Special Compensation for Assistance with Activities of Daily Living

2 Sep 2011 | Capt. Jill L. Wolf

Some service members who are catastrophically wounded, ill or injured are now eligible for compensation designed to offset the economic burden primary caregivers incur when assisting them.

When a service member sustains a catastrophic injury or illness, a family member or close friend often takes on the role of caregiver, providing non-medical support for daily activities.  These caregivers sometimes discontinue employment to care for their loved one, leading to a loss or reduction of income.

Authorized by the Fiscal Year 2010 National Defense Authorization Act, Special Compensation for Assistance with Activities of Daily Living (SCAADL) is designed to mitigate this financial hardship.  Monthly payment amounts are based upon the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics wage rate for home health aides and are adjusted by the geographic area of residence or recovery and a three-tier system based on the complexity of care.

MARADMIN 501/11 describes the criteria for receiving SCAADL.  The basic qualifications are as follows:

• Have a catastrophic injury or illness incurred or aggravated in the line of duty (combat or non-combat related);
• Have been certified by a DoD or Veteran Affairs physician to be in a need of assistance from another person to perform the personal functions required in daily living; and
• Would, in the absence of this provision, require some form of residential institutional care (i.e. hospitalization or nursing home care).
• Are not currently in inpatient status in a medical facility

According to DoD Instruction 1431.12, catastrophic is defined as, “a permanent severely disabling injury, disorder or illness incurred or aggravated in the line of duty that the Secretary of the Military Department concerned determines compromises the ability of the afflicted 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 constant supervision to avoid physical harm to self or others.”

The United States Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment has identified potentially eligible Marines within their command to begin the application and payment process.  Applications for SCAADL require DD Form 2948 which must be completed by a licensed DoD or VA physician.  SCAADL claims will be certified by the WWR Pay and Entitlements section.  Marine Corps Base Quantico finance office will compute the payment amount and make the SCAADL payment.  Service members who believe they are eligible for this compensation should contact a member of their recovery team, including their primary care manager, recovery care coordinator or unit leadership.

For more information on SCAADL, reference MARADMIN 501/11 and the WWR fact sheet at

Headquarters Marine Corps