Home  »  Military   »   VA Disability Benefits, Payments, and Pay Rates Chart

VA Disability Benefits, Payments, and Pay Rates Chart

Va Disability Insurance

When you serve in the military, you may apply for VA compensation for service-connected medical issues you deal with during your military career and sometimes even after you’ve retired or separated. Here’s what you need to know about the Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Disability Compensation Benefit.

>> Please visit our page on 2023 and 2024 VA Disability Pay Rates for the latest information.

What Is Veterans Disability Compensation?

VA disability compensation is a tax-free benefit paid to qualifying veterans with certain service-connected or service-aggravated medical issues. It may also cover disabilities presumed to be related to military service, even if the medical issues don’t become apparent until after the veteran leaves the military.

All service members should consider filing a VA claim before or during the transition from military to civilian.

Related: Veteran and Retiree Military Benefits Guide

What if I Have More Than One VA-Rated Disability? Combined Disability Ratings

If you have multiple disabilities, the VA applies a combined rating table to calculate your combined disability rating. According to VA.gov, “If VA finds that a Veteran has multiple disabilities, VA uses the Combined Ratings Table below to calculate a combined disability rating.”

That means VA disability ratings are not “additive.” If you have a service-connected disability rated 60% and a second disability 20%, the combined rating is not 80%.

“This is because subsequent disability ratings are applied to an already disabled Veteran, so the 20% disability is applied to a Veteran who is already 60% disabled. Below, you will find the steps VA takes to combine ratings for more than one disability,” according to VA.gov.

How Much Is VA Disability Pay?

Your benefit amount depends on the degree of your disability on a scale from 10% to 100%. The VA disability rating scale increases by increments of 10%. You can check the current Veterans Compensation Benefits Rates on the VA official website.

>> Frustrated with your VA disability rating?  Register for a free consultation for help with increasing your rating to get the compensation you deserve.

VA Disability Rating Chart 2023

The list below shows the 2023 VA disability pay scale for a single veteran with no dependents.

  • 10% = $165.92
  • 20% = $327.99
  • 30% = $508.05
  • 40% = $731.86
  • 50% = $1,041.82
  • 60% = $1,319.65
  • 70% = $1,663.06
  • 80% = $1,933.15
  • 90% = $2,172.39
  • 100% = $3,621.95

There are separate pay charts for those with dependents. With-dependents VA disability pay depends on the following factors:

  • Whether the dependent is a spouse, parent, or child
  • Whether there are multiple dependents (spouse and parent, spouse and child, multiple children, etc.)
  • Whether the spouse receives other VA benefits like Aid & Attendance

VA With-Dependents Disability Compensation

There may be additional VA compensation if you have dependents and your combined disability is rated 30% or more. 10% and 20% disability ratings don’t get extra funds at a with-dependents rate. If you did not have dependents when you served but have since changed your family size, you must add them to DEERS for VA compensation claims.

There are different categories of dependents under the VA system. You can add a dependent if:

  • You get married.
  • You have or adopt a child.
  • Your child is between 18 and 23 and is enrolled in school full-time.
  • Your child, of at least 18 years old, became permanently disabled before turning 18.
  • You become the caregiver for a parent whose income and net worth are below a certain amount.

Here is one example of the VA Disability Pay Chart broken down for veterans and military retirees who have a spouse but with no parents or children:

VA Disability Pay for Veterans With A Spouse But No Parents Or Children in 2023

  • 10% = $165.92
  • 20% = $327.99
  • 30% = $568.05
  • 40% = $811.86
  • 50% = $1,141.82
  • 60% = $1,440.65
  • 70% = $1,804.06
  • 80% = $2,094.15
  • 90% = $2,353.39
  • 100% = $3,823.89

There are multiple charts for specific family situations. Here’s an example:

2023 VA Disability Pay Chart for Veterans with a Spouse and Parent:

  • 10% = $165.92
  • 20% = $327.99
  • 30% = $616.05
  • 40% = $875.86
  • 50% = $1,222.82
  • 60% = $1,537.65
  • 70% = $1,917.06
  • 80% = $2,223.15
  • 90% = $2,498.39
  • 100% = $3,985.96

Other VA Disability Compensation pay rates can be viewed at the VA official site. These charts include VA disability rates for veterans with more than one child, with a spouse, parent, and child, and other combinations.

Cost-of-Living Increase For Veterans Benefits

Veteran benefits typically receive a cost of living increase to keep up with inflation. In 2022 that increase was set at 5.9%. But in 2023, the increase was lower, set at 3.2% going into 2024. That’s because the rate of inflation and other factors was lower compared to the 2022 increase.

What If I Am the Spouse of a Service Member Who Died While on Active Duty?

If you are a surviving spouse, child, or parent of a service member who died while on active duty, active duty for training, inactive duty training, or if you are a survivor of a veteran who died from their service-connected disability, you may qualify to receive a VA benefit called Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC).

A surviving spouse must qualify under one of these:

  • Married to a service member who died on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training.
  • Legally married the veteran before January 1, 1957.
  • Married the veteran within 15 years of discharge from the period of military service in which the disease or injury that caused the death began or was aggravated.
  • Was married to the veteran for at least one year.
  • Had a child with the veteran.

Contact the VA directly to learn more about these benefits.

What is VA Special Monthly Compensation (SMC)?

SMC is an additional tax-free benefit paid to veterans, their spouses, surviving spouses, and parents. There are different types of SMC.

  • SMC-L through SMC-O have lists of specific conditions and combinations of conditions.
  • SMC-K is for those who have experienced the loss or loss of use of an extremity or organ.
  • SMC-S is for veterans who can’t leave the house.
  • SMC-R is for those who need daily aid and attendance from another person.
  • All of the SMCs except for SMC-K are instead of the standard disability amounts. SMC-K is in addition to them. All disabilities will need to be service-related.

You can see the SMC amounts on the Special Monthly Compensation Pay Chart.

What Other Benefits Can You Receive as a Disabled Veteran?

Other benefits offered to disabled vets include Adapted Housing Grants, Service-Disabled Veterans’ Insurance, and Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance.

How To Apply for Disability Compensation?

If you want to apply for disability compensation, the best way is by signing up for an eBenefits account and applying online. You must have your discharge or separation papers, medical evidence, and dependent records.

  • If you don’t want to apply online, you can also print and mail in the VA Form 21-526EZ, Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits.
  • Before your discharge, you can also apply for benefits through the Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) or Quick Start pre-discharge programs.
  • For DIC, use VA Form 21P-534EZ
  • Apply for SMC with VA Form 21-2680.

What is a Fully Developed Claim?

If you file a Fully Developed Claim (FDC), you have the option to participate more fully in the claims process. If you provide all of the required evidence simultaneously, you can submit a claim and certify that you have no more evidence, then the VA can issue a decision faster.

If you have an injury, disability, or condition that you believe occurred or was aggravated by your military service or a condition caused or aggravated by a service-related condition, you may be allowed to file an FDC claim electronically.

Visit eBenefits.va.gov to start the process.

Remember that to qualify for VA Disability Benefits and Compensation, you must have served in one of the following capacities:

  • Active duty
  • Active duty for training
  • Inactive duty training

And you were:

  • Discharged under other than dishonorable conditions
  • As well as being at least 10% disabled by an injury or disease that was incurred in or aggravated during active duty or active duty for training, or inactive duty training.

You must provide medical evidence to support your claim. Consider using both military and civilian medical records to reinforce your VA medical claim.

>> Frustrated with your VA disability rating?  Register for a free consultation for help with increasing your rating to get the compensation you deserve.  Please go here.