Ask a Service Officer: VA clothing allowance

Q: Is clothing allowance available with VA disability compensation?

A: Veterans who have unique clothing needs as a result of a service-related disability or injury may receive a supplement to their disability compensation. The clothing allowance reimburses you if your clothing gets permanently damaged by a prosthetic or orthopedic appliance you wear, or by a prescribed medication you use on your skin. If eligible, you can receive a one-time or yearly allowance for reimbursement. You may receive a clothing allowance as a veteran who uses either of the following:

Prosthetic or orthopedic appliance, such as a wheelchair or crutches, because of a service-connected disability (Note: soft and flexible devices, such as an elastic stocking, are not included)

Medication prescribed by a physician for a service-connected skin condition that causes permanent stains or otherwise damages outer garments.

Additional clothing allowances may be provided if more than one prosthetic or orthopedic appliance, or medication described above, is used and/or affects more than one type of clothing garment. Payments are based on the rate table set by law. To receive annual payment, you must establish eligibility by August 1 of the year for which you claim payment.

To apply submit the application for annual clothing allowance (VA Form 10-8678) to the prosthetic representative at your local VA medical center. It is highly advised that you seek assistance from an accredited service officer to assist in filing. If you have not submitted a claim for disability compensation, you must complete the application prior to filing for clothing allowance. Applications are collected throughout the year and held until the closing date of August 1. They are then processed and Veterans will receive payments between September 1 and October 31. This is an annual payment and will only be made during this time frame. If you have not received your payment by October 31, you should contact your local prosthetic representative.

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