Disability for Amputations
The VA awards disability compensation for each amputation that is service-connected. The DoD will also rate service-connected amputations as long as they also make the service member Unfit for Duty. For Reservists, the amputation must have occurred in or resulted from an injury in the Line of Duty to qualify.
Amputations can occur on any external portion of the body, but each amputation provides a unique level of disability for the veteran. Because of this, the VASRD offers specific ratings based on the degree and location of each amputation (a finger at the first knuckle, an entire leg at the hip, etc.). The ratings are intended to reflect the amount of impact the amputation has on the veteran’s ability to work and/or function in daily life.
Many amputations also qualify for Special Monthly Compensation, either in addition to or instead of the standard disability compensation for amputations.
SMC-K is given in addition to the standard compensation for an amputation. It is given for the following conditions:
- Amputation of a hand
- Amputation of a foot
- Amputation of an eye
- Amputation of a creative organ
- Amputation of 25% or more of breast tissue in one or both breasts combined
SMC-L through SMC-O is given instead of the standard compensation for amputations. These categories are awarded when a veteran’s combination of amputations together result in a higher level of disability. For example, the amputation of both feet or the amputation of one hand and one foot undoubtedly results in a higher level of disability than a single amputation. Each category has different combinations of amputations needed to qualify for that category.
The exact rating options for various amputations can be found on the following pages:
- The Amputation Ratings page covers ratings for the amputations of the four limbs, including amputation of the entire arm from the fingers to the shoulder and amputation of the entire leg from the feet to the hip. This page also includes ratings for the amputation of combinations of hands and feet (one hand and one foot, etc.).
- Amputation of the eye is rated under code 6063.
- Amputation of the breast is rated under code 7626.
- Amputation of the penis is rated under code 7520.
- Amputation of the testicles is rated under code 7524.
- Amputation of the ear is rated under code 6207.
- Amputation of the nose is rated under code 6504.
Military Disability for Amputations FAQs
Does my amputation qualify for VA disability?
The VA will rate all amputations that officially qualify as service-connected. See our Service-Connection page to see if yours qualifies.
Does my amputation qualify for DoD Disability?
The DoD will rate all amputations that officially qualify as service-connected and make you Unfit for Duty.
What benefits will I receive for my amputation?
The VA will award you a monthly payment and full medical coverage for all of your service-connected conditions. The exact amount of the monthly payment will depend on your combined VA rating for your conditions.
Will the VA make my rating for my amputation permanent?
All amputations are undeniably permanent, however, they will only qualify for the official Permanent and Total (P&T) status if they qualify for a Total rating (100%).
Does my amputation qualify me for Unemployability?
Not necessarily. There are many jobs that can be performed by individuals with various levels and types of amputations. You will only qualify for Individual Unemployability if your amputation alone qualifies for a 60% rating (or 40% with a combined 70%) and has resulted in perpetual unemployment despite repeated attempts.
I have multiple amputations that qualify for a combined 100% VA Disability Rating. How much money will I receive monthly?
The exact amount you will receive monthly depends on whether you have dependents and whether you qualify for additional Special Monthly Compensation. See our VA Rating Chart and Special Monthly Compensation page for details on the current rates.
What do I do if my amputation is service-connected, but my claim was denied?
You can appeal to have your claim reconsidered. Make sure to provide the VA with sufficient evidence to refute their reason for denial.
I am rated 100%. Will I still have to go in for VA exams?
The VA will continue to require periodic exams to track the progress of your conditions until they declare your conditions Permanent and Total (P&T).