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 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.

Comments

  1. I’m active duty, and I have been given my ratings. I received a 100% va and 70% Army but due to the fact that I do not have 20 yrs of service I’m only entitled to one check. I thought This was a crock but what do you do?

    I was wondering what paper do I need to submit for the no home tax? Being that my income is about to be really tight I want to prepare for it now. I asked my PEBLO she claims to be unaware of who to go to.

  2. William schmitt says:

    I got out of the army in 2007 and have a disability rating of 40%. I just got married and need good insurance for the family and we are expecting to have a child in 7 months. Is there anything the military can do for me now or the va or am I on my own. Would like to find out anything I can. Thanks for reading

  3. You a should be able to use tricare for you and your family. I’m 70% service conected, and I use the VA for me and tricare for my family. I’m not sure what the stipulations are for it, but contact tricare for your region for more information.

  4. You will have to contact the VA office near you, or the one that you will be using. Based on your percentages, you should qualify for monthly compensation. Although you should know that the VA takes forever to file your claim. But on the plus side, everything will be back paid from the date you started the claim. Or the date you are to start collecting benefits.

  5. Can I apply for disability compensation if I did not have a service connected disability? I am having back and shoulder issues due to my service. Can I get a rating depending on the severity of the injuries?

  6. Charles Walker says:

    It does NOT make sense! Why is 50% $901.83, when 100% is $3,107.00? In all fairiness 50% should be around $1,500 a month. Please explain why?

    • Charles, The rates are determined by the VA. They are supposed to represent how the disability impacts your ability to work. If someone is 10% disabled, they can, for the most part, continue to perform work duties in some capacity. Each higher rating decreases one’s ability to work to a greater degree (in theory). I’m not going to debate any particular situation – some people have high disability ratings and can continue to perform various jobs, while others with a lower rating may have difficulty performing even small tasks. All I’m doing is explaining how the numbers work.

      If you feel your VA disability rating is in error, then I encourage you to seek an increase. You can file an appeal with the VA. There are even Veterans Service Organizations that will help you appeal your rating free of charge. I hope this is helpful in understanding how it works.

  7. Whitney mccoy says:

    I was just wondering how I make sure all my information is correct so they know who to contact when I start getting my 10% disability.

    • Whitney, Try contacting your regional VA office and request to update your information on file, to include your address and phone number. When your claim is complete, you will receive an award letter from the VA indicating your service-connected disability level and which benefits you should be eligible to receive. You will also want to provide the VA with a bank account and routing number so your disability compensation can be automatically deposited into your bank account. Should you receive a service connected disability rating and receive compensation, you will receive back pay back to the effective date of your claim.That could be the date you filed your claim, or back to the date you separated from the military, depending on when your claim was filed and other factors.

  8. veterans speak says:

    Is it possible for a veteran to receive 100% disability compensation and still work a full-time job?

  9. @VeteranSpeak – Yes. There is 100 employable and 100 non. I’ve had two soldiers in my old unit that have had either. The one guy is blind as a bat from shrapnel and just all kinds of janked up–like really bad.. (unemployable), and the one female has some crazy pressure in her eyes from.. something, migraines, etc; etc; and is employable.

  10. Rodney Pugh says:

    This disability compensation has been driving me nuts for over a 1 1/2. I started with the help of a group. After 8 month’s The Reno office sent me a letter to ask a question. Some thing was out of place. Come to find out they did not fill out the right forms or put down all of my ailments. Restart #1

    Now I am thinking after we redo this all over again. Would it be bad to talk to my Sen tor and Congressman about this. After all on TV they all ways says how much they do for us Vets. (1) call back (1) letter and the other got lost some where he said. Never did get back to me. (9) months Keep getting letter’s saying sorry this is taking so long. But we are working on your case. I call Mr. Reid office to see if he can help or tell me what is going on. Restart #2

    Now I am out of money eviction notion. 12 Major thing worn with me from Nerves, Bones , Hart, lost of the use of my legs.

  11. Housebound & Unemployable says:

    I was medically discharged at 100% disability, then VA determined 100% T&P disability for a single injury (brain). I was also determined as housebound due to 60% additional in other injuries. My compensation pay has started, then I heard about Special Medical Compensation. Should I be receiving pay for both my “regular” disability compensation and then the SMC as additional? Or is this all factored together? The VA does not itemize my disability pay, so I don’t know if the SMC is included or not. Your wisdom is greatly appreciated.

    • Housebound, This isn’t something I would be able to tell you, as Special Medical Compensation is determined on a case by case basis. The best thing to do is contact the VA and have them go over your benefits with you. Alternatively, you can speak with a Veterans Benefits Officer who can help explain your benefits and help you apply for anything you should be receiving if you aren’t receiving it. You can contact VSOs such as the DAV, VFW, American Legion, etc. Most of these organizations have qualified case officers who will help you free of charge. Best of luck!

  12. We finaly called Fox News to get Moms death bennies from 1990, 24yrs and they now hold the money, and pay out a little each month to Mom for us to care for her. What a joke. The VA never paid her since 1990, and now they want and will manage the $? I worry about me passing B4 my wife now……….who will the VA scew next? WWII to Nam to OIF/OEF……

  13. If VA awards me…say 30% and I appeal the percentage. Will I receive the 30 % while the appeal is being decided or receive nothing until appeal is decided. Thanks in advance for the help.

    • Richard, You should receive the compensation after your rating is determined. You will receive back pay all the way back to the date you filed. If your appeal is successful, you should also receive additional back pay to the day you originally filed your claim. If your claim is unsuccessful, then you should continue receiving your compensation without any changes.

  14. Ryan, thank you very much for the quick reply. Very kind of you….Semper Fi

  15. Is cola automatic added into your va compensation or do you have to request to have it and how much is added to your base va compensation

    • Chris, COLA is automatically added each year when cost of living adjustments are made. You should see the increase in your January compensation payment. I’m not sure what you mean by “how much is added to your base va compensation?” COLA applies to all rates across the board. There is no location based COLA, it is an annual adjustment based on inflation. I hope this helps.

  16. thx you for your last answer sir!! I have one more question if I’m rated at 70% married with 4 kids how much can I expect every month with cola include

    • Chris, A veteran with a spouse at 70% rates: $1,505.66/mo. Then you add $55.42 for each child under the age of 18, which equals $221.68. That comes to a total of $1,727.34. These are the current rates. The COLA adjustment should come out in the near future, and it should be about 1% higher, or around $1,740 a month (ballpark estimate).

  17. Doug Merwin says:

    Nam Vet at 100% My question is this: I have two teen-aged children both being Autistic and will be with us for life. I have faxed the VA Intake Center twice now with the proof of this for my 18 yr old Daughter, who is a junior in high school. I have talked and sent same information to VA Rep in Winston-Salem, NC. no replies from either. So now she does not have Champ VA and the $$ I get as Disability has dropped.. How can I get this fixed, and can I look to see what they have set for both Ins/Disability?

    Thank you

  18. matthew davis says:

    I got my rating and amount I would receive. I got about half of my back pay and wondering how long it will be until I get the rest.. thanks

    • Matthew, I don’t have a firm answer. The VA normally pays the back pay fairly quickly. If they only paid half, the other half should be coming soon. You can contact your regional office to see if they have a specific date they will release the rest of the funds. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  19. I was med boarded through the IDES program., I received 80% Army and 100% VA. I called today just trying to get some clarification on a few things and to ensure I’d done everything on my end that is needed. The first rep I spoke with was very rude, I do understand that the initial VA Award letter you receive is just a proposal, he kept saying well that doesn’t mean that’s what your going to get. I didn’t ask to be med board, it definitely something that I was trying to hang in there and avoid. I was lucky enough to ask to speak with another rep who was extremely helpful. My status in eBenefits shows as gathering evidence. Seeing that I just medically separated/retired two weeks ago I understood that the missing document needed was my DD 214. My question is do I need to hold of on applying for certain benefits that I would be eligible for at the 100% rate until my final approval letter. I’ve been unable to work for almost 2 years from my conditions resulting in me being assigned to a WTU and just trying to figure out what my new normal will be. Anyone familiar with the possibility of my rating changing dramatically from the proposal to the final award letter please chime in. An advice one could offer thank you.

  20. Manen Bishop says:

    Hello Ryan,

    I originally submitted my claim in Dec 2006. I was awarded 20% but there were some things that was not awarded due to the doctors did not fully read some test that I had while on active duty (sleep apnea). They saw that I had the test but no one ever wrote up the results. So nothing was awarded for it. It has been 8 years now and I finally found a doctor that has read the results that has also been treating me for the past 6 years for sleep apnea. Will I get back paid for the years that VA did not award me for this or will I only get paid from the date I file for it this time? Also if I never appealed my first decision can I go back an refile my case for higher compensation due to medical conditions getting worse?

  21. Pete Pepper says:

    Hi Ryan,
    I’m trying to help a vet who is 100% disabled (PTSD,TBI,etc). He thinks if he works and receives more than $700-$1,000 a month, the VA will reduce his disability check. Are there limits on how much a disabled vet can earn in outside income?

  22. Hi Ryan,

    I am a Vietnam Vet who has been diagnosed with a number of gastric problems, (Gerd, Gastric Ulcer, Barretts Esophagus, Acid reflux etc.). I filed a claim for them and have been denied, because I never went to sick bay for any gastro issues. I served for 3 years and 1 month in the service, spending 20 months in VN. I am a Agent Orange service member which is documentedin my VA records. I am also recognized by the VA having PTSD. Aren’t one or both of them presumtive causes for my Gastro Claims.

    If anyone out there knows the answer or can points me in the right direction I would appreciate a response.

    Thanks Ed

    • Edward, Thank you for contacting me. To be honest, I’m not an expert on VA disability ratings. But based on my understanding, the medical condition has to have a direct correlation to your military service. There are certain medical conditions that have been linked to Agent Orange, but I’m not sure if the gastric issues you listed have been officially recognized by the VA as having a direct link. My recommendation is to speak with a Veterans Service Officer who can give you specialized assistance with your claim. You can often find then working for your county Veterans Affairs office, or through an organization such as the DAV, VFW, American Legion, Vietnam Veterans Association, etc. I hope this points you in the right direction.

  23. Tomeka Light says:

    If my VA rating increased from 90% to 100%, do the VA backpay from the day of your of discharge or only pay from the day of the increase?

    • Tomeka, Backpay is usually to the date you initially filed your claim. If you filed your claim right after you separated, it would be backdated to your separation date. If your claim was approved at 90%, but you filed an appeal, which was later upgraded, it should be backdated to your initial claim date. If you were approved at 90%, then later filed a new claim that brought you up to 100%, then you would receive back pay to the date you filed the new claim.

  24. I am receiving 10% compensation. I have a spouse and 2 children. Can they receive compensation or does it have to be at 30%.

    • B, Disability compensation is only for the member. Once a member is rated at 30% or higher, they would begin receiving a larger amount if they have dependents. The additional compensation is all part of the same payment to the disabled member. There are no payments made to the dependents. I hope this answers your question.

  25. Monique Destine says:

    After receiving your money, and if there was something on your medical record the Dr failed to notate, if you start having problems,can you go back to up the %?

    • Monique, you can always file a new compensation claim if the medical condition wasn’t noted in your original claim. If the medical condition was noted in your original claim, then you would need to file an appeal. You can contact a Veterans Service Officer at a Veterans Service Organization or your county for free assistance with your claim or appeal. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  26. CHARLES,WALKER says:

    I HAVE A CLAIM IN FOR 2 YEARS FOR INCREASE IT GOES BACK AN FOURTH IS THIS NORMAL.

  27. Im at 80%, and my service connected injuries from time to time prevent me from working year round, is there any way to get 100% but still be able to work?

    • digbum, there are certain circumstances in which veterans disabled at 100% can work, but there may be limitations, including income limitations or hours worked. I encourage you to meet with a Veterans Benefits Counselor to look at your specific situation.

  28. If you have a disability rating of 80% from the va are you able to join the Army reserves or guard?

    • digbum, It is possible to join the Guard or Reserves with a disability rating, provided it doesn’t hinder your ability to serve and/or deploy. There is no specific rating cap that would prevent you from serving. However, you would need to go through MEPS and pass the same entrance physical every new member must pass when joining the military. This will likely be difficult with an 80% rating. I encourage you to read the article linked in this response. It explains this in more detail.

  29. If I am seeking 100% for my first claim (of now 4 years pending) due to injuries I had happen to me (physically) while in service, & 100% on my second claim (mentally) which now makes 2 years pending, will the VA compensate me for a 200% back pay once disability is granted?

    • Rusty, Disability claims are capped at 100% – you cannot receive compensation for anything above the 100% rating. If your claim is approved, you would receive back pay to the date you filed your claim.

  30. Ryan,
    if i am already at 40% disability ,and i add my wife and child, does the VA take the additional ammount(699) and add it on the the original ammount i am getting? Or is that just a flat rate?

    • Chris, the VA would pay you the rate for 40%, which is $577.54, plus the additional rates for a spouse and a child. The charts show the rate for a veterans plus a spouse and a child at $687.97 (2014 rates). If you have another child, you would receive an additional $31.67.

  31. Thanks Ryan

  32. Hi Ryan,
    I guess a better question for me to ask would be: ” can a veteran be paid (overall) 100% for a disability compensation, but if they have a total two claims being evaluated and/or disputed receive 100% for one claim, & 100% for another?”

    In other words, for my four year pending claim, if I am awarded 100%, would I be able to receive the maximum allowed benefits for that claim, & the maximum allowed benefits for my two year pending claim, but ‘ONLY’ monthly get 100% monetary benefit allowed?

    • Rusty, The VA awards a disability rating for each medical condition, then uses a complicated formula to come up with a final combined rating. This rating will not exceed 100%, regardless of how many disabilities you have, or when the claims were filed, or the disabilities were awarded. You could even have two disabilities rated at 100% each. The combined disability rating could still not exceed 100%. The combined rating is rating veterans receive compensation for.

      Here is a detailed article and podcast which explains how VA math and combined disabilities are rated.

      I hope this answers your question. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  33. (Smile …by the way, the claims are for separate injuries. You would think that the VA would compensate whatever the/your injuries are in which you had sustained while serving.

    However, (from the experience everyone has been shown by the VA) it’s probably going to take an attorney to pursue & win the earnings.
    Just curious …thanks for a reply.

  34. My son just got his award letter he is @ 100% when will he recieve his back pay ? he will be back pay from 10/2013 and we just entered his direct deposit on e benefits last night anyone know of this.

    • Hello Veronica, Back pay is generally awarded to the date the benefits claim was filed. It may take a month or two for the funds to begin being transferred if you just now entered the direct deposit information. If you need a specific date, you will need to contact the VA. They will be able to give your son, or his legal guardian or caregiver if that is the case, specific information regarding when the payments will actually begin.

  35. Thanks Ryan!

  36. Ryan
    I have Neurofibromatosis and the disability was aggravated While I was in the service Back in 1979-1980 I have had nothing but the ROYAL RUN AROUND by the V.A. such as losing my Medical Records four times in a row. I finally got fed up with this and Had to call my Senator and Congressman I guess it worked because things are starting to happen. Since filing for my compensation benefits I have seen a V.A. Psychiatrist the Dr. told me that while I was in the service I had a series of Major Depression Disorder (a small series) this is caused by the Neurofibromatosis. Tell me this 1. will the Psychiatrist go to the decision officer in my case and 2. I am being told that because it was aggravated in 1980 it will go back that far OH! by the way the V.A. are looking for my Wilford Hall records they claim they can’t find them Can you shed some light on my question (my first claim was in 2002 and the second was last year in Feb)

    • Kent, Thank you for contacting me. I’m sorry to hear about your health issues. To be honest, this is above my knowledge level. I understand a lot of the basics, but I’m not able to make specific recommendations for anyone’s claim or health conditions, nor do I have access to any VA or military medical records.

      My recommendation is to meet with a Veterans Service Officer at a Veterans Service Organization. They have trained case officers who offer free benefits claims assistance. They should be able to help you with your claim. Here are some recommendations.

      You can also try contacting the National Archives to see if they have copies of your medical records. Here is the information on requesting your military records. I hope this information points you in the right direction. I wish you the best of luck, and thank you for your service!

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