VA Disability Ratings and Compensation Rates

VA disability rates are determined by the VA on a case-by-case basis. The amount an eligible veteran beneficiary receives monthly is based on a disability rating and the number of dependents the applicant is responsible for.

These factors are analyzed by the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) representatives and a formula is used to determine an applicant’s eligibility for disability compensation. Disability compensation program applicants should learn more about how rates are calculated so they can determine the monthly benefits they may be eligible to receive.

The department provides a VA compensation rates chart for potential applicants to review online. The chart is based on a veteran’s disability percentage and number of dependents or children he or she has in the household. When reviewing the chart, potential applicants will find that the higher the percentage of the disability rating, the higher the monthly compensation allotted. Additionally, the more dependents or children a beneficiary has in the household, the more financial assistance is available to him or her. To find out more about VA disability compensation rates and how disability rating and dependents affect monthly payments, veterans can read through the following sections.

The VA Disability Rating Scale

When determining VA disability rates for conditions, one of the most important factors for applicants to understand is the disability rating scale. This scale is used to determine the compensation rate for an applicant based on the percentage of his or her disability. A disability rating can range from 10 to 100 percent, but only increases in 10 percent increments. If it is determined that a disability compensation applicant has less than a 10 percent disability, he or she is ineligible for program benefits.

Full 100 VA disability benefits are issued to veterans that are determined to be completely and 100 percent disabled. The rating scale is directly related to the severity of the disability so veterans can obtain adequate compensation for their injuries, conditions or diseases. A veteran who is living with a 100 percent disability will be issued more monthly disability compensation than a veteran who is living with a 30 percent disability.

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VA disability percentages are determined by both VA representatives and medical professionals. The VA representative must review all documentation provided by the applicant, as well as the information currently on file with the armed forces. Generally, a VA representative will review the following documents to determine a disability percentage:

  • Service treatment records
  • Medical records
  • Medical professional statements and opinions
  • General practitioner records
  • Mental health counselor opinions, if applicable
  • Hospital reports

The VA disability rating scale was designed to ensure that veterans who need the most financial assistance can acquire suitable compensation. The rating scale also takes into account the possibility that disabled veterans have missed time at work, need additional assistance with transportation and may need ongoing medical treatments.

General VA Disability Compensation Rates

General VA disability rates are based solely on a veteran’s disability percentage. When veterans do not claim dependents or children in their households, they can easily determine their monthly compensation rates by reviewing the chart provided by the VA. The current funding for the program also determines these rates. Some applicants may be eligible for special monthly compensation from the VA on top of their regular rate. For eligible veterans, general VA disability rates for conditions are as follows:

  • 10 percent disability: $136.24
  • 30 percent disability: $417.15
  • 50 percent disability: $855.41
  • 70 percent disability: $1,365.48
  • 100 percent disability: $2,973.86

Dependents, Children and VA Disability Rates

The other factor that can affect VA compensation rates is the number of dependents or children an eligible veteran is responsible for. However, to be eligible for a higher monthly compensation rate for dependents, a veteran must be at least 30 percent disabled. To qualify as a dependent, the household member must be related to the veteran in one of the following ways:

  • A child
  • A spouse
  • A dependent parent

The VA disability compensation is also higher if an eligible veteran has a dependent that is younger than 18 years of age or if he or she is older than 18 years of age, attending school full-time and living in the household. The rating chart reflects these monthly compensation totals and the increases that occur as the number of dependents in the household rise.

For example, VA disability compensation rates for a veteran with a 30 percent disability are affected by dependents in the following ways:

  • Veteran with spouse: $466.15 monthly
  • Veteran with spouse and one dependent parent: $505.15 monthly
  • Veteran with spouse and two dependent parents: $544.15 monthly

It is important to keep in mind that the higher the VA disability percentages are in relation to the veteran, the higher the monthly compensation rates that are provided to him or her. Additionally, the number of children a veteran is responsible for in the household also affects the monthly compensation rate. For example, an eligible veteran with a 30 percent disability would receive the following monthly compensation:

  • Single veteran with child: $450.15 monthly
  • Veteran with spouse and child: $503.15 monthly
  • Veteran with spouse, one dependent parent and child: $542.15 monthly
  • Veteran with spouse, two dependent parents and child: $581.15 monthly

In addition to these figures, the VA compensation rates can be increased by $24 per month for each additional child under 18 years of age living in the household that a veteran with a 30 percent disability is responsible for. The monthly compensation rate can be increased by $79 for each additional child living in the household over 18 years of age who is still enrolled in school full-time and a dependent of the veteran.

Since the VA disability compensation rates are directly correlated with the number of dependents or children in the home, veterans must report household changes. If there is an additional dependent living in the household or if a dependent no longer lives in the household, the beneficiary must report the change to the VA immediately.

The Cost of Living and VA Compensation Rates

VA disability rates may be adjusted periodically due to cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs). These adjustments are in place within the program to ensure a participating veteran can receive enough financial assistance to achieve a suitable quality of living. To acknowledge inflation, the VA increases the VA 100 permanent and total disability benefits and all other disability rating benefits in the same incremental percentages as the Social Security benefit program.

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