Table of Contents
- Will Disabled Veterans Get a VA Pay Increase In 2022?
- 2022 VA Disability Compensation Rate Charts
- Veteran Only
- VA Disability Rating: 10% – 20% (No Dependents)
- VA Disability Rating: 30% – 60% Without Children
- VA Disability Rating: 70% – 100% Without Children
- VA Disability Rating: 30% – 60% With Children
- VA Disability Rating: 70% – 100% With Children
- VA Disability Compensation COLA Raises
- About VA Disability Ratings and VA Disability Compensation
- What is a Service Connected Disability?
- Applying for VA Compensation Benefits
- Disability Ratings are Awarded on a Case by Case Basis
- Requirements For Veterans Disability Compensation
- Calculating Multiple VA Disability Ratings
- VA Disability Ratings Are Not Always Permanent
- A Change in Your Family Status Can Change Your VA Disability Payment
- Receive Your VA Disability Check Faster
- Who Should I Contact if I Have Questions About My Disability Rating?
The 2022 Cost of Living Adjustment for VA disability compensation comes in at 5.9% and is effective December 1, 2021. You will see the pay increase beginning with your January VA Disability compensation payment.
The following article explains VA Service-Connected Disability Ratings, discusses how VA disability compensation works and shows the 2022 VA Disability Pay Rates, based on the veteran’s disability rating and the number of dependents.
Will Disabled Veterans Get a VA Pay Increase In 2022?
The current VA Disability compensation rate increased 5.9%, in line with the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) raise. The increase is much higher than the 1.3% raise veterans received in 2021.
2022 VA Disability Compensation Rate Charts
The following rates cover only the veteran. We have also displayed the previous two years so you can see how your compensation has changed over time. See the charts below this if you have a spouse, child(ren), or parents as dependents.
|VA Rating||2022 Rates||2021 Rates||2020 Rates|
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VA Disability Rating: 10% – 20% (No Dependents)
Note: If you have a 10% to 20% disability rating, you won’t receive a higher rate even if you have a dependent spouse, child, or parent.
VA Disability Rating: 30% – 60% Without Children
|Veteran with Spouse Only||$522.39||$747.28||$1,050.44||$1,325.03|
|Veteran with Spouse & One Parent||$566.39||$806.28||$1,124.44||$1,414.03|
|Veteran with Spouse and Two Parents||$610.39||$865.28||$1,198.44||$1,503.03|
|Veteran with One Parent||$511.39||$732.28||$1,032.44||$1,303.03|
|Veteran with Two Parents||$555.39||$791.28||$1,106.44||$1,392.03|
|Spouse Receiving Aid and Attendance||$51.00||$68.00||$86.00||$102.00|
VA Disability Rating: 70% – 100% Without Children
|Veteran with Spouse Only||$1,659.95||$1,926.43||$2,165.52||$3,517.84|
|Veteran with Spouse and One Parent||$1,763.95||$2,045.43||$2,299.52||$3,666.94|
|Veteran with Spouse and Two Parents||$1,867.95||$2,164.43||$2,433.52||$3,816.04|
|Veteran with One Parent||$1,633.95||$1,897.43||$2,132.52||$3,481.16|
|Veteran with Two Parents||$1,737.95||$2,016.43||$2,266.52||$3,630.26|
|Spouse Receiving Aid and Attendance||$119.00||$136.00||$153.00||$170.38|
VA Disability Rating: 30% – 60% With Children
|Veteran with Child Only||$504.39||$722.28||$1020.44||$1,288.03|
|Veteran with Spouse and Child||$563.39||$801.28||$1,118.44||$1,407.03|
|Veteran with Spouse, One Parent and Child||$607.39||$860.28||$1,192.44||$1,496.03|
|Veteran with Spouse, Two Parents and Child||$651.39||$919.28||$1,266.44||$1,585.03|
|Veteran with One Parent and Child||$548.39||$737.77||$1,033.04||$1,300.39|
|Veteran with Two Parents and Child||$560.35||$781.28||$1,094.44||$1,377.03|
|Add for Each Additional Child Under Age 18||$27.00||$36.00||$46.00||$55.00|
|Each Additional Schoolchild Over Age 18 in a Qualifying School Program||$89.00||$114.00||$175.00||$178.00|
|Spouse Receiving Aid and Attendance||$51.00||$68.00||$86.00||$102.00|
VA Disability Rating: 70% – 100% With Children
|Veteran with Child Only||$1,615.95||$1,877.43||$2,109.52||$3,456.30|
|Veteran with Spouse and Child||$1,754.95||$2,035.43||$2,287.52||$3,653.89|
|Veteran with Spouse, One Parent and Child||$1,858.95||$2,154.43||$2,421.52||$3,802.99|
|Veteran with Spouse, Two Parents and Child||$1,962.95||$2,273.43||$2,555.52||$3,952.09|
|Veteran with One Parent and Child||$1,719.95||$1,996.43||$2,243.52||$3,605.40|
|Veteran with Two Parents and Child||$1,823.95||$2,115.43||$2,377.52||$3,754.50|
|Add for Each Additional Child Under Age 18||$64.00||$73.00||$83.00||$92.31|
|Each Additional Schoolchild Over Age 18 in a Qualifying School Program||$208.00||$238.00||$268.00||$298.18|
|Spouse Receiving Aid and Attendance||$119.00||$136.00||$153.00||$170.38|
VA Disability Compensation COLA Raises
Note: Increases in VA Service-Connected Disability Rates are tied to the same Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) provided by the Social Security Administration. These are the same rates the government uses for determining the cost of living increases for Social Security recipients, military retirees, and federal civilian retirees.
2014 was the first year the VA 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 the policy remains in place, it will compound over time.
Here are the most recent COLA raises:
|Year||Annual Social Security COLA|
About VA Disability Ratings and VA Disability Compensation
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. The VA pays this benefit to certain military veterans based who became ill or injured while serving on active duty.
Certain veterans may also be eligible for VA health care benefits.
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.Department of Veterans Affairs.
If you have a service-connected disability, you may be eligible to receive a monthly compensation payment. You may also be eligible to receive additional compensation if you have a service-connected rating of 30% or higher and have dependents, if you have missing limbs or if your spouse is living with a severe disability.
Applying for VA Compensation Benefits
When applying for VA benefits, 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. Be sure to provide a copy of your DD Form 214.
Disability Ratings are Awarded on a Case by Case Basis
To rate a disability claim, the VA first tries to determine whether or not you sustained your illness or injury in military service. Then, they assign a rating for each illness or injury.
If the VA determines your 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.
Requirements For Veterans Disability Compensation
To be eligible for VA disability benefits or compensation, you must:
- Have served on active duty, active duty for training or inactive duty training and have a current illness or injury that affects your mind or body.
Additionally, at least one of the following situations must be true:
- You got sick or injured while serving in the military and can link this condition to your illness or injury (called an inservice disability claim)
- You had an illness or injury before you joined the military—and serving made it worse (called a preservice disability claim)
- You have a disability related to your active-duty service that didn’t appear until after you separated from the military (called a post-service disability claim)
- You have one of the VA’s “presumed disabilities:”
- Chronic (long-lasting) illness that appeared within one year of your discharge
- Illness caused by contact with contaminants (toxic chemicals) or other hazardous materials
- Illness caused by time spent as a prisoner of war (POW)
When deciding on a disability claim, the VA considers the above eligibility requirements, as well as how your condition affects your daily life, activities and employability.
Calculating Multiple VA Disability Ratings
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 of how the process works!
VA Disability Ratings Are Not Always Permanent
Many disability ratings are temporary. The VA retains the right to reexamine your 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’s more information on 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, like a birth, wedding, a parent moving in with you, divorce, a child coming of age, or the death of a qualified dependent.
Inform the VA of a change as soon as possible.
The VA will sometimes backdate payments to make up for any shortfalls, like if you had to wait for your child to receive a social security number to report a new dependent.
In the case of the loss of an eligible dependent, your payment may decrease. The VA can recoup overpayments if you failed to notify the VA of a change in family status in a timely manner.
Receive Your VA 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 through interest.
Call or visit your regional VA medical center with specific questions related to VA benefits.
Who Should I Contact if I Have Questions About My Disability Rating?
There are many organizations that specialize in helping veterans with their benefits and claims.
The first place to start is with the VA. VA representatives have access to your records and are the best source for up-to-date information.
However, the VA isn’t always the best place to get assistance with your claim, especially if you are filing an appeal after the VA denied your claim. In that case, I recommend contacting a veteran benefits counselor at your county VA office, or an organization such as the DAV, AMVETS, VFW, American Legion, or a similar Veteran Service Organization.
You can also use the Physical Evaluation Board Forum to anonymously ask questions about VA disabilities, ratings and the military medical board process.
If that doesn’t work, consider hiring a lawyer that specializes in VA disability claims. I don’t have any specific recommendations for lawyers, so please do your research before hiring a law office to represent you. At the minimum, you will want to ensure they specialize in military law, VA disability claims, social security disability claims, or similar types of law. As with all legal agreements, also make sure you understand the compensation structure.
Please note that while I have a solid understanding of how the VA disability system works, I am unable to answer specific questions regarding one’s VA disability claims or specific medical conditions. These questions should be addressed by the VA, your medical professionals, or a veterans benefits counselor.
Thank you for understanding, and thank you for your service!