The Department of Defense (DoD) Special Compensation for Assistance with Activities of Daily Living (SCAADL) program provides Service members, who have a permanent catastrophic injury or illness incurred or aggravated in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001, compensation to offset the economic burden borne by their primary caregivers providing non-medical care, support, and assistance.
Permanent and catastrophically ill and injured Service members and/or their designated representative can voluntarily apply for SCAADL compensation and should reach out to their primary care managers, care coordinators, or Service Wounded Warrior Program staff to discuss eligibility requirements for receiving this special compensation.
For the Service member to be eligible for SCAADL compensation, DoD policy requires the Service member meet all of the following conditions:
- has a permanent catastrophic injury or illness incurred or aggravated in the line of duty
- has been certified by a DoD or Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) licensed physician to be in need of assistance from another person to perform the personal functions of everyday living
- has designated a primary caregiver who provides assistance with activities of everyday life or supervision and/or protection
- has been determined to require hospitalization, nursing home care, or other residential institutional care in the absence of caregiver assistance
Eligible Service members, after being certified by a DoD or VA licensed physician to have a permanent catastrophic condition, undergo an assessment to determine the level of assistance required and the level of support provided to perform the personal functions required in everyday life or for constant supervision to avoid harm to themselves or others. Following the evaluation, the Military Department overseeing the respective SCAADL program determines whether the member will be approved to receive SCAADL compensation.
Once approved, the amount of SCAADL compensation a Service member receives is based on a three-tier system that reflects care required by the Service member and provided by their caregiver:
- Tier 1 reflects a need of at least 10-24 hours of caregiver services per week
- Tier 2 reflects a need of at least 25-39 hours of caregiver services per week
- Tier 3 reflects a need of at least 40 hours, or full-time, caregiver services per week
The amount of monthly compensation is based on the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics wage rate for a home health aide in the Service member’s geographical location. For example, a Service member receiving a Tier 1 compensation level in Montgomery, Alabama may receive a different amount of monthly compensation than a Service member receiving a Tier 1 compensation level in Los Angeles, California due to the different wage rates in those geographic areas.
To access the current SCAADL calculator, visit DoD’s Military Compensation page.
A Service member may continue receiving SCAADL compensation until the earlier of: (1) 90 days after discharge from Military Service; (2) when a DoD or VA licensed physician determines the Service member no longer meets SCAADL eligibility requirements; (3) when the Service member begins receiving VA Special Monthly Compensation (1114(r)(2) of Title 38, U.S.C); or (4) when the Service member’s caregiver begins to receive compensation through VA’s Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers Program.
VA Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers Program
Severely injured Service members who have an established discharge date may be eligible to apply for the VA’s Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers, which provides their caregiver a monthly stipend as well as other assistance. DoD policy prohibits Service members from receiving SCAADL compensation while their caregiver receives the VA caregiver stipend. Service members who believe they are eligible for the VA’s Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers should apply. Find more information here.
Talk to your primary care managers, care coordinators, and/or Service Wounded Warrior Program staff about eligibility for SCAADL compensation.
U.S. Air Force Wounded Warrior Program (AFW2)
U.S. Army Warrior Care and Transition (WCT)
U.S. Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment (USMC WWR)
U.S. Navy Wounded Warrior – Safe Harbor (NWW)
U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Warrior Care Program (Care Coalition)
1-877-672-3039 or 1-813-826-8888