2023 VA Disability Rates – Veterans Get a Huge 8.7% Increase in Disability Benefits
Updated : October 13th, 2022
American veterans make tremendous sacrifices in order to protect the safety, values, and prosperity of our country. When they are rendered disabled by a service-connected injury or medical condition, the disability benefits they receive can help assure their quality of life once their time of active duty service has ended.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs strives to ensure that veterans’ benefits keep up with the cost of inflation, so benefits retain their buying power when inflation drives rising prices. To that end, each fiscal year when the Social Security Administration implements a cost-of-living (COLA) increase, the VA follows suit and increases veterans benefits using the same percentage.
2023 VA Disability Rates – 8.7% Increase
Due to historically high inflation, the COLA for 2023 is the highest it’s been in decades, which will be reflected in veterans benefits beginning in December of 2022. Use this chart to calculate your 2023 VA benefits.
VA disability compensation is based on the disability rating of the veteran and the number of dependents in the household.
Veteran (alone, no dependents)
With Spouse (no parents or children)
Disability Rating With Spouse and 1 Parent (no children) With Spouse and 2 Parents (no children) 30% $615.67 $663.49 40% $876.43 $940.56 50% $1,222.27 $1,302.70 60% $1,537.05 $1,633.79 70% $1,917.41 $2,030.46 80% $2,223.38 $2,352.74 90% $2,499.58 $2,645.24 100% $3,985.96 $4,148.04
With Spouse and 1 Parent (no children)
With Spouse and 2 Parents (no children)
With 1 Parent (no spouse or children)
With 2 Parents (no spouse or children)
Veteran with 1 Child (no spouse or parents)
With 1 Child and Spouse (no parents)
Disability Rating With 1 Child, Spouse, and 1 Parent With 1 Child, Spouse, and 2 Parents 30% $660.23 $708.06 40% $935.12 $999.26 50% $1,296.18 $1,376.62 60% $1,626.18 $1,722.93 70% $2,020.68 $2,133.73 80% $2,341.87 $2,471.22 90% $2,632.19 $2,777.85 100% $4,133.85 $4,295.92
With 1 Child, Spouse, and 1 Parent
With 1 Child, Spouse, and 2 Parents
Disability Rating With 1 Child and 1 Parent (no spouse) With 1 Child and 2 Parents (no spouse) 30% $596.10 $643.93 40% $849.25 $913.38 50% $1,189.66 $1,270.09 60% $1,496.83 $1,593.57 70% $1,869.59 $1,982.63 80% $2,170.12 $2,299.47 90% $2,438.71 $2,584.36 100% $3,919.07 $4,081.14
With 1 Child and 1 Parent (no spouse)
With 1 Child and 2 Parents (no spouse)
Disability Rating Each Additional Child Under Age 18 Each Additional Child Over Age 18 in a Qualifying School Program 30% $29.35 $96.74 40% $39.13 $129.35 50% $50.00 $161.96 60% $59.79 $193.49 70% $69.57 $226.10 80% $79.35 $258.71 90% $90.22 $291.32 100% $100.34 $324.12
Each Additional Child Under Age 18
Each Additional Child Over Age 18 in a Qualifying School Program
Disability Rating Spouse Receiving Aid and Attendance 30% $55.44 40% $73.92 50% $93.48 60% $110.87 70% $129.35 80% $147.83 90% $166.31 100% $185.20
Spouse Receiving Aid and Attendance
How To Calculate Your VA Disability Payment
Each year, the VA produces helpful charts that can guide veterans through the process of determining how any COLA increase will affect their monthly benefit amount. You can use these charts to determine your new VA benefit amount, based on the 2023 Social Security increase. We’ll walk you through the process, step by step.
First, start with the Basic Rate table. Your first step is to locate the intersection of your dependent status and your VA disability rating. Your dependent status simply illustrates how many other members of your household you are financially responsible for supporting. For example, according to the Basic Rate chart, if you are a disabled veteran who is married, with one dependent child and a parent who depends on you, and your VA disability rating is 80%, your basic VA compensation rate would be $2,341.87.
That’s simple and straightforward enough, but you’ll notice that the table immediately following the Basic Rate table is the Added Amounts version. This can help you if you have circumstances that aren’t represented in the Basic Rate grid. For example, if that same veteran adds a second child, the Basic Rate table shows us that we’d add to the basic $2,341.87 another $79.35 per month for every additional child under age 18. So a disabled veteran in this situation could expect to receive $2,421.22 per month.
If that same veteran with two children, a spouse, and a dependent parent also qualifies for Aid & Attendance benefits, the Added Amounts chart shows us that the household qualifies for an additional $147.83 per month, bringing the monthly VA compensation total to $2,569.05.
The calculation process is fairly straightforward and involves two key steps. First, determine your basic rate using the basic rate chart. Then, add any supplemental Added Amounts that are reflective of your family circumstances and Aid & Attendance status.
You’ll notice that both the Basic Rate and Added Amount charts are most useful for veterans with VA disability ratings of at least 30%. For disabled veterans whose disabilities are rated at 10 or 20%, monthly VA compensation amounts are much more straightforward. For example, the flat monthly disability benefit for a disabled veteran with a 10% rating is $165.92, while the rate for a 20% designated VA disability is $327.99. VA compensation amounts for disabilities within these ratings do not fluctuate according to dependent status.
What Is a VA Disability Rating?
The disability rating assigned by the VA is the objective measure the Administration uses to set a disabled veteran’s level of benefits for a medical condition with a documented service connection. Ratings for disabilities range from 0 to 100%, and each VA disability rating represents the severity of the medical condition, per the VA’s assessment. If the VA assigns a rating of 0%, it’s essentially saying that the veteran’s medical condition has no discernible effect on the veteran’s quality of life, whereas a medical condition with a 100% rating would be severe enough to negatively impact the veteran’s qualify of life, including the ability to work.
The VA rounds disability rates to the nearest 10% – so a veteran whose condition is calculated at 63% disabled would receive a VA disability rating of 60%, which would determine that veteran’s monthly disability benefit amount. But the same veteran with a disability rated at 47% would receive a formal rating of 50% disabled.
The VA disability benefits ratings then are used to determine the amount of monthly compensation a disabled veteran will receive. As you might expect, the lower the assigned VA disability percentage, the less VA compensation the disabled veteran can expect to receive. And, of course, higher disability ratings mean larger monthly compensation amounts. Under this structure, a veteran with a 100% VA disability rating would receive the highest possible amount of basic monthly VA compensation.
What Does It Mean To Be Totally Disabled?
When the VA assigns a disability rating of 100%, that means a veteran is considered totally disabled. In many cases, the VA also will add the qualifier “permanently” to the veteran’s disability status, indicating to the veteran that there is no possibility or nearly no possibility of the veteran ever recovering from the disabling condition. The VA typically makes this determination when the medical evidence provided with the VA claim indicates that the veteran is likely to deal with the same severity of the medical condition for the duration of their life.
Another point to consider is that, while some veterans are assigned a total disability rating for one service connected medical condition, it also is possible to achieve a combined rating of 100% if individual ratings assigned for multiple medical conditions add up to 100%.
The 100%, or total, VA disability rating then indicates that a veteran is completely disabled, which means that the veteran is eligible for the highest amount of disability compensation available. Common conditions associated with total disability ratings include complete blindness, loss of both legs, and/or any condition that causes the veteran to be permanently bedridden. These conditions typically make it impossible, or at least highly inadvisable, for the veteran to maintain gainful employment. In addition, veterans with a 100% VA disability rating may be largely unable to care for themselves.
While disabilities rated at 100% often are also classified as permanent, it is possible for some temporary disabilities to be rated at 100%. For example, a veteran may receive a temporary 100% rating for a service connected medical condition if it requires extended hospitalization for treatment or observation. In general, the period of hospitalization must last for at least 21 days to be considered for the temporary rating, and can be related to either physical or mental health conditions.
In some cases, if veterans require extensive at-home convalescence after surgery or other medical procedures related to a service connected disability, they also may be eligible for a temporary 100% VA disability rating. For example, joint replacement surgery, like that for knee or hip replacement, is recognized as having an automatic one-year post-surgery convalescence period.
What Is COLA?
The Cost of Living Adjustment, or COLA, is calculated and communicated each fiscal year by the Social Security Administration to ensure that those who receive Social Security retirement and/or Social Security disability benefits maintain their purchasing power in the face of inflation. The SSA determines the COLA based on the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earnings and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), which measures changes in the prices for standard goods and services over time.
The process for implementing the COLA includes several key steps. First, the percentage increase for the CPI-W is calculated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and publicly shared. Once the SSA receives the CPI-W, it then pulls data from the third quarter of the previous fiscal year to the third quarter of the current year to determine the COLA for the upcoming year.
Following the SSA’s announcement of the current year’s COLA, the U.S. Senate passes new legislation that allows for a cost-of-living increase for veterans’ benefits in addition to Social Security retirement and Social Security disability benefits. The VA then adjusts veterans’ monthly benefit amounts to reflect the updated cost of living, which results in an increase in veterans’ monthly compensation. The previous most recent COLA went into effect in December of 2021 and represented a 5.9% increase in VA and Social Security disability benefits.
Understanding the Aid and Attendance Benefit
In addition to a base disability compensation amount, some veterans and their families may be eligible for the VA’s Aid and Attendance benefit. This applies when a veteran is housebound, bedridden, and/or needs significant help with routine daily activities like bathing, dressing, and preparing meals. Such limitations often apply to veterans with limited mobility or limited eyesight due to a service connected medical condition.
When calculating your new 2023 VA benefits, you’ll find your additional amount for Aid & Attendance in the table for Added Amounts. To calculate your disability benefit, first find the intersection of your dependent status and your VA disability rating in the basic monthly rate chart. For example, if you’re a disabled veteran who is married with no children and with a VA disability rating of 40%, your basic monthly compensation is $747.28. However, if your household also qualifies for Aid & Attendance benefits, the Added Amounts chart shows us that your VA benefit amount will include an additional $68 per month.
2023 VA Disability Pay Chart
With rising prices everywhere from the grocery store to the gas pump, it’s extremely good news to hear that the 2023 COLA is one of the largest in history. The increase can go a long way toward easing financial burdens for America’s veterans and ensuring they retain the ability to buy the goods and services they need to establish and maintain an appropriate quality of life. If you’re already receiving VA disability payments or other disability insurance, you can expect to see your calculated COLA increase in your December 2022 VA compensation. And if you think you may qualify for VA disability benefits based on a service connected medical condition, it’s not too late to submit a VA disability claim.
The VA claim process can be lengthy and laborious, so many veterans find it helpful to partner with a knowledgeable and trusted disability lawyer or veterans service officer who can guide them through the process, especially if they need to appeal a decision. Whatever your circumstances or how you decide to move forward, don’t wait – if you think you may qualify, make sure to submit your VA claim so you can access the vital VA disability compensation benefits you need and that you earned during your time of active military service.
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