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.

    • Jeff says

      I am telling you that you can take her for child support. If she tells you other wise she is in the wrong because that is earned income.

  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!

  11. Jim robinson says

    My va benefits were raised from 30 percent to 70 percent several months ago. How long should I have to wait to see it on my pay and also my backpay.

    • says

      Jim, Thank you for contacting me. You should typically see the increased pay in your check within 1-3 months. The back pay is usually made in a separate payment, but it is often paid within the same time frame. You should contact the VA for further details.

  12. Des Meredith says

    Hi, my service connected disability rating is at 20% for my knee that i tore up in 1989 while in the Army, and I have a rep with Veterans Affairs working with me to get a higher rating seeing as the VA has determined that I should get a knee replacement that ill be getting in January. How much higher would you guess that my rating would go if I have to go through this?

  13. John Clark says

    My 100% disabled father receives extra VA pay for my brother who is an adult “helpless child” even though they don’t live together. Dad is single and has lived alone for many years now. My brother lives in poverty and is unable to completely support himself. Are there rules governing that this money should be used to help him? Also, can you tell me how much it is?

    • says

      John, Thank you for contacting me. The additional pay is only supposed to be given when the adult dependent is receiving care from the veteran. In this case that doesn’t sound like it is happening. I’m not sure how to go about making sure this happens, short of turning in your father to the VA.

  14. Faye says

    Hello my husband has 80% and I have a child in college. Should Va pay the college tuition in full and when do the college student get a monthly stipend?

    • says

      Faye, Thank you for contacting me. There are some college education benefits for children of veterans with a service-connected disability, but I am not an expert on these benefits. You will need to contact the VA and work with them to determine eligibility, and if eligible, to file a claim. They can brief you on the available benefits at that time. I wish you the best!

  15. Patrick J. Campbell says

    Dear Mr. Guina,
    I was involved In a very serious car accident just shortly after I was discharged from the Army. I filed for Non-Service connected disability. I have had 2 strokes and 3 heart attacks(minor). I was turned down because I did not serve during a war time era. I have written a 4 page letter about how unfair this is to us veterans that went after vietnam. I served in Germany and use to patrol the border. I have filed for SSI and that is dragging out for the past 3 years now. I would like to send you a copy of the letter I have written to Congressman Mica about this. I feel that this is discremative to us veterans that served during the Cold War. All my medical records are with the VA and have many doctors tell me that I am not able to work now. If you could email me an address to where I can send this letter to you I would be grateful. I am not fighting for a change for just myself but for the many other veterans that served during the same time era.
    Patrick Campbell

    • says

      Patrick, Thank you for contacting me, and I’m sorry to hear about your injuries and illnesses. I am not aware of non-service connected disability through the VA. Are you referring to VA medical care for a non-service connected injury? If so, the VA has written procedures for which veterans are eligible to receive medical care, and those vary based on many factors, including when and where the veteran served, whether they have a service-connected injury, and many, many other factors. I have no insight into how or why they make their rules, and no method for affecting change for said rules. I’m sorry to say that I won’t be able to do anything with your letter other than read it. Sorry.

      I do hope all turns out well with your SSI claim and that it will be resolved soon. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  16. Eli says


    I have recently been granted a 30% disability rating. Coincidentally, I’m also getting married in a few weeks and my soon to be spouse works and lives with me. Am I eligible to claim her as my dependent despite her currently being employed?

    I have looked all over the va website for spousal dependent eligibility criteria and cannot find anything.

    Any information is greatly appreciated.

    Best Regards,

  17. Jackie smith says

    My husband gets 100% VA benefits and my 26 year old daughter is going back to school to get her Masters will she get a stipen. I was told that under chapter 35 she could. His service connected permanent disability is this true and how much will she receive. We paid for her college didn’t use VA.

    • says

      Hello Jackie,

      Thank you for contacting me. I’m not well-versed on this topic. I recommend contacting the VA for more information. Sorry I don’t have a better answer.

  18. Dwayne Shrader says

    I see a lot of people on here that believe they should be receiving more money than they should. I am retired and receive disability also for the past 6 years. I have used the DAV from the beginning and they have helped me a ton. My recommendation is to use one of the organizations when you deal with the VA. When I have questions or make changes to my disability, I soley go through the DAV. They submit my paperwork for me. Dont waste your time calling the VA.

  19. tasha says

    I got married and had a child 2 years ago. Shortly after getting married I had our child and shortly after that I was told to send in copies of my marriage certificate and my daughters birth certificate and new social security card or id with my new last name to this guy who would process the paperwork at the va. It never got processed so I faxed it, no one at the buffalo regional center answered the phone or the fax. I moved to PA last year and just moved back to the western ny area a few months ago. While in PA I got in contact with someone at the VA who said to go in person to the buffalo regional center with the papers. So I’m going to try that Monday, but they for sure don’t go back more than 1 year? Even if I’ve tried giving them the papers for 2? I’m still confused how some parts of the va have my married name processed and some still don’t. Like I’ve been requesting my dd-215 for over 3 years and I have to use my maiden name to follow the request but I’ve since given up because apparently they can’t find my dd-215 anywhere. I think it’s gotten lost due to my other name changes because I married while I was enlisted. Still want my dd-215 though, and my name change and dependent status… and I wish it didn’t take years to get these things.

    • says

      Tasha, some veterans report it taking over two years for the VA to process adding or removing a dependent. Believe it or not, it’s actually possible that your claim is still in the backlog of papers waiting to be processed. That said, I would certainly do whatever you can to push the process along. It shouldn’t take that long to process some simple forms.

  20. RobertJ. Wynkoop says

    I am expecting adjusted disability ratings of 60, 40, 40, 40, 30, 30, 10, 10, and 10. Using VA’s Combined Ratings Table I calculated the disability compensation rate to be 95% but the chart does not allow any increase for my last tw0 10% ratings. Does the calculated 95% round up to 100% payment or will I be paid at the 90% compensation rate.

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