How much does VA pay for Veterans Disability Compensation?

Unlike Social Security disability which is considered total disability, The Department of Veterans Affairs recognizes partial disability up to 100%; tied to ever increasing levels of inability to maintain gainful employment.

If a claim is approved, VA will assign a disability rating from 0% to 100%. A 0% disability rating does not pay any benefit. Why then would one want such a rating? The answer is that by receiving a 0% rating, your Regional Office Veterans Service Center has recognized that the disability is service-connected. You have already overcome a large hurdle towards getting a benefit. If, in the future, the disability worsens or causes a secondary disability, then service connection is already established and you now only have to provide evidence that the condition has worsened or that it has caused a secondary condition.

We post the rates for 2019 below. You will notice that the difference between 90% and 100% is significant. This represents the loss of earnings capacity between someone who might possibly still be employed and someone who at 100% is considered unemployable.

Disability Compensation Rate Table

 

Population of Living Veterans vs Veterans Receving Compensation

 

Veterans on Claim for Compensation

 

Total Number of Veterans on Claim

Average Yearly Amount of Benefit

Total Amount Paid out in Billions of Dollars

 

2010

3,154,727

$12,075

$38.09

2011

3,280,376

$13,355

$43.87

2012

3,536,802

$12,542

$44.36

2013

3,743,259

$13,131

$49.15

2014

3,949,066

$13,732

$54.23

2015

4,168,774

$14,444

$60.21

2016

4,356,443

$14,855

$64.71

2017

4,552,819

$15,373

$69.99

2018

4,655,629

$16,808

$78.25

2019

4,850,289

$17,553

$85.14

2020

5,039,297

$18,320

$92.32


Not only has and will the number of veterans receiving Compensation increase over this period of 11 years – while at the same time the population of veterans will decrease – but the average yearly amount will increase faster than the CPI.  Over these 11 years, the benefit will increase by an average of 4.3% per year while the average CPI inflation rate is estimated at 2% per year.

These increases are primarily due to aging veterans on claim getting more disabled, an increase in special monthly Compensation benefits, a higher percentage of Gulf War veterans making claims as well as Vietnam veterans who are getting older and making agent orange claims and finally an increasing number of hearing loss claims.


Please refer to the table of contents in the top right column of this page for more topics on VA Disability Compensation.