Information on Benefits


Thanks to the efforts of The ALS Association, key members of Congress, advocates and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), ALS has been listed as a disease entitled to presumptive service connection.

That means that if a service member is diagnosed with ALS, his or her condition will be presumed to have occurred during, or been aggravated by, military service and, as such, be entitled to service connection and full benefits. These benefits are described briefly below.

An overview of benefits available to veterans, survivors and dependents is available from the VA here.


The benefits listed below apply to service-connected individuals only. Fact sheets about benefits are available from the VA here.

  • VA compensation – Disability compensation is a monetary benefit paid to veterans who are disabled by an injury or disease that was incurred or aggravated during active military service. These disabilities, including ALS, are considered service connected. Disability compensation varies with the degree of disability and the number of veteran’s dependents and is paid monthly. Veterans with certain severe disabilities may be eligible for additional special monthly compensation. The benefits are not subject to federal or state income tax. Tables listing current compensation levels are available here.
  • Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) for Serious Disabilities – 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.
  • Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) – This is a monthly payment to survivors, if eligible.
  • Insurance Benefits for Your Dependents
  • Specially Adapted Housing Grant (SAH) – Certain veterans and service members with service-connected disabilities may be entitled to a Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant from VA to help build a new specially adapted house or buy a house and modify it to meet their disability-related requirements. Eligible veterans or service members may now receive up to three grants, with the total dollar amount of the grants not to exceed the maximum allowable ($63,780 at the time of this writing).
  • Automobile Grant – Financial assistance is available to purchase a new or used automobile (or other conveyance) to accommodate a disability for a veteran or service member with certain disabilities that resulted from an injury or disease incurred or aggravated during activity military service. The veteran or service member may only receive the automobile grant once in his/her lifetime. The grant is paid directly to the seller of the automobile for the total price (up to $18,900) of the automobile.
  • Adaptive Equipment – Financial assistance is available to purchase, repair, replace or reinstall adaptive equipment required because of disability, or for the safe operation of a vehicle purchased with VA assistance.
  • Clothing Allowance – Any veteran who is service connected for a disability for which he or she uses prosthetic or orthopedic appliances may receive an annual clothing allowance.
  • Aide and Attendance Allowance – A veteran who is determined by VA to be in need of the regular aid and attendance of another person, or a veteran who is permanently housebound, may be entitled to additional disability compensation or pension payments. A veteran evaluated at 30 percent or more disabled is entitled to receive an additional payment for a spouse who needs the aid and attendance of another person.
  • Survivors' Benefits – Survivors’ Pension Benefit and Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance
  • Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Other Benefits

The VA also offers a full range of health care benefits, including:

  • Prescriptions
  • Medical Supplies
  • Prosthetic Items
  • Home Improvement and Structural Alteration Grant (HISA)

VA Health Care Benefits 

These benefits may include medical and respite care and prosthetic items, such as wheelchairs, walkers, canes, etc. Prescriptions and medical supplies also may be included, as well as a HISA grant.

Home Based Primary Care (HBPC) 

HBPC is offered to Veterans who live in an area served by HBPC and provides in-home medical services to reduce or eliminate the need for the patient to go into the VA Clinic. This program is free to qualifying Veterans (must have difficulty getting into the VA Clinic for services). Many HBPC programs have an occupational therapist on staff to assist with meeting patient equipment needs and training caregivers. To enroll in HBPC, the Veteran may ask the VA Clinic provider 1) do they offer HBPC and 2) how can they enroll. Additional information is available here.

Preventive Care Services 

  • Immunizations 

  • Physical Examinations 

  • Health Care Assessments 

  • Screening Tests 

  • Health Education Programs 

Ambulatory (Outpatient) Diagnostic and Treatment Services 

  • Emergency Outpatient Care in VA Facilities 

  • Medical 

  • Surgical (including reconstructive/plastic surgery as a result of disease or trauma) 

  • Chiropractic Care 

  • Mental Health 

  • Bereavement Counseling 

  • Substance Abuse 

Hospital (Inpatient) Diagnostic and Treatment 

  • Emergency Inpatient Care in VA Facilities 

  • Medical 

  • Surgical (including reconstructive/plastic surgery as a result of disease or trauma) 

  • Mental Health 

  • Substance Abuse 

Medications and Supplies 

  • Prescription Medications 

  • Over-the-Counter Medications 

  • Medical and Surgical Supplies 

Generally, they must be prescribed by a VA provider and be available under VA’s national formulary system. 

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