The VA’s New Definition Of Custodial Care

As some of my loyal readers know, I regularly peruse the VA’s Web Automated Reference Material System. WARMS, as I affectionately call it, houses VA employee manuals. These manuals direct VA employees on how to properly adjudicate claims. WARMS is updated regularly and provides valuable insight into how the VA should be operating on any given […]

Marginal Employment And TDIU

A fundamental tenet of TDIU is the unemployability of the claimant.  To receive a greater monthly benefit than the scheduler rating dictates, the VA says that the claimant must demonstrate, through medical records and other evidence, an inability to work. Unemployability and the inability to work, however, are not categorical or clear-cut.  I’ve already written […]


The Department of Veterans Affairs makes many mistakes when deciding benefits claims.  The numbers are staggering.  And while the VA asserts that errors are in decline, a claimant should always be prepared to receive a denial letter.  Denial letters are, unfortunately, part and parcel of dealing with the VA. Given that a claimant stands a […]

Special Monthly Pension With Aid And Attendance

Detailed and well researched studies show that one reason people don’t like bureaucrats, doctors, and lawyers is because these professionals use jargon and complicated industry speak.  While maybe a surprise to these well educated professionals, most people prefer clear explanations that use everyday language to explain a concept.  If you can’t explain something to a […]


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 […]

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