VA Service-Connected Disability Compensation Rates

If you were injured or became seriously ill while serving in the military, you may be eligible for certain veterans benefits, including VA disability compensation, which is a benefit paid to certain military veterans based on illnesses or injuries received while serving on active duty. Certain veterans may also be eligible for VA health care benefits.

There are many factors which go into determining compensation eligibility and levels, most of which are outside the scope of this article. Treat this article as a primer for VA disability benefits as we show you the VA’s definition of a service-connected disability, where to apply for benefits, and the current VA disability compensation rate tables, as provided by the VA.

VA Disability Compensation Benefits Pay Rates

Find the updated VA Disability Compensation Benefits Pay Rates

What is a Service Connected Disability?

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, VA Disability Compensation is:

a benefit paid to a veteran because of injuries or diseases that happened while on active duty, or were made worse by active military service. It is also paid to certain veterans disabled from VA health care. The benefits are tax-free. Source.

If you are considered to have a service-connected disability, then you may be eligible to receive a monthly compensation payment, and under certain circumstances, you may be eligible to receive additional compensation, usually if you have a service-connected rating of 30% or higher and have dependents (spouse, children, and/or parents under your care), if you have missing limbs, or if you have a severely disabled spouse.

Applying for VA Compensation Benefits

Detailed instructions for applying for VA disability benefits are outside the scope of this article, but in general, it is best to supply as much supporting information as possible, including how the injury or illness occurred, any medical treatment you received, current health status, and how your life has been affected by the injury or illness. You will need to fill out VA Form 21-526, Veterans Application for Compensation and/or Pension or apply online using VONAPP. Also be sure to have a copy of your DD Form 214.

Disability Ratings are Made on a Case by Case Basis

The VA rates each disability claim on a case by case basis. The VA first determines whether or not the illness or injury was sustained while the servicemember was in the military, then they assign a rating for each illness or injury. If the VA determines the injury or illness isn’t related to your military service, or didn’t happen while you were in the military, they will deny your claim. If the VA approves your claim, they will assign it a rating between 0% – 100%.

A 0% rating shows there is an illness or injury that is connected to your military service, but it doesn’t warrant compensation at this time. It is still good to get a 0% rating compared to no service-connected link because if the condition worsens at a later date, you can apply to have your disability rating upgraded.

Multiple disability ratings: Multiple disability ratings are a little tricky to calculate, and are beyond the scope of this article. But we’ll give a brief overview. In short, the VA uses a special method for calculating multiple disabilities. Here is a simplified example:

Example: If you have a 30% disability rating, the VA would multiply that against 100%, which is assumed to be good health. This gives you 30%. Subtract that from 100% which leaves you with 70% (consider this your new starting point for your health rating). Then subtract 70% from 100% and you are left with 30%. If that is your only disability, then your final VA Service-Connected Disability Rating is 30%.

If you have multiple ratings, you continue with the process, using your final number each time as your starting point. Continuing with our example, if your next rating is 10%, you would multiply 10% against 70%, which is 7%. You subtract that from 70%, which leaves you with 63%. Subtract 63% from 100% and you get 37%. Your disability rating is 37%, which rounds up to 40%.

It can get complicated quickly, so I have an in-depth article and podcast that explain how the VA calculates combined disability ratings. I highly recommend reading and/or listening to get a good idea how the process works!

VA Disability Ratings Are Not Always Permanent

Many disability ratings are temporary and the VA retains the right to reexamine the disability rating at any time. If they wish to reexamine you, you will receive a Notice of Reexamination letter in the mail which will include a scheduled appointment date. Make sure you attend this appointment or reschedule, as the VA can reduce or terminate your benefits rating if you fail to attend this scheduled appointment. After the VA reexamines your condition(s), they will make a recommendation to increase, decrease, or leave your benefit at its current rating. There are times when your ratings may be protected, based on the type of disability, how long you have held the rating, your age, or other factors. Here is more information about VA Disability Reexaminations and Benefits Reductions.

A Change in Your Family Status Can Change Your VA Disability Payment

Remember to contact the VA whenever you have a change in family status as your rates may change as well.  If you have a 30% disability rating or higher and you are also supporting qualified dependents such as a spouse, child, or parent, you may be eligible to receive a higher VA disability payment. If your disability rating is 20% or lower, changes in your family status should not affect your VA disability payment rates.

The VA will not know when there is a change in your family status, so you will need to inform them immediately when something changes – such as a birth, wedding, a parent moving in with you, divorce, child coming of age, or the death of a qualified dependent. It is always best to inform the VA of a change as soon as possible, however, in some cases you won’t be able to do so until you have more information (such as when a child is born, as you can’t do anything with the VA until your child has received his or her Social Security Number). Keep in mind that the VA will sometimes backdate payments to make up for any shortfalls, or in the case of the loss of an eligible dependent, your payment may decrease. Be sure to contact the VA disability center for more information.

Receive your disability check faster. When you file your disability claim, be sure to give the VA the routing number to your bank so you can enroll in direct deposits. This is faster and more secure – and a requirement as of March 1, 2013. I recommend using a high yield savings account so you can earn more money on any interest that your money earns.

Current VA Disability Compensation Pay Rates

The 2015 VA Disability rates increased by 1.7% on December 1, 2014. If you receive disability payments from the VA, you will see a small raise in your monthly check, starting on January 1, 2015. Increases in VA Service-Connected Disability Rates are tired to the same Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) the government uses for determining cost of living increases for Social Security recipients, military retirees, and federal civilian retirees. 2014 was the first year the VA has included amounts above a flat dollar amount. In previous years, the amount was rounded down to the nearest dollar. This change won’t make a huge difference now, but if this policy remains in place, it will compound over time.

You can view the current VA Disability rates here, but for your convenience, we have included them in this article as well.

VA Disability Rating: 10% – 20% (No Dependents) 


VA Disability Rating: 30% – 60% Without Children

Dependent Status30%40%50%60%
Veteran Alone$407.75$587.36$836.13$1,059.09
Veteran with Spouse Only$455.75$651.36$917.13$1,156.09
Veteran with Spouse & One Parent$494.75$703.36$982.13$1,234.09
Veteran with Spouse and Two Parents$533.74$755.36$1,047.13$1,312.09
Veteran with One Parent$446.75$639.36$901.13$1,137.09
Veteran with Two Parents$485.75$691.36$966.13$1,215.09
Additional for A/A spouse (see footnote b)$44.00$59.00*$74.00$89.00

VA Disability Rating: 70% – 100% Without Children

Dependent Status70% 80%90%100%
Veteran Alone$1,334.71$1,551.48$1,743.48$2,906.83
Veteran with Spouse Only$1,447.71$1,680.48$1,888.48$3,068.90
Veteran with Spouse & One Parent$1,538.71$1,784.48$2,005.48$3,198.96
Veteran with Spouse and Two Parents$1,629.71$1,888.48$2,122.48$3,329.02
Veteran with One Parent$1,425.71$1,655.48$1,860.48$3,036.89
Veteran with Two Parents$1,516.71$1,759.48$1,977.48$3,166.95
Additional for A/A spouse (see footnote b)$104.00$118.00$133.00$148.64

VA Disability Rating: 30% – 60% With Children

Dependent Status30%40%50%60%
Veteran with Spouse & Child$491.75$699.36 $976.13$1,227.09
Veteran with Child Only$439.75$630.36 $890.13$1,124.09
Veteran with Spouse, One Parent and Child$530.75$751.36 $1,041.13$1,305.09
Veteran with Spouse, Two Parents and Child$569.75$803.36$1,106.13$1,383.09
Veteran with One Parent and Child$478.75$682.36$955.13$1,202.09
Veteran with Two Parents and Child$517.75$734.36$1,020.13$1,280.09
Add for Each Additional Child Under Age 18$24.00$32.00$40.00$48.00
Each Additional Schoolchild Over Age 18 (see footnote a)$78.00$104.00$130.00$156.00
Additional for A/A spouse (see footnote b)$44.00$59.00$74.00$89.00

VA Disability Rating: 70% – 100% With Children

Dependent Status70%80%90%100%
Veteran with Spouse & Child $1,530.71$1,775.48 $1,995.48$3,187.60
Veteran with Child Only$1,409.71$1,637.48$1,840.48$3,015.22
Veteran with Spouse, One Parent and Child$1,621.71$1,879.48$2,112.48$3,317.66
Veteran with Spouse, Two Parents and Child$1,712.71$1,983.48$2,229.48$3,447.72
Veteran with One Parent and Child$1,500.71$1,741.48$1,957.48$3,145.28
Veteran with Two Parents and Child$1,591.71$1,845.48$2,074.48$3,275.34
Add for Each Additional Child Under Age 18$56.00$64.00$72.00$80.52
Each Additional Schoolchild Over Age 18 (see footnote a)$182.00$208.00$234.00$260.13
Additional for A/A spouse (see footnote b)$104.00$118.00$133.00$148.64

If you have specific VA benefits related questions, it is always best to call or visit your regional VA medical center, as they will be able to access your file and answer your specific questions.

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Date published: December 14, 2013. Last updated: January 20, 2015.

Article by

Ryan Guina is the founder and editor of this site. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over 6 years on active duty in the USAF and is currently serving in the IL Air National Guard. He also writes about money management, small business, and career topics at Cash Money Life. You can also see his profile on Google.


  1. Steven says


    I am have an 80% disability rating and am being paid $1680.00 monthly for Me + my spouse. However, I have my daughter who is over the age of 18 but has been in college as a full-time student and still lives in the house and I claim her as a dependent. I saw for each child over the age of 18 an extra payment of $234 for that rating. I cannot see the footnote on your website. Have they been underpaying me for my rating? I’ve had my DEERS updated and TRI-CARE several times to keep care going for that, so it was clearly documented.

    • Billy Link says


      You have to go online and apply for the extra money(search under dependents, fill out all school info and submit, pretty easy), I was in the same situation and was told to apply online, now I get the extra money. Keep in mind they can only go back one year.

      Hope this helps.

    • says

      Billy below is correct. the VA doesnt magically know your daughter is in school you need to go onto ebenefits and apply for them to be added as “in school” or else the VA drops them once they hit 18. if you go paper use Form 21-674 to CONFIRM school attendance and keep them as compensable dependents

  2. Craig says

    I am so confused when it comes to how they evaluate your rating when it comes to a hearing test. I went and got my results from the VA and it says right ear 1,000..45….2000..30…3000…30….4000…40 Right Ear Pure Tone Averages 2FA:38 3FA :43 4FA: 36 Left ear 1,000…40…2,000…30…3,000…30….4,000…30 Air Conduction: Left Ear Pure Tone Averages 2FA:32 3FA:35 FA: 32
    On the next chart it intersects on the 30 line with VA chart has 0-11 I am on the 4th line from the top

    • says

      Craig, Thank you for contacting me. I don’t have any insight here. I recommend scheduling an appointment with your doctor so you can sit down and get a full explanation of the readings. You may find it helpful to bring along a digital or tape recorder to the meeting so you can record what the doctor says for future reference.

  3. steve says

    Hi Ryan,

    Both my wife and I have a disability rating, can both my spouse and I claim our children as dependents or will one of us only receive compensation for our dependents.


  4. Jason says

    I am currently receiving VA disability benefits at a 50% rating. I have two step-daughters under the age of 18. One lives with us, and the other lives with her father. I contacted the VA via the Ebenefits website and informed them. They sent me a letter stating that I will be paid for three dependents. (My wife and two stepdaughters) I even appealed the decision, and sent them a statement stating that one child does not live with us. Why would they continue to pay for a dependent that does not reside with us full time?

    • says

      Jason, Thank you for contacting me. Unfortunately, I don’t have a good answer for you. I would try to get someone on the phone and ask them to make this change, or I would send in a new dependent claim form without the information for the other dependent. This is something you want to get resolved ASAP because the VA may discover their error at some point and request back pay or withhold payments for the amount they overpaid you. If those tips don’t work, try contacting a Veterans Service Organization such as the DAV to see if they can help you resolve this situation.

  5. Andi says

    We have three grandchildren who live with us thru Child Protective Services. There parent is 100% VA disabled. She pays no support and collects the funds each month. What can we do

    • says

      Andi, Thank you for contacting me. I don’t have a specific answer here. My recommendation is to contact your court representative or lawyer if you have one, and report the situation. I am unsure if there are benefits programs for assistance for taking care of a veteran’s children. You may consider speaking with a VA representative or a representative from a Veterans Service Organization (many VSO’s offer veterans benefits claims assistance; they may be able to give you more information).

      I’m sorry I don’t have a more specific answer here, but I don’t have this specific experience. I wish you the best, and commend you for taking care of your grandchildren.

  6. jojo says

    I am have an 90% disability rating receiving $2,098.00 per month. Household consists of myself + spouse + two daughters ages 18 & 13. All of them were my dependents before retiring in 2011. My 18 year old daughter is currently in college under the Post 9/11 MGIB. If my computation is correct, I should receive $1,995 (Veteran with Spouse & Child) + $234 (Schoolchild over age 18+) = $2,229, right? Thanks!

    • says

      JoJo, Thank you for contacting me. I read the chart the same as you. It’s very possible that the VA dropped your college age child if they did not receive a form from you stating that she is attending college. You can do this with VA Form 21-674, Request for Approval of School Attendance. Here is more information about adding and removing dependents from your claim. I would contact the VA to verify they have this information, then ask if it has been processed. If not, then you may need to submit this form again. I hope this helps. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  7. B. says

    So my bank is reporting a pending payment from VA for $219.08 by the 1st of Oct. My VA rating is 90%, I just recently added a new dependent, my daughter was born a couple months ago. I have listed my wife an son from the beginning. Why is it only showing $219.08 when I’m rated to receive $1995.48 plus additional dependent?

    • says

      B, Thank you for contacting me. The best advice I can give is to contact the VA to understand what is going on. It’s possible they had to withhold a portion of the payment for some reason, or there was an error on their end. The only way to know for sure is to contact the VA and get an answer from them. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  8. Jake says

    I was recently granted a 30% disability rating and today I submitted for an increase in percentages for my service connected disabilities. Was wanting to know if I will still receive my monthly benefits while the request for increase is being worked. Also, if anyone else has requested an increase any insight would be much appreciated. Thanks.

    • says

      Jake, Thank you for contacting me. You should continue to receive your compensation payment while you have a pending request for an increase If you are awarded an increased rating, you may receive back pay to the effective date the VA awards the increased rating. I can’t give you a timeline for any of this, because it is handled on a case by case basis, and depends on many factors including whether or not additional tests or appointments are needed, which VA center is processing the request and their backlog, and other factors. I hope this helps.

  9. PAS says

    I recently received my retirement rating. There should be pay back to my retirement date. Is there any estimate of how long it will take to receive the back pay?

    • says

      PAS, Thanks for your question. Back pay is usually paid out within 1-3 months. Make sure the ratings are all backdated to your retirement date, as sometimes ratings may have a different effective date, depending on whether or not the condition was in the initial claim. You will need to contact the VA for more specific information, but they often won’t be able to tell you an exact date for back pay, as it is usually case by case.

  10. Cornelius D. Ruth says

    Hello. I was separated from the Navy back on March 7th 2015 after serving over 14 years of active duty service. I was involuntarily separated and started .y disability claims due to many well documented issues. Today i was awarded 20% disability but i have to be honest, i am NOT in agreement with this small rate. Should I appeal through my VA Representative a.s.a.p? Or go about this myself and endure the pain both physically and mentally that i have sustained while on active duty…and now due to this disrespectful rate, now im suffering while NOT on active duty! Thanks.

    Very Respectfully
    C.D. Ruth

    • says

      C.D., Thank you for contacting me. The best course of action is to appeal this rating. But I recommend getting assistance when you do so. Try contacting a Veterans Service Organization such as the DAV, VFW, etc. They have trained benefits counselors who offer free benefits claims assistance. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

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