Having an application for service connection is only the first step in receiving compensation for a disability. After the claims process, the VA must determine how much you receive in monthly compensation.
VA Disability Pay Chart Overview
The modern VA disability pay chart enables the agency to determine the amount of monthly benefits based on the degree of disability and the number of the veteran’s dependents. As far as the VA is concerned, a dependent’s financial contribution is zero, even if that spouse, child, or other dependent is working. VA disability benefits include free medical care, regardless of the degree of disability. Substantial VA back pay may be available as well.
Maximum VA disability benefits are not always easily obtained. Veterans often need an experienced VA disability attorney to navigate the appeals process to fight for the deserved level of compensation or back pay to which the veteran is entitled. Even if your claim appears straightforward, the road to maximum benefits may be long and bumpy.
The 2023 VA Disability Pay Chart
The VA rates disabilities in 10% increments, from 0% to 100%. If a disability is rated 0%, it means a veteran is technically service-connected, but the condition is managed such that it does not disable the veteran in any way. Thus, no compensation is available, although free medical care is provided.
There are three general pay rate categories: 10–20%, 30–60%, and 70–100%. Different amounts are available depending on whether the veteran’s dependent is a minor child, adult child in a school program, spouse, or parent. The table below is a sample of the various rates available. To determine your rate, view the comprehensive table on the VA’s website.
At this disability level, these benefits are almost always income supplements. As outlined below, veterans with a 10% or 20% disability can usually function well, even on bad days. Mostly, these veterans can still work, go to school, spend time with family, and otherwise live their lives. “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.”
Veterans at the higher end of this category may qualify for TDIU (total disability due to individual unemployability) benefits. In a nutshell, these partially disabled veterans receive 100% disability financial benefits.
Disabled veterans qualify for TDIU if they have a single condition with a 60% rating or multiple conditions with a combined 70% rating (at least one condition must have a 40% rating), and they cannot maintain substantially gainful employment in an unsheltered environment. These veterans may also receive state unemployment benefits.
Substantially gainful employment means a job that pays above the poverty line. A sheltered environment is a family-owned, veteran-owned, or other such company that provides accommodations to a veteran that a normal business would not.
From a practical standpoint, these veterans can usually fulfill their daily obligations on good days. On bad days, they may not be able to leave the house. This up-and-down cycle merits additional compensation.
Due to their severe lack of function, these veterans usually cannot work. At best, they can take a low-paying part-time job.
Additional aid and attendance benefits are available to spouses of veterans who are at least 30% disabled. These benefits are available for caregivers if the veteran is basically homebound. Specifically, the veteran cannot perform daily activities (dressing, eating, etc.), must stay in bed at least most of the day, or is functionally blind.
VA Disability Pay Rates FAQ
Since the rating system is so complex, disabled veterans have many questions in this area. Here are a few of the ones that our VA disability attorneys answer the most.
What is a “disability”?
For the most part, veterans are disabled if they cannot work because of their medical conditions. This medical condition must have a service-related connection. Additionally, a “disability” is not just a medical term. “Disability” also has educational, vocational, and other aspects.
We mentioned computer data entry clerks above. If a veteran does not have good computer skills, they are not qualified for this job, regardless of their medical status.
How does the VA determine the degree of disability?
Generally, a “compensation and pension,” or C&P, doctor examines veterans and uses their symptoms to rate their disabilities.
This system is not perfect. As mentioned, some physical, mental, and other disabilities have outsized effects on some veterans. Additionally, many C&P doctors are not fully qualified to assess certain medical conditions. That’s especially true since, a few years ago, the VA started relying on contractors.
For these reasons, a VA disability attorney often partners with outside professionals, like independent doctors and vocational experts, to better determine a veteran’s degree of disability.
What is the VA disability pay chart?
The VA disability pay chart determines how much money a veteran receives per month in disability compensation based on factors like:
- Degree of severity of disability (i.e., disability rating)
- Number of dependents
- Whether dependents are of minor age or are in school
- Whether a spouse receives aid and attendance benefits
If you feel that the rating your received is incorrect, an attorney is a valuable partner in all phases of a disability appeal. For a free consultation with an experienced veterans disability lawyer, contact the Cameron Firm, PC at 800-861-7262 or fill out the contact box on our website. We are here to represent veterans nationwide.
This article is for educational and marketing purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship.