What is SMC-L

SMC-L is a specific kind of benefit within the spectrum of Special Monthly Compensation.

Special Monthly Compensation benefits are additional benefits above the regular scheduler compensation ratings.  SMC is not awarded to compensate for economic loss.  SMC is awarded to compensate for personal inconvenience and the overall severity of the disability.

The L refers to a part of Title 38 of the United States Code.

Am I Eligible for SMC-L?

To qualify for SMC-L, the veteran must be rated at 100% service connected.  Additionally, the veteran must meet one of the following:

— Anatomical loss or loss of use of both feet

— Anatomical loss or loss of use of one hand and one foot

— Blindness in both eyes with visual acuity of 5/200 or less

— Permanently Bedridden

— In need of regular need of Aid and Attendance

The first three eligibility factors in the above list do not leave much room for confusion and interpretation.  Anatomical loss and blindness are generally clear cut.

And you do not need to worry about the definition of permanently bedridden.  If you do meet the murky definition of permanently bedridden, you almost certainly need the regular Aid and Attendance of another person.

What Is Regular Aid and Attendance?

Regular does not mean constant.  Regular does not even mean daily.  Regular means two or three times per week.

Aid and Attendance means assistance with custodial care.  Custodial care means assistance with more than one activity of daily living (ADL).

The list of ADL’s is short.  Bathing, dressing, transferring, eating, toileting, and personal hygiene are ADL’s.  Activities like meal preparation and medication management are not ADL’s.

If you require and receive assistance with at least two of the above activities on a regular basis, you are in need of the regular aid and attendance of another person.


If you are 100% service connected, and receive assistance with two or more activities of daily living as a result of that rating, you are entitled to SMC-L.

If you receive assistance with ADL’s because of a non-service connected disability (i.e. age) or for a disability not connected to your 100% rating, you will not be eligible for SMC-L.

If the VA has denied, your claim for benefits, contact VA Legal Team today for a free case review.