing, and eating), known as Aid and Attendance (A&A)

Veterans with multiple disabilities or who have very severe ones receive a higher rating and more compensation.

Monthly payments start at $4,651.06 for those receiving SMC-L, with more money being awarded for higher rates and the number of dependents a veteran has.

SMC-R1 and SMC-R2/T

SMC-R1 is assigned if a family member can provide Aid and Attendance for a veteran who is disabled due to an amputation, blindness, and/or deafness.

SMC-R2/T is assigned to veterans who need Aid and Attendance from a licensed medical professional.

Find out if you qualify for VA SMC after a mesothelioma diagnosis: Call (877) 450-8973 right now to get started.


The SMC-S rating is assigned to veterans who are housebound (confined to their home) because of a disability connected to their military service.

Veterans who have a 100% VA disability rating can qualify for SMC-S.

VA Disability Special Monthly Compensation Rates

The basic SMC rates for 2024 range from $132.74 to $10,697.23 per month. Higher amounts can provide significant payouts to veterans with mesothelioma and their families.

Here’s a breakdown of SMC rates with and without a spouse.

SMC RateMonthly PayoutMonthly Payout With Spouse
L 1/2$4,891.50$5,099.90
M 1/2$5,485.61$5,694.01
N 1/2$6,182.55$6,390.95

Further, it may be possible to get additional compensation depending on the other veterans benefits that you qualify for.

Get started now by working with our team. Our VA-accredited lawyers can help you access mesothelioma VA Special Monthly Compensation and other benefits that you qualify for or increase the payout for existing benefits.

Need help filing for VA benefits?

VA-Accredited Attorney Eric Hall (Major USAFR) can help you file for free.

  • 20+ years of experience
  • Get or increase your VA payouts
  • Access benefits with no stress

Eic Hall VA accredited attorney

File for VA Benefits

How to Apply for VA Special Monthly Compensation

Veterans or their loved ones can access VA Special Monthly Compensation by filing a claim with the VA. Learn about the steps below.

1. Apply for VA Disability Compensation

VA Special Monthly Compensation rates are automatically added to your disability compensation payout if you have a qualifying condition.

If you don’t already have VA disability compensation for mesothelioma or another health problem, call (877) 450-8973 to get help applying. Our VA-accredited lawyers can walk you through the process for free.

2. Gather Supporting Documents

Supporting documents, including medical evidence, service records, and any relevant statements, may be needed to receive VA SMC and other benefits for mesothelioma.

We’ll help you gather the correct information needed to file a VA disability claim so you can get the compensation you deserve.

3. Send Application and Documents to VA

Once your application for SMC and any other supporting records have been collected, our VA-accredited attorneys can help you send it to the VA.

The VA will review your application and use the provided evidence to determine your eligibility based on the severity of your disabilities. The VA may also request additional information to support your claim as it is being reviewed.

4. Receive Benefit Payout

Upon approval, the VA will notify you of the granted SMC benefits, specifying the type and amount and when you’ll start to receive them.

Find Help Applying for Mesothelioma VA Special Monthly Compensation

Veterans who are facing mesothelioma as well as disabilities like deafness or blindness may qualify for VA Special Monthly Compensation.

SMC can award thousands of dollars to affected veterans, ensuring they have the financial security to navigate life with these severe health challenges.

The Mesothelioma Veterans Center is proud to offer free help with accessing or increasing VA payouts to qualifying veterans. Our VA-accredited lawyers can help you or a loved one get the benefits you deserve right now.

Get help filing for or increasing your VA benefits like SMC, or call (877) 450-8973 to get started.

VA Special Monthly Compensation FAQs

Is VA Special Monthly Compensation available to mesothelioma patients?

Special Monthly Compensation covers physical and sense-related health conditions like loss of a limb, vision, or hearing. This means it’s available to veterans with mesothelioma who also have one of these qualifying disabilities.

We can determine if you’re eligible for SMC or other benefits after a mesothelioma diagnosis. Further, if you already receive VA benefits, we can help you increase your disability rating to get the highest payouts possible.

Contact us now to connect with our VA-accredited lawyers at no cost to you.

Does the VA pay back pay for SMC?

Yes, the VA may provide retroactive or back pay for Special Monthly Compensation. The effective date for SMC payments is typically the date the VA receives the veteran's claim or the date the veteran becomes eligible, whichever is later.

Veterans should file their claims as soon as they believe they are eligible to ensure they receive the appropriate back pay.

How much does 100% SMC pay?

This depends on what disability or disabilities you have. Remember, SMC is paid in addition to regular VA disability compensation.

As of 2024, the VA pays out $3,946.25 or more to married veterans who have a 100% disability like mesothelioma. If the veteran has an additional disability that makes them eligible for SMC, they could receive even more.

For example, married veterans who qualify for SMC-N1/2 get an additional $6,390.95 per month on top of the monthly $3,946.25 they’d receive for a 100% disability, bringing the total to $10,337.20 per month.

Our team can help you file for VA disability and special monthly compensation or increase your payouts. Call (877) 450-8973 now.

Is VA SMC automatic?

In most cases, yes. VA Special Monthly Compensation will automatically be paid out if you’re receiving VA disability compensation and have a qualifying condition.

If you are homebound or require Aid and Attendance and aren’t receiving SMC automatically, you can apply by using VA Form 21-2680.

Veterans Support Team
Christopher Dryfoos PhotoWritten by:

Contributing Author

Christopher Dryfoos is a journalist and member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA). As the grandson of the U.S. Navy’s first forensic pathologist, he aims to help veterans with mesothelioma access needed care.

  1. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2023, December 15). 2024 VA special monthly compensation rates. Retrieved January 29, 2024, from
  2. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2024, January 17). Compensation. Retrieved January 29, 2024, from
  3. Abrams, R. (2020). Demystifying Special Monthly Compensation. Retrieved January 29, 2024, from