Q: Can a veteran receive additional payments for serious disabilities?
Yes. The VA can pay additional compensation to a veteran who, as a result of military service, incurred the loss or loss of use of specific organs or extremities.
Loss, or loss of use, is described as either an amputation or, having no effective remaining function of an extremity or organ. The disabilities the VA can consider for a special monthly compensation include:
- loss, or loss of use, of a hand or foot
- immobility of a joint or paralysis
- loss of sight of an eye (having only light perception)
- loss, or loss of use, of a reproductive organ
- complete loss, or loss of use, of both buttocks
- deafness in both ears (having absence of air and bone conduction)
- inability to communicate by speech
- loss of a percentage of tissue from a single breast, or both breasts, from mastectomy or radiation treatment
The VA will pay higher rates for combinations of these disabilities such as loss or loss of use of the feet, legs, hands, and arms, in specific monetary increments, based on the particular combination of these disabilities. There are also higher payments for various combinations of severe deafness with bilateral blindness.
Additional compensation is available if a veteran is service-connected for paraplegia, with complete loss of bowel and bladder control.
In addition, if you have other service-connected disabilities that, in combination with the above special monthly compensation, meet certain criteria, a higher amount of compensation can be awarded.
How can you apply?
Contact our office for help in applying. A formal appliction for loss of use is not required, in fact, VA medical records establish a claim for additional compensation based on loss of use. However, the claim needs to be pushed through the system; a letter of formal motion to the VA to adjudcate the claim is necessary to prevent the claim for sitting on the back burner.