VA Disability Pay Rates for Veterans with Dependent Children
In our last article, we covered the basics of VA disability pay rates and what the corresponding monthly benefit amount is for each disability level. In this article, we want to cover how those rates change if you are a veteran with dependent children. We will also define for you who qualifies as a dependent child so you are sure to claim all eligible dependents.
To recap the basics, keep in mind that what we are talking about here is VA disability compensation. That is a tax-free, monthly benefit paid on account of service connected disabilities. It is not income based.
Also, the type of disability you have does not dictate your VA disability pay rates. So, a veteran with heart disease at 30% would receive the same amount each month as a veteran with a 30% rating for PTSD (assuming they have the same number of dependents).
Who Qualifies as a Dependent Child for Higher VA Disability Pay Rates?
A child must be a “dependent child” within VA’s definition for you to receive a higher VA disability pay rate on account of that child. The child must be a biological child, adopted child, or stepchild in the veteran’s household. This can be established by birth certificate, adoption papers, or marriage certificate showing you are married to the child’s biological/adoptive parent.
That child must also be unmarried. That means any marriage of the child must be void, annulled, or, in certain circumstances, was terminated before November 1, 1990.
The child must also meet certain age requirements. Dependent children must be under age 18 or between ages 18 and 23 if pursuing a course of education at an approved educational institution (as determined by VA).
The age requirement does not apply if the child is permanently incapable of self-support, also known as a “helpless child.” This is defined as a person who cannot generate sufficient income to reasonably support himself due to a mental or physical disability. But, the child must become helpless before reaching the age of 18. So, if a child is over 18 or out of school and then becomes incapable of self-support, that child will not qualify. Also, a helpless child can lost that status if he or she marries, becomes employed, or is deemed capable of self-support.
How Much Do VA Disability Pay Rates Increase on Account of Dependent Children?
The amount of the increase varies for each disability rating level. Under current VA disability pay rates, a veteran with a 30% rating will receive $24.00 for each additional child under age 18. Those VA disability pay rates increase $8.00 for each 10% increase in disability rating. At 100%, it increases slightly more than $8.00.
For dependent children over age 18 but enrolled in school, the VA disability pay rates include an additional $79.00. Those rates increase $27.00 for each higher disability rating level up to 100%, where again the increase is $27.13.
Is There a Cap on VA Disability Pay Rates?
Each additional child entitles the veteran to a supplement on his VA disability pay rates. So, there is no limit on how many children can qualify.
Are These Increased VA Disability Pay Rates Paid to the Veteran or the Child?
VA disability compensation benefits are paid to the veteran. These increases are included with the veteran’s compensation since the veteran is the one responsible for financially supporting the dependent child.
Breaking Down VA Disability Pay Rates for Each Family Situation
30% – 60% With Children
|Veteran with Spouse and Child||$503.15||$714.90||$998.41||$1,255.52|
|Veteran with Child Only||$450.15||$644.90||$910.41||$1,149.52|
|Veteran with Spouse, One Parent and Child||$542.15||$767.90||$1,064.41||$1,334.52|
|Veteran with Spouse, Two Parents and Child||$581.15||$820.90||$1,130.41||$1,413.52|
|Veteran with One Parent and Child||$489.15||$697.90||$976.41||$1,228.52|
|Veteran with Two Parents and Child||$528.15||$750.90||$1,042.41||$1,307.52|
|Add for Each Additional Child Under Age 18||$24.00||$32.00||$41.00||$49.00|
|Each Additional Schoolchild Over Age 18 (see footnote a)||$79.00||$106.00||$133.00||$159.00|
|Additional for A/A spouse (see footnote b)||$46.00||$61.00||$76.00||$91.00|
|Veteran with Spouse and Child||$1,566.48||$1,816.25||$2,041.68||$3,261.10|
|Veteran with Child Only||$1,442.48||$1,675.25||$1,882.68||$3,084.75|
|Veteran with Spouse, One Parent and Child||$1,659.48||$1,922.25||$2,160.68||$3,394.16|
|Veteran with Spouse, Two Parents and Child||$1,752.48||$2,028.25||$2,279.68||$3,527.22|
|Veteran with One Parent and Child||$1,535.48||$1,781.25||$2,001.68||$3,217.81|
|Veteran with Two Parents and Child||$1,628.48||$1,887.25||$2,120.68||$3,350.87|
|Add for Each Additional Child Under Age 18||$57.00||$65.00||$74.00||$82.38|
|Each Additional Schoolchild Over Age 18 (see footnote a)||$186.00||$212.00||$239.00||$266.13|
|Additional for A/A spouse (see footnote b)||$106.00||$122.00||$137.00||$152.06|
- Rates for each school child are shown separately. They are not included with any other compensation rates. All other entries on this chart reflecting a rate for children show the rate payable for children under 18 or helpless. To find the amount payable to a 70% disabled veteran with a spouse and four children, one of whom is over 18 and attending school, take the 70% rate for a veteran with a spouse and 3 children, $ 1680.48, and add the rate for one school child, $186.00. The total amount payable is $1866.48.
- Where the veteran has a spouse who is determined to require A/A, add the figure shown as “additional for A/A spouse” to the amount shown for the proper dependency code. For example, veteran has A/A spouse and 2 minor children and is 70% disabled. Add $106.00, additional for A/A spouse, to the rate for a 70% veteran with dependency code 12, $1,623.48. The total amount payable is $1,729.48.
We Can Help Make Sure Your VA Disability Pay Rates Are as High as Possible
If you need assistance proving that a child is in fact a dependent to receive additional VA disability compensation, our VA-accredited attorneys can assist. Whether you know you already need an attorney or simply want a free consultation, we are here to discuss your claim when you are ready.
What if I have more questions about my VA claim?
I understand you want your VA claim to be done as quickly as possible. But remember the ultimate goal – to win your VA disability compensation claim.
You may eventually get there on your own, but it may be after a series of decisions by the Regional Office and Board of Veterans Appeals. Sometimes claims are appealed and remanded several times, which can cause a claim to drag on for years. If you are interested in avoiding unnecessary delay in your claim and want to do everything you can to maximize your chances of success, it is probably a good ida for you to consult with an accredited veterans disability attorney.
We would be happy to talk to you. If you would like a free consultation with one of Perkins Law Firm’s veterans disability attorneys just click here or give us a call to set one up.
Travis Studdard is an attorney who focuses on representing veterans in VA disability compensation claims. He regularly writes about issues that are important to veterans and their families.
You can subscribe to his Veterans Disability channel on YouTube.