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Special Compensation for Assistance with Activities of Daily Living

The 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 Sept. 11, 2001, compensation to pay their primary caregivers who provide non-medical care, support, and assistance.

 

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

To be eligible for SCAADL, Airmen must meet ALL of the following conditions:

  • Be an outpatient and have a designated primary caregiver;

  • Category 3 criteria (certified by DOD or VA physician), as outlined in DODI 1300.24, which states Airmen “is highly unlikely to return to duty” and “will most likely be medically separated from the military” (Air Force-specific criteria);

  • Have a permanent* catastrophic injury or illness** incurred or aggravated in the line of duty;

  • Have been certified by a DOD or VA licensed physician to be in need of assistance from another person to perform personal functions required in everyday living or requires constant supervision;

  • In the absence of caregiver assistance, would require hospitalization, nursing home care, or other residential institutional care.

*Permanent. Lasting or remaining without essential change; not expected to change in status, condition, or place.

 

**Catastrophic injury or illness. A permanent, severely disabling injury, disorder, or illness incurred or aggravated in the line of duty that compromises the ability to perform ADLs to such a degree that an Airman requires personal or mechanical assistance to leave home or bed, or requires constant supervision to avoid physical harm to self or others, and is unlikely to recover from such a disability.

 

CAN AIR NATIONAL GUARD OR AIR FORCE RESERVE AIRMEN RECEIVE SCAADL?

Yes. SCAADL is authorized if injury or illness was incurred or aggravated in the line of duty as certified by unit commander.

 

WHAT IS THE APPLICATION PROCESS?

Airmen should contact a member of their Care Management Team (Clinical Case Manager (CCM), Recovery Care Coordinator (RCC), or Non-Medical Care Manager (NMCM)) to start the eligibility process. A DOD or VA physician and Airman’s commander will certify eligibility.

 

HOW IS COMPENSATION DETERMINED?

SCAADL compensation is based upon the level of dependency (low, moderate, or high) and geographic location where Airman is rehabilitating.

 

WHO RECEIVES THE SCAADL PAYMENT?

SCAADL is paid directly to the Airman, not the Airman’s designated caregiver. It is up to the Airman to ensure that the caregiver receives the appropriate compensation.

 

IS SCAADL COMPENSATION RETROACTIVE?

No. SCAADL cannot be backdated to a previous date. Compensation is effective the date the physician certified eligibility on the DD Form 2948.

 

IS SCAADL TAX EXEMPT?

No. SCAADL is a taxable compensation.

 

CAN AN AIRMAN DESIGNATE ANOTHER SERVICE MEMBER AS A PRIMARY CAREGIVER?

No. A military member (Active or Reserve Component) cannot be designated as a primary caregiver for the purposes of SCAADL.

 

WHAT IF AN AIRMAN DISAGREES WITH HIS/HER SCAADL DETERMINATION?

A section on the DD Form 2948 provides an opportunity to appeal. Appeals will be submitted through the Airman’s RCC, with additional supporting medical documentation, to the AFW2 Program. An impartial medical review will be conducted prior to determining Airman’s final SCAADL eligibility.

 

ARE THERE ANY INSTANCES WHERE AN AIRMAN’S SCAADL COULD CHANGE?

Yes, during re-evaluations that are required every 150 days (Air Force-specific criteria), or sooner if Airman’s dependency level changes. Termination of compensation will occur on 180th day if a complete re-evaluation is not received.

 

WHAT IF AN AIRMAN’S STATUS CHANGES FROM OUTPATIENT TO INPATIENT?

As long as the Airman is in an outpatient status for the majority of the month, he or she will still be eligible. SCAADL payment must be terminated if hospitalized for 16 or more cumulative days within a month. Re-evaluation is required after hospital discharge, if applicable.

 

CAN AIRMEN RECEIVE PAYMENTS UNDER NON-MEDICAL ATTENDANT (NMA) AND SCAADL PROGRAMS AT THE SAME TIME?

Yes. SCAADL is paid in addition to any other pay and allowance to which the Airman is entitled or authorized. The Airman must meet eligibility requirements for each program separately.

 

CAN AIR NATIONAL GUARD OR AIR FORCE RESERVE AIRMEN RECEIVE SCAADL AND MEDCON OR INCAP PAY AT THE SAME TIME?

Yes. SCAADL is paid in addition to any other pay and allowance to which the Airman is entitled or authorized.

 

CAN AN AIRMAN PARTICIPATE IN ADAPTIVE AND RESILIENCY SPORTS PROGRAM (ARSP) AND BE ELIGIBLE FOR SCAADL?

Yes. Airmen may participate if SCAADL eligibility criteria has been met and has been cleared by their provider and unit commander.

 

WILL AN AIRMAN RECEIVE SCAADL AFTER TRANSITIONING OUT OF THE AIR FORCE?

The payments can continue for up to 90 days after separation (if a current evaluation is on file) or until:

  • Assistance is no longer required; or

  • Caregiver begins receiving the VA Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregiver (PCAFC) stipend; or

  • Airman begins receiving certain VA Aid & Attendance compensation.

HOW DOES AN AIRMAN’S CAREGIVER APPLY FOR THE VA’S PCAFC?

The caregiver may apply for the PCAFC once the Airman’s date of separation has been established. Not all Airmen receiving SCAADL will qualify for the PCAFC Program, as there are differences in eligibility criteria. For more information please visit: https://www.caregiver.va.gov/support/support_benefits.asp

 

HELPFUL RESOURCES

For more information about the AFW2 program, call toll-free: 1-800-581-9437 or commercial: 210-565-2940. You can also email: wounded.warrior@us.af.mil.