Jump to content
  • Latest Donations

  • Advertisemnt

  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims


    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
    Continue Reading
  • Ads

  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   


  • Advertisemnt

  • Advertisemnt

  • Ads

  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

    employment 2.jpeg

    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

Sponsored Ads

  • Searches Community Forums, Blog and more

  • Donation Box

    Please donate to support the community.
    We appreciate all donations!
  • Available Subscriptions

  • 0

Appealing Denial for SMC T based on SMC R2 criteria


Has anyone on this site put in a claim for SMC-t? Do you know of anyone who has been awarded it? I am the sister of a pre 9/11 veteran who has been rated at 100% for TBI P&T. I am his full time caregiver and have been appointed his fiduciary. I also have helped him with his claims...and have done well, until this one. I do my best to give him a high quality of life, but need to hire because his body is fit, but his memory and cognitive skills are in constant decline.

He is a textbook case for SMC T because, in addition to the first 2 requirements, his VA neurologist has also filled out the forms to state that "Without regular in home care the veteran would need to be placed in institutional care". That is a major requirement for an SMC T. We submitted the claim for an SMC T 2015 and they granted him A&A at the L 1/2 rating, which we didn't realize is also required to qualify for SMC t...actually SMC L or higher. We submitted the SMC t claim again April 2016 and they denied it based on R2 criteria. After not knowing what to do about that and not getting any help from the local VSOs (they aren't familiar with this SMC T) a pro bono attorney offered assistance, so we took it.

The decision board came back with a "We got your new claim...we can give you an answer within 30 days or you can have up to a year to submit more evidence." I have NO IDEA what that really means or what to do...So, I submitted for the extra time. Now, I need some guidance.

Should I have people we know write up some buddy letters to explain how much help the vet needs in his daily life? Should I hire one of those VA lawyer firms that take 20% of whatever award is granted? Do any of you know of anyone who has worked on an SMC t? The last report I read was from Dec of last year when the congressional coding was recommended to be changed in order to make the criteria more clear and the "open". The charts show that as of 2011, when the Fast Letter first went out, only 120 or so veterans have been awarded this SMC. So, that's why I am hitting brick walls!

We appreciate any help. Thank you!! 




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Recommended Posts

  • 0

If you have the paperwork from the doctor I would personally go to your RO and they can help you file the right paperwork for his SMC. It may greatly increase the chance of getting it the first time around.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


  • 0

We filed the original claim through the RO in Austin.  The rep was unfamiliar with the SMC-t, but so were all of the other VSOs I spoke with. I presented all of the documentation that I could gather, based on the information we had access to, and she filed it.  She was very unenthusiastic and told me two times that I should place him in a VA care facility.  When the claim was denied, she was "done". The denial letter states the reasons for denial as physical ones and noted other things that are required as criteria for r2....that's not the SMC we filed for. 

After asking for help from several VSOs in the area and one tried to explain the different choices I could make in the appeals process, but I couldn't get an apt to see them in person for awhile. I agreed to have the lawyers draw up the NOD because they could get me in to see them. Maybe that isn't even the step that we should have taken. 

So, go back to the RO?...don't be as concerned about finding a VSO who understands the SMC t, but rather one who is good at navigating us through the appeals process? 


Edited by SupermanCannedy

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Keep trying. I'm sure there is somebody out there that has more knowledge on SMC issues. You can try posting the denial letter and maybe it will spark someone's attention. Make sure you edit out private info i.e.: names, addresses, SS number...

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Could you post a redacted copy of the Denial Letter?

Semper Fi

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0


    It looks like you have done your homework: You know the criteria for SMC T.  Dont overlook the basics, tho, the 3 caluza elements.   (I wish had a key on my computer that copied the Caluza elements of a)Current diagnosis, b)  in service event or aggravation and c) nexus or docs opinion that the previous caluza elements are at least as likely as not related.  

     Do not forget the basics.  VA wont.  

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Ads

  • Ad

  • Latest News
  • Our picks

    • SHOW YOUR SUPPORT: Ad Free Subscriptions to the Forum available
      Ad free subscriptions are available for the forum. Subscriptions give you the forums ad free and help support the forum and site. Monthly $5 Annually $50 https://community.hadit.com/subscriptions/

      Every bit helps - Thank you.

      • 0 replies
    • Choosing a VA Disability Attorney Means Learning What Questions to Ask
      Choosing a VA Disability Attorney Means Learning What Questions to Ask. Chris Attig - Veterans Law Blog 

      <br style="color:#000000; text-align:start">How to Hire an Attorney For Your VA Claim or Appeal Free Guidebook available on the Veterans Law Blog

      I got an email the other day from a Veteran.  It had 2 or 3 sentences about his claim, and then closed at the end: “Please call me. So-and-so told me you were the best and I want your help.”

      While I appreciate the compliments, I shudder a little at emails like this.  For 2 reasons.

      First, I get a lot of emails like this.  And while I diligently represent my clients – I often tell them we will pursue their claim until we have no more appeals or until we win – I am most assuredly not the best.

      There are a LOT of damn good VA Disability attorneys out there.  (Most, if not all, of the best are members of the National Organization of Veterans Advocates…read about one of them, here)

      Second, I don’t want Veterans to choose their attorney based on who their friend thought was the best.  I want Veterans to choose the VA Disability attorney who is BEST for their case.

      In some situations, that may be the Attig Law Firm.

      But it may also be be Hill and Ponton, or Chisholm-Kilpatrick, or Bergman Moore.  Or any one of the dozens of other attorneys who have made the representation of Veterans their professional life’s work.

      There are hundreds of attorneys that are out there representing Veterans, and I’m here to tell you that who is best for your friend’s case may not be the best for your case.

      How do you Find the Best VA Disability Attorney for your Claim?

      First, you have to answer the question: do you NEED an attorney?

      Some of you don’t...
      • 1 reply
    • VA Emergency Medical Care
      VA Emergency Medical Care
      • 3 replies
    • Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act
      Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act
      • 0 replies
    • Thanks Berta for your help. I did receive my 100% today for my IU claim on 6/20/2018. It only took 64 days to complete and it is p&t. Thanks for your words of wisdom. 

Important Information

{terms] and Guidelines