VA pay rates are an important factor in deciding whether you should pursue a VA disability claim, file for an increase, or be happy with what you are currently receiving. Without some basic understanding of how VA pay rates for disability compensation are calculated, you may waste time, effort, and even money only to find out that the benefit is not what you hoped for. On the other hand, you may be surprised that you have an opportunity to receive more than expected based on VA pay rates.
VA Pay Rates for Veterans Disability Compensation Are Different Than Those for Other Types of VA Benefits
Disability compensation is a benefit payable to veterans with disabilities related to their military service. These benefits are paid on a monthly basis to the veteran. The pay rates for disability compensation are set by Congress each year. Unfortunately, there has been no cost of living adjustment (COLA) in 2015 or 2016. There are other types of benefits such as pension and DIC benefits that each have a completely different table of VA pay rates, but we will not discuss those here.
VA Pay Rates Vary Based on the Severity of Your Disability
VA does not have different VA pay rates for different types of disabilities. Instead, all disabilities at the same rating level receive the same basic VA pay rates. VA disability ratings range from 0% up to 100% in increments of 10%.
A 0% rating does not qualify for monthly VA benefits. Instead, this is what is called a noncompensable rating.
The VA pay rates increase for each 10% increase in disability level. The baseline VA pay rates for ratings for 10% to 100% are as follows:
10% – 20% (No Dependents)
|Veteran with Spouse Only||$466.15||$666.90||$937.41||$1,182.52|
|Veteran with Spouse & One Parent||$505.15||$719.90||$1,003.41||$1,261.52|
|Veteran with Spouse and Two Parents||$544.15||$772.90||$1,069.41||$1,340.52|
|Veteran with One Parent||$456.15||$653.90||$921.41||$1,162.52|
|Veteran with Two Parents||$495.15||$706.90||$987.41||$1,241.52|
|Additional for A/A spouse (see footnote b)||$46.00||$61.00||$76.00||$91.00|
|Veteran with Spouse Only||$1,481.48||$1,719.25||$1,932.68||$3,139.67|
|Veteran with Spouse and One Parent||$1,574.48||$1,825.25||$2,051.68||$3,272.73|
|Veteran with Spouse and Two Parents||$1,667.48||$1,931.25||$2,170.68||$3,405.79|
|Veteran with One Parent||$1,458.48||$1,693.25||$1,902.68||$3,106.92|
|Veteran with Two Parents||$1,551.48||$1,799.25||$2,021.68||$3,239.98|
|Additional for A/A spouse (see footnote b)||$106.00||$122.00||$137.00||$152.06|
Things to Notice in the Above VA Pay Rates Table
- You will see that the chart is much smaller for ratings at the 10% and 20% levels. This is because VA pay rates do not change at these levels even if the veteran has dependents.
- You will find that there are higher VA pay rates for veterans with a spouse. VA presumes that a spouse is dependent and pays more on account of that.
- You need to understand that the VA pay rates that refer to a veteran with one or two parents means dependent parents. In other words, your parents must rely on you for financial support that can be documented. Otherwise, you will not receive more VA disability compensation simply because your parents are still alive.
VA Pay Rates Increase According to Family Size
As you can probably tell, VA pay rates increase as the number of dependent family members increases. The above charts are applicable to veterans without dependent children.
There is another set of VA pay rates for disability compensation claims involving veterans with dependent children. We cover those pay rates in this article.
VA Pay Rates Are Usually Calculated Correctly by VA
The VA pay rates charts are easy enough to follow, even for the VA. Thus, they usually get it right.
But, if you disagree with your VA ratings decision, this chart can be handy in helping you calculate how much you may be entitled to if your rating is increased to what you feel is the correct rating level. That information will help you as you decide how to proceed and whether you want to seek the help of a VA-accredited veterans disability attorney.
If you have questions about what you should be receiving each month from the VA or have other questions about your VA disability claim, feel free to contact us for a free case screening.