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Program compensates wounded, injured

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Those designated as a wounded, injured or ill service member while on active duty may be entitled to certain benefits. Special Compensation for Assistance with Activities of Daily Living is one such benefit. 

SCAADL was authorized by the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act and is a special monthly compensation for service members who have sustained a permanent catastrophic injury or illness. It is designed to offset the loss of income by a primary caregiver who provides non-medical care, support or assistance to the wounded, injured or ill service member.

           There are certain criteria that must be met before applicants will be eligible to receive this entitlement.

First, service members must have sustained a permanent catastrophic injury or illness in the line of duty (catastrophic is defined as a permanent severely disabling injury, disorder or illness) designated by the secretary of the Air Force. The injury or illness must affect the ability of the impaired person to carry out activities of daily living to such a degree that the person requires personal or mechanical assistance to leave home or bed, or needs constant supervision to avoid physical harm to themselves or others. 

           Additionally, they must have been certified by a Department of Defense or Veterans Affairs physician to require assistance for another person to perform the personal functions required in daily living or require constant supervision.  (An example would be if the applicant is injured in an automobile accident on their way to work and are confined to a wheelchair while on active duty awaiting the results of a medical evaluation board).

Finally, the applicant must not be an inpatient in a medical facility to receive this entitlement.

If you are eligible to receive SCAADL after being placed in an outpatient status and are subsequently readmitted to a medical facility you will still be entitled to receive SCAADL if your admission doesn't exceed a majority of the month.

SCAADL payments can't be designated to another active-duty service member. SCAADL payment amounts are based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics wage rate for home-health aides. They are adjusted by the geographic location of your residence as well as a three-tier system based on the complexity of care as determined by the DOD or VA physician authorizing the entitlement. SCAADL payments are not tax-exempt and will be paid directly to the service member who, in turn, pays the caregiver.

If you receive SCAADL while still on active duty and are subsequently medically retired or separated, you may still receive 90 days of entitlements after separation. During out-processing, recipients will need to complete the application for the Veterans Affairs Caregiver Stipend, which members may be entitled to after leaving active duty.

A goal of the Air Force has always been to take care of its people and this entitlement is one way to do this. 

For more information on SCAADL as well as other entitlements and non-medical programs available to service members, contact Daniel Ransom, the Air Force recovery care coordinator for wounded, injured or ill service members at Keesler Air Force Base at 228-376-3076, 228-224-2061 or daniel.ransom.1.ctr@us.af.mil, or go to the Air Force Wounded Warrior Website at www.AFW2.com. For information on the VA Caregiver Stipend, visit www.VA.gov.