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.

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 2014 VA Disability rates increased by 1.5% on December 1, 2013. If you receive disability payments from the VA, you will see a small raise in your monthly check, starting on January 1, 2014. 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 marks 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) 

PercentageRate
10%$130.94
20%$258.83

VA Disability Rating: 30% – 60% Without Children

Dependent Status30%40%50%60%
Veteran Alone$400.93$577.54$822.15$1,041.39
Veteran with Spouse Only$448.74$641.28$901.83$1,137.01
Veteran with Spouse & One Parent$487.11$692.44$965.78$1,213.74
Veteran with Spouse and Two Parents$525.48$743.60$1,029.73$1,290.47
Veteran with One Parent$439.30$628.70$886.10$1,118.12
Veteran with Two Parents$477.67$679.86$950.05$1,194.85
Additional for A/A spouse (see footnote b)$43.85$58.47$73.08$87.69

VA Disability Rating: 70% – 100% Without Children

Dependent Status70% 80%90%100%
Veteran Alone$1,312.40$1,525.55$1,714.34$2,858.24
Veteran with Spouse Only$1,423.95$1,653.04$1,857.76$3,017.60
Veteran with Spouse & One Parent$1,513.47$1,755.35$1,972.86$3,145.49
Veteran with Spouse and Two Parents$1,602.99 $1,857.66$2,087.96$3,273.38
Veteran with One Parent$1,401.92$1,627.86$1,829.44$2,986.13
Veteran with Two Parents$1,491.44$1,730.17$1,944.54$3,114.02
Additional for A/A spouse (see footnote b)$102.31$116.93$131.55$146.16

VA Disability Rating: 30% – 60% With Children

Dependent Status30%40%50%60%
Veteran with Spouse & Child$483.75$687.97$960.19$1,207.04
Veteran with Child Only$432.90$620.17 $875.54 $1,105.34
Veteran with Spouse, One Parent and Child$522.12$739.13$1,024.14$1,283.77
Veteran with Spouse, Two Parents and Child$560.94$790.29$1,088.09$1,360.50
Veteran with One Parent and Child$471.27$671.33$939.39$1,182.07
Veteran with Two Parents and Child$509.64$722.49$1003.34 $1,258.80
Add for Each Additional Child Under Age 18$23.75$31.67$39.59$47.50
Each Additional Schoolchild Over Age 18 (see footnote a)$76.73$102.31$127.89$153.47
Additional for A/A spouse (see footnote b)$43.85$58.47$73.08$87.69

VA Disability Rating: 70% – 100% With Children

Dependent Status70%80%90%100%
Veteran with Spouse & Child $1,505.66$1,746.41$1,962.81$3,134.32
Veteran with Child Only$1,387.01$1,610.81$1,810.26$2,964.82
Veteran with Spouse, One Parent and Child$1,595.18$1,848.72$2,077.91$3,262.21
Veteran with Spouse, Two Parents and Child$1,684.70$1,951.03 $2,193.01$3,390.10
Veteran with One Parent and Child$1,476.53$1,713.12$1,925.36$3,092.71
Veteran with Two Parents and Child$1,566.05$1,815.43$2,040.46$3,220.60
Add for Each Additional Child Under Age 18$55.42$63.34$71.25$79.17
Each Additional Schoolchild Over Age 18 (see footnote a)$179.05$204.62$230.30$255.78
Additional for A/A spouse (see footnote b)$102.31$116.93$131.55$146.16

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: April 2, 2014.

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 in the USAF and also writes about money management, small business, and career topics at Cash Money Life. You can also see his profile on Google

Comments

  1. Trent,

    I’ve been working with the VA for almost 7 years. It takes time and patience. I’d be careful about getting medical opinions from the DAV as they are there to help with the paperwork and not diagnose. I was told by a VA hearing judge that you need to go to the VA clinic, if available, or your own doctor, if a clinic is not available and start making an issue out of your back and anything else you feel needs to be dealt with. A statement from the doctor along the lines of “the issues with the back is as likely as not caused by service in the military. “As likely as not” is the key statement. It’s all about documentation and keeping your ducks in line. Be sure to document names, dates and items discussed as well as a copy of all documents going to and from the VA. I’ve got one more item (out of 13) to clear up and I’ll be done with them. Don’t give up and document, document, document!

  2. Precisely! That’s exactly what I explained I my early comment post that you don’t diagnose and the likelihood of a civilian doctor saying it was exactly the military that cause the injuring and that it didn’t happen while you was maybe off duty during your down time is hard to do. Civilian doctors don’t want to mess with the VA and if your oif or oef you are untitled to an out processing physical!!! So go to the VA and bring your DD214 and improcess with them and they will schedule you for a complete physical and you can describe your back pain there. Also good luck with them saying it was on duty as well you need witnesses and signed affidavits saying they witnessed the hardships that you endured or the time and place it accurred and not many chain of commands want to mess with that paperwork as well because if they are caught lying at all they can lose complete retirement or disability priviledges later and face jail time. All you can do is the best you can to prove this and this is why medics say if your really having a problem let them know so they can document this. Doctors, especially the board, highly dislike the patient playing doctor and diagnosing themselves all you can do is list your symptoms and then let them take over with asking the questions and examine you. It is a battle and its a long and hard one to get any disability because of regulations passed on the Voc rehab program. A lot of soldiers have been caught lying and used the box rehab program and abused it as well. This is one of many of the reasons the board is long and exhausting. Also they are backed up with too many soldiers who only served six months in training and discharged general honorable that make false claims and ones that may have been to Kuwait and classified as oif but never saw action and are claiming PTSD. It is very hard to prove PTSD. You had to of been awarded certain awards and actually have a copy of you mission orders to go OEF so they can look up you unit, which they will, and see it you actually served ok or near the front lines in the danger red zone. If you was ever red zoned then you have some chance to prove that, but I was red zoned, served on the front line, and my units orders were pulled like as if we was never there. I had to have actual awards will certain bullets and command affidavits saying that I was the active medic on or near the front line and it took me almost eight years to track down my old unit command and get them to write, which they was happy to do because my medical records were stamped as being OIF and I stamped other records within the unit when I pulled any sick call and mass caul duty during my service in Iraq so they knew they could prove it. Good luck and please read all comments before pleading and asking for help you be surprised at how you can get your questions answered without posting. Nothing you can do or say will not make this process speed up as well so buckle up and get ready for the ride if you really do have a validated case because it is a min year to two years before the ball really starts to roll on your case. My first comp physical wasn’t until six months after I filed. They are backed up and with the debt we have the VA will be the last to be cut this time and the military has to take cuts first, but the VA will do everything in their power to make sure they do not process a false claim. It’s unjust for them to do so and unfair to those who really have complaints.

  3. I was awarded the CAR and was on the front line. My unit will have tons of documentation as far as where we were. Honestly, i really could care less about getting a disability paycheck. I would rather the VA fix the problems i have. I am not a doctor, but i am a paramedic and it wasnt until recently i studied about PSTD and what some of the problems people encounter with it. I would be lying if i said i didnt experience them. If someone could help me get through it, then i would rather feel normal than collect money. I have lived with alot of hurt and guilt since Iraq and i am tired of feeling the way i do. I am sure they would be willing to help with that but would they be willing to fix my ankle and hopefully my back? I mean is there an option to have one or the other?

    Trent

  4. Robert Adams says:

    Several Years ago I tried to help disabled veterans navigate thru all the red tape that the V.A. threw at them . I am a 100% disabled veteran of the Viet Nam era and had been put thru years of road blocks until I found the secret to beating the V.A. at their own game . I started a Web-Site telling veterans how to win but was quickly threatened by the V.A. and the D.A.V. to stop or face real trouble . Well the next thing that the V.A. did to me was to kill me in their computers and the Social Security Dept. All of my med’s were stopped along with all my compensation . It took my Congressman to start my benefits again but they have done this 4 times so far . The D.A.V. sanctioned me for 3 years for trying to help our disabled veterans get thru this V.A. = B.S. system ! Most people do not know that the attorneys that work for the V.A. are hired to turn the veterans claim down and these attorneys get a bonus for doing so . Bonus money is passed out to these attorneys bases on a percentage of how much they have saved the government . The V.A. was also caught shredding veterans files in the past and of coarse purposely losing losing veterans files . All of this has been well documented and show on the TV program 20/20 several years ago . As far as a congressman helping you , they can’t and the V.A. just laugh at you when you tell them that you will get your congressman involved . If your file is near the top of the pile , the V.A. will pull it and place it on the bottom and make you wait a lot longer if you complain to them and no one is help accountable !

  5. David Kurtz says:

    I was medically discharged from the AF and had no idea about what to do, or that there even was a disability claim possibility service connection. Nevertheless, I heard about it from fellow vets and I applied. It literally took years for me to start receiving benefits. I spent so much time and effort fighting with the VA over all my well documented obvious on-going chronic medical problems compared to so many people who you know are fraudulantly signing up for Social Security benefits and getting approved and receiving far more compensation money.

    First, I was told that my military medical records were “mysteriously” lost, thankfully I made a complete copy when I outprocessed.

    Second, I received a severance pay upon discharge, and when I finally was awarded 10% which years later became 30%, I had to pay the monies from my service connected disability rating to pay back the severance pay. I did not know about VEAP, the Veterans Education Assistance Program at the time and used my severance money to go to college with my GI Bill.

    If you have multiple injuries, or impairments that you claimed the VA does not add them together normally. Example, three different problems that were finally awarded a 30%, 10% and 10% which is 50%, but somehow the VA says that addition is only 40%.

    My injuries, treatment, care, was all well documented, but to them it did not justify a rating originally, that was considered a 0% rating. Not only do you have to prove that injuries or illnesses happened while on active duty, but the doctor who examines you has to identify and specifically document the certain criteria associated for you to be awarded a specific rating with your impairment(s). Such as, range of motion, limited motion, medications that you are prescribed (antibiotics). The VA don’t care if you are in pain or have persistent discomfort. Rather, it is a really goofey system to determine a rating that doesn’t make any sense.

    It doesn’t have to be this way, and I never thought that it would be so ******* up, but it is. Knowing what I know now, I would have still enlisted and served my country to deal with all the red tape again. It is just sad that all of OUR money is all being ****** away, misappropriated, used to bail-out certain companies / corporations, used as “stimulus money” or given to foreign aid by these “politicans” instead of helping our own people, especially those who served.

    It’s crazy. Keep fighting and don’t give up…

  6. I filed my OIF claim 23SEP2011. Today is 31MAR2013, and I am finally in the rating process. It takes forever, and some of my symptoms have worsened since I initially filed my claim. I have a Congressman helping me right now, and the American Legion is supposed to be helping me too.
    I hope the VA can start being more appreciative towards all of us Veterans and help us out faster, and with no mistakes.
    -OIF Veteran

  7. Jeremy
    I filed my claim in oct 2011 and my file is still in the review process.
    This is bad for people who can’t work and have no income.
    Thank God for my family it’s ashame how we veterans are treated.
    Jeremy what state do u live in

  8. RMCS(SS) says:

    I too file my claim in Oct 2011 at the Baltimore, MD office. The entire staff at the Baltimore, MD VA office should be terminated. They refuse to return phone calls and answer emails. If the staff does not want to do their job, then they should quit or be fired. The past few years has been a lot of lip talking and promises, but nothing is changing. What needs to happen is a visit twice a month from our elected leaders and see first hand what the American tax dollars are doing for veterans and really question the staff what is happening… My file/claim has transferred 4 times to other regions. Why?

  9. They are not going to call you back. There is a new website where you can check the status of your claim just google VA benefits check claim status and register. They will give you a number to call to get your registration complete and then you can check until your hearts content. They were constantly harassed by thousands of soldiers on claim statuses and bullied into making decisions that they need to judge by what the docs say not by you and calling will just tick them off further. The squeaky wheel normally gets the grease but in this case it doesn’t anymore. They have jailed a lot of veterans for fake claims now because they were bullying the staff into decisions. They are going their job and are loaded down with tons of cases that require a lot of investigating by a short staff of doctors on the board and case handlers. Let them be at peace and do their job and register into that link and you’ll see how your doing. Calling and calling isn’t going to make it go faster and could land your case near the bottom of the stack if your not careful. If you don’t like their decision then keep appealing like the rest of us. There are soldiers from Vietnam who have to file new appeals because of agent orange so your not alone in your frustration but its not fair to judge everyone there because they aren’t putting your case first or going as fast as you think they should there is a lot more to making a decision then you think and the va doesn’t need you harassing them and misusing the support line. You can also call the 800 hotline number and ask the status on your case and they will be happy to talk to you and look your case up plus give you the website and tools to do it yourself. You filed in 2011 well line up and wait cause I filed in 2004 and didn’t receive my decision rating until almost 2006 and didn’t start collecting my settlement and monthly severance pay until 2006. Go file for SSI as well that should keep you busy and your hands off your cell phone other than to check the web pages so in case the board denies your claim you still have the ball rolling with SSI and have time to appeal one then the other so you don’t have SSI and va decisions all hit you at once and be flooded with questions and more paperwork. If your case is ligget you will recieve your comp rating soon enough. If you was smart and got a copy of your records before you got out you can go get another official copy of them made so you have two and call the hotline to ask if you need to mail an official copy to help the process along. Do not get an attitude with the va. It just makes things worse. Most of them understand because they are vets as well but half the board is civilian doctors who never served and don’t understand. They do this for a reason so there is no bias opinions and ratings are fair. In the meantime keep making you appointments with not one no show and do what your told and take the meds they give you. That’s all you can do trust me that also wait and read the va records being made on you as well and the wrong attitude will get you nothing. Yes your in pain we all are or have nightmares and flashbacks but this is as fair as they can make it for everyone. Be glad you don’t live in Dallas cause if you did the waiting list on. The district board there is a min of five years. Follow the well given advise and read all the comments in this page they are very informative and will help you in the meantime. There is also a new transition department now that can assist you in the meantime filled with RPNs and councilors for support teams. Please use those that’s what they are there for and if they feel its taking to long let your rep nurse handle it and make the calls she or he needs.

  10. Oh and just another little FYI for ya. If you are permenantly and totally medically retired at a 100% PTSD you can not work at all and if you are caught working you will be jailed for a felony and all privileges and disibility pay will be taken away. The va can’t lower your rating once you are permenantly retired. They also can’t take your disibility away unless you violate the regs but they can lower your rating later and if your case gets worse again you can appeal its all on the appeals process paper you recieve when you get an official letter stating they have received your case for review.

  11. Hello I am a OEF vet I was there in 2010 and I had went through somewhat What Jermy has gone through, although I just went to get my comp. evaluation, I am waiting on them to get back at me with there percentage rating. My Question is , How long should it normally take to get my full evaluation back. This is in the state of NY. Not the city NY NY !!!!! But in upstate as in Binghamton, NY area.

  12. Tabitha says:

    Ok, first of all if you were in theater after 2003 you are considered OEF (Operation Enduring Freedom) all missions after 2003 are considered Enduring meaning you were there during the aftermath to help endure freedom. There really weren’t any front lines unless you served in Afghanistan and still you’d be considered OEF. OIF was awarded to soldiers who were in theater during the war from Feb 2003-July or August of 2003. It should say on your dd214 and if you claim the wrong one that could delay your case as well because they will be looking too far back on the dates you served. Again a claim could take a min of 6 months to 2 yrs – my answer has not changed from my previous comments above. You just have to keep making your appointments like you are supposed to and don’t forget your DD214 which shows all expeditionary metals. If your wearing OIF and its not on your DD214 then you’re wrong and the comp physical will see that and think your trying to claim being at the beginning of the war in a ROE red zone, which after OIF few are classified as being in the ROE red zone. So please be careful what you file. You could be misdiagnosed and treated for things you do not need treatment for unless 2011 was your second or third tour. Just do what they say and let them diagnose you. If you out diagnoses instead of symptoms the chances of your claim pulling through and being awarded are slim. Again keep it short and simple. Only tell the symptoms you are having on your claim.

  13. Jeremy Nolen says:

    I’m in San Diego. My claim was on its way to being rated but since I got a Congressman involved it has now went back to the gathering of evidence phase. Maybe I should have never got a Congressman involved as it seems to do nothing except delay a claim. The VA doesn’t respond to me but they do respond to the Congressman’s office, here’s the email I got:

    Jeremy,

    I know this is definitely not what you want to hear, but please know that I will check back with the VA in 30 days to see what progress has been made. I have copied the response I received from the VA liaison. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.

    VA: “His file was sent forward for a decision…the Rating Board deemed that more evidence was needed and kicked the file back to the Development Team. If any evidence is needed from Mr. Nolen he will be told exactly what is needed. If he needs to attend additional exams he will be told once they are scheduled. The Rating Board may have just needed a clarification from a medical doctor on a piece of medical evidence, this happens in 95% of these types of situations, and this will require nothing from Mr. Nolen. We will send the file to the doctor and detail what is needed clarified. Unfortunately, it will be at least another 60 days at this point before he gets a decision because the doctor has 30 days to respond and then it will have to go back to the Rating Board and if nothing else is needed will take 30 days to render the decision and the decision will then need to be authorized. Sorry.”
    Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance.
    Charles “Trey” Thompson III, MBA
    Congressional Liaison San Diego Regional Office

  14. Jeremy Nolen says:

    Tabitha,
    My OIF Campaign is on my DD-214 by the way. Wasn’t sure if you were talking about me or the other person.
    Jeremy

  15. Tabitha says:

    Is nobody reading the helpful comments I am posting? The minimum wait is six months, period. To try and contact and congressman is not going to get you anywhere. I do know board members and there are over a thousand cases a day they work on and trying to rush them will not give you what you want. I don’t know if you all are listening to old vets cause that’s the old ways of trying to get your claim pulled through but it doesn’t work anymore. Just create a my benefits account and sign on to see the progress and wait for them to instruct you on what they need from you. They will call or send a letter if needed. There is no way of rushing this. I don’t care if you’re superman the VA doesn’t take kindly to threats or bullying your way into making them make a decision. It will only make the process slower. So just wait in line like everyone else and deal with it. They are studying the case in and out because fraud cases were found. Veterans lied and kept calling to bully them so please read the helpful comments I have left for you before you go any further or ask the same darn question that was answered three to four times already by others who aren’t reading all the comments. If you’re having issues then head to a support group at your local vet society and quit trying to rush things like the old beta try to tell you. I am a medic and I have tried to provide ample help to other vets who need it, but if my comments are going to be ignored I have nothing further to discuss with you or anyone else unless its questions about what you can do in the meantime. And no I’m not going to tell you how you can get benefits if your just filing because you want to and don’t really have a real reason. I won’t help anyone by telling them what they need to say to win a rating. That is down right wrong. Either your case is legit or not period and a properly appointed medical professional will determine that.

  16. HI
    I WOULD LIKE SOMEBODY CAN HELP ME. IM VETERAN FOR 5 YEARS AGO. I WAS 16 MONTH IN EGYPT. MY QUESTION IS. AS A VETERAN I CAN CLAIM FOR SERVE THOSE TIME PERIOD? SO FAR IM NOT SERVICE CONNECTED. I GOT NOTHING %. I FELL 100% GOOD HEALTH BUT I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF I CAN CLAIM ONLY FOR SERVE TO THE MISSION? WHAT I HAVE TO DO? APPRECIATED YOU HELP.
    WAITING REPLY.

  17. Oh and here is something positive to say. Good luck and stop whining unless its to a professional. If you don’t want to take the positive advice I gave in the beginning then don’t and just sit there whining to others about it but it gets old after while and nobody cares at the end of the day but you and maybe one other idiot cause misery loves company and there’s always one idiot who doesn’t get it.

  18. Good cause I’m sure the VA has. I can call them to check if you’d like.

  19. Good Jeremy that will help prove your case if your filing for any PTSD. Please keep your appointments and don’t be a no show and be honest with what your feeling with the doctor. That’s all you can do but let me assure you the va is monitoring if your being seen and if your a no show. So this is very important and bring what awards you have to the comp physical psychiatrist. Good luck Jeremy

  20. Hey everyone: love reading all this stuff, I cry at some an laugh at others. Well I spent years helping a lot of Vets in signing up for beni , then omg I needed the Va for my self .
    so I went to see the same people, for years I have been taking others. Yes Please never lie or make it bigger than what it is, just tell the truth but as someone said here K.I.S.S. I have been blessed with all the help I got from the VA, I never thought I was as bad as I was, I was sent from one doctor to another, I ended up right now as 70% I couldnt ask for anything more, everyone treats me as if I was wearing full birds. the last I knew they want to sign me up for unemployable wich will give me 100% its true I can not find a job I can last on I cant walk nor can I set for very long. My Family lives in many states so when I can I travel, so the VA asks me what states I’m going to be in and they list them on my records, so if I need anything I just go to the nearest VA medical center they treat me as good as if I was in my home state. God Bless the VA Medical Centers and the people that work in them. well to some of you all I can say is its what you make of it, and rome wasnt built in a day so set back and let the ball roll where it may. Things will work out if you just let them do there work for you. My daughter signed up it took her 7 years but thanks to the highest court in Washington she ended up 100%. She had every record from day one it helps. so hang in there and good luck. the only thing I miss is I cant join VFW never was in a war, but I even cant join American Ledg, I was never in during a confl . this is the only thing I feel bad for many vets like me, we cant belong? as if we wernt in at all. But listen to me turn up your hearing aids , GOD BLESS THE VA MEDICAL CENTERS FOR WHAT THEY DO FOR US.

  21. Elizabeth says:

    FYI,

    For all OEF/OIF veterans that served in a combat zone, there is a 5 year period that starts on the date of discharge or post deployment where you can get medical care from a VA medical facility or CBOC. This was implemented by the VA so that OEF/OIF combat veterans will be able to receive medical care, while waiting for their benefits to process through the system.

    If you are an OEF/OIF veteran that served in a combat zone, you should contact your local VA facility and contact the OEF/OIF Coordinator or OEF/OIF Case Manager and schedule an appointment to attend their post deployment clinic. The clinic will consist of an appointment with a primary care physician and the OEF/OIF Case Manager will review all benefits available at the VA and will make sure that the veteran’s information is updated and in the VA system. This is the start for new claims and this process allows the veteran to receive care while waiting.

    The OEF/OIF Case Manager will also be a good contact person to ensure that you are getting appointments in a timely manner and that you are receiving the care that you need.

    Do not forget to provide your DD214 with documentation of service in a combat zone. Also, any medical records showing injuries while in a combat zone are important to have, as they provide documentation for any injuries claimed. This is important, as you may not currently have symptoms related to war zone injuries, but this must be documented in the VA system for future treatment.

    Hope that this helps.

  22. Ralph Valderrama says:

    I must share with all of you who have a legitimate claim. The VA hospital has been a complete Blessing to me. They really and Truely have given me the ultimate care. I really can’t tell you as to who or how I filed a claim because I was heavily medicated but I do recall signing the documents. For SURE there are caring people at the VA hospital that will help you with the necessary paper work! I file a claim in Dec.2011 today I’m receiving Social Security Disablity payments also my claim is in the rating stage and should be hearing from them within 6 weeks. It’s been 20 months so far for me but during that time I’ve had back surgery and recovery time. My injury occurred in 1976 in Japan while night training in the USMC. This was well documented in my medical service file. My only complaint is this that I was never informed by anyone that I had medical benefits and coverage at the VA Hospital. For more than 30 years I suffered with sever lower back pain to the point of not being able to walk or get out of bed for months on in. Perhaps I’ve said to much so I will end this note by saying God Bless the Caring hands of the people at the VA and God Bless the USA and for all the Veteran who put it all on the line, THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!

    Trust the VA system, give them the time they need to process your claim!

  23. Richard Bennett says:

    if anyone can help me get a medal for my actions on Sept 10,1972 in Bien Hoa, Vietnam – I would appreciate it. other back office people have taken the credit. I need someone with guts to help me. —— Richard Bennett – PO Box 416 Fitzgerald, GA 31750

  24. I am concerned ; lets start with 1957 Roswell NM I was at work on the flight line and slipped off a wet metal staging braking my left angle and with pulling many tendons and mussels. They never healed right and have bothered me for years, Now three doctor say, my right has been damaged by over use trying to keep the pain down on my left foot by use my right side more.

    Now they say I may need a right hip replacement shortly. the foot and angle doctor would like me to have this done, before I have my angle cut in to.
    The doctor told me its from a very -very-very old brake so I have four bone fragments moving around and along with my tendons that never healed right.

    I have worked with the VA for my service connected disability connection but they can not find any records because of the fire in 1973, So because of the records fire does this mean it didn’t happen? I filled out a form they set me explaining everything to them where when and how it happened.

    Can someone help me out? I do Have a NH Veterans Service Officer working on this but its not going very fare.

    Please help if you can? Thanks Graham
    P.S. I wear three brace’s angle, knee, and lower back

  25. Hung Szeto says:

    My $.02, after a long and tedious claim process. After over 10 yrs of PTSD claim, denied, refile with more evidence, denied, then refill with more evidence, repeat; I was finally awarded the recognition of a problem I had to dealt with at ongoing basis. In summary:

    1 Be patient, the claim workers are people who handle untold number of cases each day.

    2 The VA, like any large organization, is comprised of smaller organizations. Its medical experts are there to fix you, and the admin folks are there to determine what you are eligible for. Do not make the mistake in assuming these 2 major sub-divisions talk to each other and know your case beyond a file number.

    3 Be courteous, resourceful, but firm; above all, be truthful. If you truly believe you have a case, prove it so the adjudicator won’t lose his/her job and you go to jail by granting you the green light. If I am the claim processor and your claim is full of holes, I’m sure as heck not going to jeopardize my career so you can get the Benjamins.

    4 Lastly, help the adjudicator help you. I go to the VAMC in Manhattan and on the 2nd fl there are different side stories of VA, one of which was a WWII soldier who change dhis mind about his life insurance when he was in combat. He carved his desire on the wall and later that day, he was killed in action. The Gov (mil/VA) actually got someone to take a photo of that “evidence,” and the family was properly compensated as if he was insured. Point is, YOU must provide the government the convincing evidence to make the decision you want. I know it sucks but in legalese, such “burden of proof” is on you. A carving in the mud is a bit extreme, but here is where persistence and indisputable proof hit a home run.

    I hope this help at least 1 soul in the claim process. Thank you for reading

  26. David Smith says:

    Service connected monthly va check is being garnished to pay off 25 year old home loan. VA knew my whereabouts this whole time but never said anything until a year and a half ago when I started getting my check. I’m about to retire and I need this money. Is there anything I can do?

    • David, this is outside the scope of my expertise. I recommend contacting a Veterans Service Organization such as the VFW, American Legion, DAV, or another organization. They have trained personnel who may be able to help you free of charge. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  27. Waiting since 2012 says:

    My husband filed 04/2012 and the VA sent a letter asking for information that is in his medical service record…..WHY? To make things worse we took another step and sent them ALL of the copies that we also have from his file. It saddens me that they would continue to look for the evidence that they can pull from his records that are located across the street from their office.

  28. Phillip Garcia says:

    I had no problems getting my claim in. It might have been different back then for you service members who got out ten years ago but I was told to submit my claim while I was in because if I waited till I got out it could take up to six years for your claim to come through , so I submitted my claim the day before I got out and six months later it was approved and I got 70%. And the VA has taken good care of me ..

  29. Hi…everyone. thanks for your service. I have been attempting to prove depression relating to my disability but keep getting denied.

  30. If I have been given a rating of 90% overall (90% medical breakdown per packet sent to me ) and 70% PTSD. Which I have been told they have reviewed it and are now after some time n lots of spots n therapy n mess they are changing it to 100% PTSD….can that ever be lowered or changed? Trying to ease anxiety over whether I can count on that for my future or not?? Please advise. Ty

  31. @Trent,
    First, brother thank you for your service and welcome home!
    I am a 100% P&T SC, I served in OD Shield /OD Storm with the 1st Infantry Division. I have four MOS’s, my primary being a 19D20, I also am a former Drill Sgt., thus you can figure for yourself why i denied and ran from my combat service issues for five years. I finally was so sick I had the choice, give in and go or die before I was 30?
    I would really like to talk with you, educate you about the VA as they are not our friend or our buddies! Do not let anyone convince you otherwise brother, I have been dealing with the VA for over 18 years at one of the top three worst rated VAMC’s in the nation.
    As I said, I am here if you would like some assistance, I served as an officer on Post, District, State, and National levels with the VFW, and have worked very closely with the VFW’s Legislative Office in D.C. and know who can make things happen.
    Trent, I will be praying suspificley for you brother, don’t lose your faith brother as that is one thing no one can take from us, have a blessed day!
    Watch your six 1*,

    Adam

  32. Larry Parker says:

    I am retired Army after serving 26 years. I have a VA disability rated at 30%. My question is why are there some service members receiving a compensation in addition to their retirement pay and I don’t. On my monthly LES it shows that my VA pay is $447 however that is just the amount which is not taxable and reduced from my gross pay.

    I thought those with a 30% disability should get the $447. in addition to their retirement pay. Please shead some light on this subject….thanks.

    • Larry, The reason is because of a law called Concurrent Receipt. You can learn more here: Concurrent Receipt Rules – Concurrent Retirement Disability Pay (CRDP).

      Basically, the old law was that no one received both VA service connected disability pay in addition to retirement pay. There was a VA offset that reduced your retirement pay by the amount of your VA disability pay if you were eligible to receive both payments. The new law came about in 2004 and gives people with a VA Service-connected disability rate of 50% or more both payments. Those with 40% or lower still have the VA offset in which their retirement pay is reduced by the amount of their VA disability pay. The net result is still positive, because VA disability payments are tax free.

  33. I am currently at 60% disability. I had filed my claim December 27, 2011 for an increase and new diagnosis. When I check my ebenefits account, it says my claim is in the second phase “under review”. Can that be possible after all this time? I know it says it may skip a couple of phases after June 2014 in that phase. It also say I’m due to receive a decision between July 2014-December 2014. Do anybody know if these dates are accurate? My regional office is in Atlanta and this has been a long road for me as well as everyone else. I can’t work so I’m depending on my disability to come through.
    Also, I started my SSI claim and have appealed my case 2 or 3 times before I sought a lawyer with Binder and Binder. I filed that “initial claim” in January 2013, but my last appeal was November 2013. Do anybody know the time frame or the process after that?

  34. Larry,

    That changes when you reach 50% disability. Then you will receive both.

    Tom

  35. I’m been trying to locate my medical files since I was medically discharged without my consent since 2005. All my records that prove it was service connected pretty much disappeared. I’m filled a claim and there is paper work stating I had an injury but no lod. How hard is it to prove service connected without an lod
    but statements from drs. And follow soldiers?

    • Hello Jessica, Thank you for comment. You have a situation that needs specific help. My recommendation is to contact a local Veterans Service Organization such as the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, VFW, American Legion, or a similar service organization. They all have trained volunteers and staff members who can help you navigate the VA claims process free of charge. I hope this gets you pointed in the right direction. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  36. William L. Benson, ETCM, RET, U.S.C.G. says:

    I have heard that veterans with a low VA compensation rating my have their rating increase to 100% at age 65 if they are unable to work!! How do you apply for this increase if it is true???

    William Benson (BEN)

    • Hello William, I haven’t heard anything about this. My recommendation is to speak with a benefits counselor at a Veterans Service Organization (DAV, VFW, American Legion, etc.) to do a benefits review for you. They offer a free service to help veterans with VA benefits claims.

  37. I retired almost 2 yrs ago and was just diagnosed w/ severe sleep apnia…I have a rating of 80% already…so what should I do now? I was tested by the VA once before I retired, but that test was inconclusive. Thanks for your help.

    • Chris, I’m assuming you have already contacted your doctor and are getting taken care of on the health end. This is always priority number 1. After that, you should contact your the VA if your health condition is service-connected. You may have to file for an increased claim. I recommend using the services of a Veteran Services Organization such as the VFW, American Legion, DAV, or similar organization if you need assistance with your claim. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  38. Dalè A Greeñè Sr says:

    I can’t believe it takes so long to get answers from the VA on paper work submitted to them! I think they don’t care about us!

  39. George Collins says:

    Hello everyone, I am an Army Vet. In 1978 I hurt my knee in the motor pool, and needed surgery for a meniscus tear. That was the beginning of 17 operations up to 2014. In 1978, the VA made an error for the tear, and operated on the wrong side. So I needed another surgery. After many repairs from ACL surgeries, I could not walk without falling down.
    In or around 2004 I had my first partial knee replacement. After a few months, my leg was rejecting the surgery, so around 10 months later I need a total knee replacement. After a year or so, I needed a knee revision, so another operation. Around two years later, I had big problems with swelling, and puss oozing out of my knee and leg. The VA said this happens all the time with knees that are sensitive. So a few years later at the end of 2013, the VA said I had an infection in my knee. So the VA put a spacer in my knee for 2 months. If you know anything about knee surgeries, a spacer is the worst. So in Feb of 2014, I had another TKR. This was a total of 17 surgeries, and now my knee is worse than ever. I am swelling up from my knee down to my toes, with a puss still oozing from it. Right now I’m at a loss for words, because I’m still waiting for my temp 100% being May 2014.
    My question is, if someone could help, and is knowledgeable .I have also put in for hardship since my wife passed, and I don’t have her income any longer. To date 5/24/2014, I still have not received any temp 100%.
    The VA told me to stop working over a year now. I am currently receiving 50%, SSD, and long term disability from my job. The American legion put me in for employability, knowing I’m only 50%. Since the VA told me to stop working after 40 years, will I be approved for the 100%. My case has been open since 1/2013. Any help from anyone would deeply be appreciated. thanks
    George

  40. Todd Fahn says:

    Hay sir with the knee problems please call me or text me or email me. My email is fahn_1@me.com. cell phone. (360)771-6104. I look forward to hearing from you.

  41. Helen Merz says:

    My husband D. Merz is 40% service connected disabled vet. He served in the Marines and was in Vietnam. He receives $447.93. Its only him and me no children and according to your chart he should be receiving $641.28 is this true? If so how do we go about recovering the back money owed. Here is another question, we have been trying to get an increase in disability status from 40% to 50% to no avail. The last C&P doctor says Agent Orange was a diplomatic decision and didn’t understand why we were there. So far he is on 2 types of insulin for diabetes plus pills, has cataracts in both eyes (now delayed because they want to gather the best team possible because of his condition), ischemic heart disease, high blood pressure, blockages in the neck and thighs (walks with a cane and can’t walk very far because he turns grey; can’t even cut the grass with a lawn mower and we don’t have that much to cut), a hernia that has been growing (that needs to be addressed, yet when asked about it his PCP says no one will touch it because of his diabetes and the mesh causes more problems), copd, emphysema, running legs, asthma, border line sleep apnea. He meets the criteria! Now his teeth are falling out and due to have 5 teeth pulled! Yet because he is not 100% disabled they will not give him dentures! How is he suppose to eat? We have offered to pay but to no avail. We have contacted the rep at the Lebanon VA Medical Center and it seems all we do is fill out paperwork and left in limbo. Have been involved with Rep for Vets for 2 yrs but we are doing all the leg work! We have sent them countless copies of his medical records. I think he may have talked to his “representative” twice and always the rep is in court, or busy.

  42. Chris LaFluer says:

    Helen Merz, It sounds like y’all are having a rough time. Have you sought out an SSD attorney? If not, and your not already collecting SS, you should. Something you can look into…if your husband does not meet criteria for 100% disability (and from what it sounds like, he does) then based on your SSD claim, you can apply for 80% disability/unemployable which would comes pretty close to 100% disabled. I think your best bet is to find a social worker and/or attorney that can help you with your claim. Don’t be afraid of the costs, most attorneys don’t get paid unless you do. Good Luck!!!

  43. Charlie says:

    I have a couple of questions, but unlike most posters here I am wondering why I get as much as I do. Background: I served in the Army from 64 to 68 including a tour of Vietnam. I am 76 years old, been married 44 years, my children are all adults and on their own, parents are deceased.

    Since 1973 I had been receiving 80% disability for deafness. Nine years ago a nurse at the VA clinic told me that I should apply for 100% disability so I would move to the head of the line for a cochlear implant. I did that and was granted the 100% and received the implant. I am now receiving $3,119.10/mo and wonder why that is. I do not see that amount listed in the tables, it seems that I am getting a bit more than I should.

    As I am six years senior to my wife, I will likely be deceased before her. Will she be entitled to anything? Is it means tested and if so what is the criteria?

  44. Hung Szeto says:

    Hello to all and this is just a quickie question. How long does it take for an applicant to get a thumbs up/down after applying for unemployable and what are the criteria, other than already at 70% or up?

    I’m already at 80% when I apply last yr and it’s vital I get a green light from the VA. I live in midtown Manhattan for 40 years this October and the landlord wants to out me so he can triple the rent. I’m not 62 yet so my housing lawyer said my only chance is disability by housing court standard, by which he mean 80% don’t cut it. Can anyone give me some insight on this before I become the next homeless vet and add onto the statistic? Much tkx to all.

    PS, I’m 48 and served 28 years in the USMC/Army with deployments to Desert Storm, OIF, and OEF, and have TBI and spinal injuries, if that info will help…

  45. Tabetha says:

    Sure I can help you with that I know the system and suffered the same injuries but I only have two national defense ribbon and don’t really count ODS. So if you should happen to need some good step by step I can get them to even remodel your house if you need a wheel chair or have physical problems getting around the house. I can do all this and get you into college and show you how you can get other cool stuff…..hey I’m 100% medically retired what else is there to do but read the benefit packet over five times lol. Well this years but I was sitting at 70% until my case was proven I got the money that someone fully retired got plus a degree. Good luck!

  46. Just as a little word of advice… If you happen to be a homeless veteran when u put in for your claim, than they HAVE TO give u an answer within 6 months as to if your claim gets approved or not. Make sure they know you’re homeless (if you really are)

  47. 100% disabled by VA since Oct. 2010. I require a wheelchair. Presently living in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in order to be able to afford a full time caregiver. I have already been turned down by VA for an allowance to pay a caregiver, whom I need for “everything” and by Especially Adapted Housing.
    James L. Sullivan, Maj USA (Ret.)

  48. Sereita says:

    Hello James Sullivan,
    The caregiver program is a program in which President Obama put in place for our Veterans. To my understanding, the caregiver must be a relative over the age 18. I am currently been cared for by my family. I don’t know if you have a local VA but there are steps and procedures that the caregiver has to take. They have to go through CPR, they are required to have home visits every 90 days for the first year and I’m not sure after that. That’s why I was asking if you have a local VA because this May be a factor in their decision. If not, I am not sure. It seems like you would be a good candidate. Good Luck!

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