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Service connected disability compensation is a monetary benefit paid to veterans who are disabled by an injury or disease incurred or aggravated during active military service.
These disabilities are considered to be service-connected. Disability compensation varies with the degree of disability and the number of dependents, and is paid monthly. Veterans with certain service connected disabilities may be eligible for additional special monthly compensation. The benefits are not subject to federal or state income tax.
The rate for service-connected disability compensation effective December 1, 2007 and payable in the January 2008 check is as follows:10%, $117; 20%, $230; 30%, $356; 40%, $512; 50%, $728; 60%, $921; 70%, $1,161; 80%, $1,349; 90%, $1,517; 100%, $2,527.
Veterans with disability ratings of at least 30% are eligible for additional allowances for dependents. The additional amount depends on the disability rating. For example, a married veteran rated at 50% would receive $799 monthly.
Special monthly compensation is payable in addition to the basic rate for the loss, or loss of use of body members or functions. An example would be the loss, or loss of use of a hand or leg.
Other benefits available to certain service-connected disabled veterans include; specially adapted housing grants, automobiles and conveyances, guide dogs for blind veterans, prosthetics and rehabilitative aids, clothing allowance for clothing worn out as a result of prosthetic or orthopedic appliances, drugs, medicines, and rehabilitative devices.
Those veterans desiring to file a claim for service-connected disability compensation are required to submit a formal application. The appropriate formal application form is VA Form 21-526. This form is available at any Veterans Service Office where assistance in completing the form is also available at no charge. The form is also available on line at www.va.gov/vaforms/.
Next month this column will address two special programs; Aid & Attendance, and Housebound benefits which are available to veterans who currently receive VA compensation or pension and meet the requirements of these special programs.
This column provides only general information concerning VA benefits. If you have questions about veteran?s benefits contact VA at 1-800-827-1000 or the Service Officer for DAV Chapter 8 and VFW Post 8184 at 434-316-0229 for assistance. The office, located at 2337 Lakeside Drive, Lynchburg, VA is open for walk-ins on Tuesday 10:00 a. m. - 3:00 p.m. and on Thursday by appointment.
The sources for this article were applicable 2008 VA rate tables, the 2007 edition of the VFW Service Officer handbook, and the 2007 edition of the booklet titled Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents.