VA Special Monthly Compensation (SMC)

Regular Army: Active Duty

Benefit Fact Sheet

Summary

VA 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.

Eligibility

Veterans, their Spouses, Surviving Spouses and parents are eligible for VA Special Monthly Compensation.

Benefit Highlights

Special Monthly Compensation Rate Payment Variations

Effective December 1, 2021:

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

SMC letter designation

Monthly payment (in U.S. $)

How this payment variation works

SMC-K

118.33

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 have not 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.

How to use the tables to find your monthly payment

Start with the Basic SMC rates table. Find the dependent status in the left column that best describes you. Then find 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 check the Added amounts table, and add these to your amount from the Basic SMC rates table.

Learn more about Aid and Attendance benefits

 

Special Monthly Compensation Rates For Veterans Without Children

Effective December 1, 2021:

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 cannot leave the house because of your service-connected disabilities.

doctor holding a patients hand

SMC-L through SMC-N Rates

L-N

Basic SMC Rates

Dependent status

SMC-L (in U.S. $)

SMC-L 1/2 (in U.S. $)

SMC-M (in U.S. $)

SMC-M 1/2 (in U.S. $)

SMC-N (in U.S. $)

Veteran alone
(no dependents)

4,146.13

4,360.47

4,575.68

4,890.07

5,205.17

With Spouse
(no parents or Children)

4,331.91

4,546.25

4,761.46

5,075.85

5,390.95

With Spouse and 1 parent
(no Children)

4,481.01

4,695.35

4,910.56

5,224.95

5,540.05

With Spouse and 2 parents
(no Children)

4,630.11

4,844.45

5,059.66

5,374.05

5,689.15

With 1 parent
(no Spouse or Children)

4,295.23

4,509.57

4,724.78

5,039.17

5,354.27

With 2 parents
(no Spouse or Children)

4,444.33

4,658.67

4,873.88

5,188.27

5,503.37

Added Amounts

Dependent status

SMC-L (in U.S. $)

SMC-L 1/2 (in U.S. $)

SMC-M (in U.S. $)

SMC-M 1/2 (in U.S. $)

SMC-N (in U.S. $)

Spouse receiving Aid and Attendance

170.38

170.38

170.38

170.38

170.38

SMC-N ½ through SMC-S

N 1/2 - S

Basic SMC rates

Dependent status

SMC-N 1/2 (in U.S. $)

SMC-O/P (in U.S. $)

SMC-R.1 (in U.S. $)

SMC-R.2/T (in U.S. $)

SMC-S (in U.S. $)

Veteran alone
(no dependents)

5,511.35

5,818.09

8,313.61

9,535.91

3,729.64

With Spouse
(no parents or Children)

5,697.13

6,003.87

8,499.39

9,721.69

3,915.42

With Spouse and 1 parent
(no Children)

5,846.23

6,152.97

8,648.49

9,870.79

4,064.52

With Spouse and 2 parents
(no Children)

5,995.33

6,302.07

8,797.59

10,019.89

4,213.62

With 1 parent
(no Spouse or Children)

5,660.45

5,967.19

8,462.71

9,685.01

3,878.74

With 2 parents
(no Spouse or Children)

5,809.55

6,116.29

8,611.81

9,834.11

4,027.84

Added amounts

Dependent status

SMC-N 1/2 (in U.S. $)

SMC-O/P (in U.S. $)

SMC-R.1 (in U.S. $)

SMC-R.2/T (in U.S. $)

SMC-S (in U.S. $)

Spouse receiving Aid and Attendance

170.38

170.38

170.38

170.38

170.38

 

Special Monthly Compensation Rates For Veterans With Dependents, Including Children

Effective December 1, 2021:

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 cannot leave the house because of your service-connected disabilities.

SMC-L through SMC-N


L-N

Basic SMC rates

Dependent status

SMC-L (in U.S. $)

SMC-L 1/2 (in U.S. $)

SMC-M (in U.S. $)

SMC-M 1/2 (in U.S. $)

SMC-N (in U.S. $)

Veteran with 1 Child (no spouse or parents)

4,270.37

4,484.71

4,699.92

5,014.31

5,329.41

With 1 Child and Spouse
(no parents)

4,467.96

4,682.30

4,897.51

5,211.90

5,527.00

With 1 Child, Spouse, and 1 parent

4,617.06

4,831.40

5,046.61

5,361.00

5,676.10

With 1 Child, Spouse, and 2 parents

4,766.16

4,980.50

5,195.71

5,510.10

5,825.20

With 1 Child and 1 parent
(no spouse)

4,419.47

4,633.81

4,849.02

5,163.41

5,478.51

With 1 Child and 2 parents
(no spouse)

4,568.57

4,782.91

4,998.12

5,312.51

5,627.61

Added amounts

Dependent status

SMC-L (in U.S. $)

SMC-L 1/2 (in U.S. $)

SMC-M (in U.S. $)

SMC-M 1/2 (in U.S. $)

SMC-N (in U.S. $)

Each additional Child under age 18

92.31

92.31

92.31

92.31

92.31

Each additional Child over age 18 in a qualifying school program

298.18

298.18

298.18

298.18

298.18

Spouse receiving Aid and Attendance

170.38

170.38

170.38

170.38

170.38

SMC-N ½ through SMC-S

N1/2 - S

Basic SMC rates

Dependent status

SMC-N 1/2 (in U.S. $)

SMC-O/P (in U.S. $)

SMC-R.1 (in U.S. $)

SMC-R.2/T (in U.S. $)

SMC-S (in U.S. $)

Veteran with 1 child
(no Spouse or parents)

5,635.59

5,942.33

8,437.85

9,660.15

3,853.88

With 1 Child and Spouse
(no parents)

5,833.18

6,139.92

8,635.44

9,857.74

4,051.47

With 1 Child, Spouse, and 1 parent

5,982.28

6,289.02

8,784.54

10,006.84

4,200.57

With 1 Child, Spouse, and 2 parents

6,131.38

6,438.12

8,933.64

10,155.94

4,349.67

With 1 Child and 1 parent
(no Spouse)

5,784.69

6,091.43

8,586.95

9,809.25

4,002.98

With 1 Child and 2 parents
(no Spouse)

5,933.79

6,240.53

8,736.05

9,958.35

4,152.08

Added amounts

Dependent status

SMC-N 1/2 (in U.S. $)

SMC-O/P (in U.S. $)

SMC-R.1 (in U.S. $)

SMC-R.2/T (in U.S. $)

SMC-S (in U.S. $)

Each additional Child under age 18

92.31

92.31

92.31

92.31

92.31

Each additional Child over age 18 in a qualifying school program

298.18

298.18

298.18

298.18

298.18

Spouse receiving Aid and Attendance

170.38

170.38

170.38

170.38

170.38

Note: The VA is 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.

Get the latest cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) information on the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) website

How the VA assigns SMC levels L through O:

SMC levels are assigned 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”

Additional Information
Document Review Date: 29 August 2022