The VA refers to a few perks as "Special Claims," and Clothing Allowance is one of these special claims. As with other "Special Claims," determining whether you are entitled and how to apply for these benefits may be difficult to ascertain. But we’ll clarify that for you in this article.
Eligibility for the VA Clothing Allowance
An annual Clothing Allowance of $891 is given to the Veteran as a one-time payment. If the clothing is worn out or damaged because of the usage of prostheses, orthopedics, and/or drugs required to treat a Veteran's service-connected ailment, the VA affords compensation. The following people receive this stipend:
- Veterans with service-connected impairments wearing prosthetic or orthopedic equipment that can damage or destroy their clothes.
- Military Veterans with service-connected impairments who must take prescription medicine to address a skin disease that permanently affects their "outerwear".
- Veterans who received treatment at a VA institution and were left with disabilities as a result (38 U.S.C 1151).
Appliances, clothes, and pharmaceuticals given by a doctor to treat or compensate for the loss of a limb or skin problem are included in the Clothing Allowance.
There are a number of appliances that contribute to wear and tear:
- A prosthetic limb
- A strong brace
The Clothing Allowance covers the following types of clothing:
- Qualifying appliances and/or drugs that can irreversibly harm similar clothing.
Please note that shoes, caps, scarves, undergarments, socks, and other clothes are not included in this list, but some Veterans may choose to buy them.
Who Should Apply for the VA Clothing Allowance?
As you’ve seen, clothing allowances may be available to Veterans in very specific circumstances. When applying, the Veteran must have at least one service-connected condition that impacts different clothing pieces and warrants the use of a qualifying prosthetic or orthopedic device or prescription medicine to be considered for the benefit’s program.
A Veteran is entitled to two or more yearly clothing allowances if he or she has two or more service-connected ailments that cause wear and tear on two or more separate pieces of clothing.
How to Make a Claim for the VA Clothing Allowance
The VA Form 10-8678, Application for Annual Clothing Allowance, must be completed by the Veteran in order to submit a claim for Clothing Allowance benefits. You may download it from the VA website or get it from the prosthetics department at your local VA Medical Center. There are prosthetics departments at VA medical centers where the completed paperwork must be returned.
This form is handled by the VA Medical Center, which processes the application. Since most VA claims are handled by regional offices, this is vital to keep in mind. In any case, if the Regional Office (RO) gets a claim for Clothing Allowance, it is responsible for forwarding the claim to the appropriate VA Medical Center or Outpatient Clinic (OPC) (nearest to the residence of the Veteran).
The VA Medical Center will schedule and conduct a Compensation and Pension (C&P) Exam for the impacted ailments to evaluate eligibility for the Clothing Allowance.
When Are Payments for the VA Clothing Allowance Disbursed?
The period from September 1 to October 31 each year is when the Annual Clothing Allowance is disbursed. Veterans who apply for and are approved for Clothing Allowance benefits before August 1 will be compensated for the previous year's service. However, a Veteran who submits an application for Clothing Allowance after August 1 will not be compensated until the next year.
Is It Necessary To Reapply Every Year?
Reapplying for the Clothing Allowance for Veterans getting compensation for a lost limb and wearing or using prosthetic equipment is unnecessary. Every year, they will receive their allowance.
Persons with temporary use of prosthetics or orthotics who are no longer receiving VA pay must reapply for the allowance each year.