At Hill & Ponton, we see many Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) cases. TBI is a condition that is prevalent among Afghanistan and Iraq veterans, who were often exposed to roadside bombs (IEDs), fire bombs, and other explosives. Some residuals of traumatic brain injury are apparent right away; others take longer to manifest.
In 2008, the VA did an overhaul of the rating system for TBI, and added a new section to the VA regulations – 38 C.F.R § 3.310. Under the new rating schedule, veterans can be compensated for TBI in the following categories:
- Emotional/Behavioral residuals
- Physical (neurological) dysfunction
- Subjective symptoms
- Cognitive impairment residuals
Under this recent over haul of the rating system for TBI, the VA also recognized that the costs associated with TBI-related care can be astronomical. The VA established a Special Monthly Compensation benefit specifically for TBI cases (SMC t), under 38 U.S.C.S. § 1114 (t). This benefit pays at the highest possible level of Special Monthly Compensation (SMC R-2), but without stringent requirements of the SMC R-2 benefit.
In order to be eligible for this type of special monthly compensation, the veteran must be able to prove that, due to TBI residuals:
- The veteran is in need of aid and attendance
- The veteran would require hospitalization, nursing home care, or other residential institutional care in the absence of regular in-home aid and attendance.
- The veteran does not otherwise qualify for a higher level of Aid & Attendance under 38 U.S.C.S. § 1114 (R-2).
In order to be considered in need of Aid & Attendance, the veteran must demonstrate:
- Inability to dress/undress without assistance
- Inability to keep clean and presentable without assistance
- Inability to feed oneself without assistance
- Inability to attend to the wants of nature
- Exposure to hazards/dangers incident to daily environment
This special monthly compensation benefit pays at the same rate as SMC (R-2).
|Veteran Alone||$8,318.95||Veteran with Spouse and One Child||$8,599.72|
|Veteran with Spouse||$8,481.02||Veteran with One Child||$8,427.34|
|Veteran with Spouse and One Parent||$8,611.08||Veteran with Spouse, One Parent and One Child||$8,729.78|
|Veteran with Spouse and Two Parents||$8,741.14||Veteran with Spouse, Two Parents and One Child||$8,859.84|
|Veteran with One Parent||$8,449.01||Veteran with One Parent and One Child||$8,557.40|
|Veteran with Two Parents||$8,579.07||Veteran with Two Parents and One Child||$8,859.84|
|Additional A/A spouse.||$148.64||Add for Each Additional Child Under Age 18||$80.52|
|Each Additional Schoolchild Over Age 18||$260.13|
|Additional A/A spouse||$148.64|