Understanding 2024 VA Disability Rates

Wed Dec 13 2023


Veteran Legal Editors

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How Disability Ratings Determine Compensation

The amount of monthly VA disability compensation you could receive depends your disability rating, ranging from 0% to 100% in chunks of 10%.

rating is assigned based on the severity of each diagnosed condition and its impact on your occupational and social functioning. That means the harder your disability makes it for you to work, then the higher your rating will probably be. Higher ratings mean you’ll get a larger amount of monthly pay. If you have multiple service-connected conditions, these will also have those individual ratings combined into a single rating.

You may also receive additional compensation for any dependents, such as an eligible spouse, any children, and/or dependent parent(s). Additional compensation amounts are provided for those dependents.

Overview of the New 2024 VA Disability Rates

On December 1, 2023, updated disability rates will take effect across rating percentages for veterans with and without eligible dependents. For example, a single veteran with a combined 60% rating can expect their monthly payment to increase from $1319.65 to $1,361.88 under the new 2024 rates. Similarly, a 100% disabled veteran with a spouse and child will see their monthly payment go up to $4,089.87.

There are various VA Disability Pay calculators online that can help you input your specific disability rating percentage and dependency status to find out an estimated pay amount for 2024. These tool are useful for budgeting, financial planning purposes, and determining whether you’re receiving all the benefits you’re entitled to.

2024 VA Disability Rates

Effective Date: December 1, 2023

Note: Veterans with a 10% to 20% disability rating do not receive additional compensation for having a spouse, dependent child, or dependent parent.

Disability RatingMonthly Payment

VA disability compensation is based on the veteran’s disability rating and household make-up.

Disability RatingVeteran
(alone, no dependents)
With Spouse
(no parents or children)

Disability RatingWith Spouse and 1 Parent (no children)With Spouse and 2 Parents (no children)

Disability RatingWith 1 Parent (no spouse or children)With 2 Parents (no spouse or children)

Disability RatingWith 1 Child (no spouse or parents)With 1 Child and Spouse (no parents)

Disability RatingWith 1 Child, 1 Spouse, and 1 ParentWith 1 Child, 1 Spouse, and 2 Parents

Disability RatingWith 1 Child and 1 Parent (no spouse)With 1 child and 2 Parents (no spouse)

Added Amounts

Disability RatingEach Additional Child Under Age 18Each Additional Child Over Age 18 in a Qualifying School Program

Disability RatingSpouse Receiving Aid and Attendance

How Does VA Disability Compensation Work?

VA disability compensation is a tax-free monetary benefit paid to veterans who have disabilities resulting from diseases or injuries received or made worse during active military service. This program is separate from military retirement pay and is not subject to federal or state taxes.

Eligibility for disability compensation depends on whether you receive an official rating decision of at least 10% from the VA. Each diagnosed condition linked to your time in service is assigned a rating between 0% and 100% based on the VASRD disability rating schedule. Those individual ratings are then combined per VA guidelines into a single rating which determines how much you can receive monthly.

Higher combined ratings result in larger monthly payouts, as listed in the 2024 rate table. Veterans may also qualify for additional tax-free allowances, such as Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits, depending on their personal circumstances.

What is a VA Disability Effective Date?

The effective date is the date the VA decides you are eligible for benefits for each of your service-connected disabilities. Usually, this will be the day the VA received your original claim for each disability (or the day they receive your Intent to File), as long as you continuously pursue your claim from that date forward by filing appeals on time. Almost all appeals must be received by the VA within 365 days from their last decision, but some deadlines are shorter. Make sure to read all letters from the VA carefully so you know the deadlines and can get any help you need on time.

If the VA finds that you should have been entitled to a higher disability rating, they’ll compare the pay rate you should have received with any payments you actually received, and they’ll make up the distance.

The team at Veteran Help will work with you to meet all deadlines and review VA decisions to make sure we’re fighting for the maximum amount of back payments you’re entitled to. As always, though, these are your claims, and we encourage you to keep track of deadlines and look at decisions from the VA carefully, to check that you’re receiving the correct back payments on your claims.

How to Calculate Expected VA Disability Payment

You can calculate your expected veteran’s disability benefits using the data provided by the VA. First, using the payment rates listed above, find the amount for your specific disability rating. Then, using the basic rates charts, you can find the correct amount for your disability rating and your dependent status.

For example, if you are a disabled veteran with a 50% disability rating, and you have no children or spouse, your expected basic VA disability rate is $1075.16.

However, if you are married and your spouse receives VA Aid and Attendance benefits or you have more than one dependent child, you can calculate increases to your standard monthly pay in the added amounts section above.

Want to try something a bit more complicated? Let’s take a look at a veteran with a 50% disability rating, four children, and a spouse who receives Aid and Attendance benefits.

  1. Begin with the rate of $1,255.16 for a 50% disabled veteran with a spouse and one child.
  2. Add the amount of ($51.00 x 3) for three additional children under age 18, using the Added Amounts table: $1,255.16 + $153.00 = $1,408.16
  3. Finally, add in the additional amount for a spouse receiving Aid and Attendance: $95.00

So, what you would end up with for a veteran with a 50% disability rating, four dependent children, and a spouse receiving Aid and Attendance, the total veterans benefits amount is $1,503.16.

Dependent parents also are taken into account when calculating your monthly benefit. For example, if you are 70% disabled, don’t have any dependent children, but are responsible for two dependent parents and a spouse, you’ll start with the basic amount of $2,095.28.

You’ll notice in these charts that you can calculate benefits for just about any combination of household makeup and disability levels. This makes it easy to plan for any changes to your veteran benefits.

The Role of COLA in Benefits Determination

Cost-of-living adjustments or COLAs are crucial to maintaining the real value of VA benefits over time as the cost of living goes up. The Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps an eye on inflation using the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners (CPI-W). Yearly changes in inflation determine VA COLA increases.

Congress enacted legislation to provide automatic COLAs for disability benefits back in 1976. Prior to that, increases were inconsistent and required specific congressional approval each time. Automating COLAs ensures disabled veterans receive equitable disability pay that matches contemporary economic conditions.

For 2023, the CPI-W rose 8.7% on average leading to the corresponding 8.7% benefits COLA that began in December 2022. Starting in December 2023, the COLA is set to increase by 3.2%.

While not a perfect system, the COLA aims to preserve the stability of an important component of economic security for those injured defending the nation.

Overview of the VA Disability Rating System

The foundation of VA disability compensation is the rating schedule which quantifies eligibility and payment amounts. Ratings are assigned based on how severely a medical condition impacts average occupational functioning and daily living. Specific criteria defined in the VASRD rating manual are used by raters.

Ratings range from 0% to 100% in increments of 10%. A 0% rating means the condition does not significantly impact working ability or activities. 100% disability indicates the inability to secure or maintain substantially gainful work. Percentages in between represent different levels of functional capacity, or your ability to do things. Multiple ratings can be combined using VA math rules.

For example, a veteran with a 60% back injury and a 30% hearing loss rating equals a combined disability rating of 72%. This is then rounded down to 70% which is used to determine how much monthly disability pay you’ll receive. So assigning accurate individual ratings is important for getting the right disability payment.

Benefits Provided by a 100% VA Disability Rating

A 100% VA disability rating entitles eligible injured or ill veterans to the maximum level of disability compensation. For 2024, a 100% rating for a single veteran with no dependents equals $3,737 monthly. Veterans with eligible family members can receive up to $4,211 per month. The exact amounts change depending on how many dependents you have.

A 100% rating indicates that you are unable to get and keep a job due to service-connected disabilities. Since your working ability is totally compromised, in this category you can receive expedited total disability rating based on individual unemployability or TDIU.

Furthermore, permanent 100% disability opens access to additional financial resources like adapting homes or vehicles to accommodate disabilities. These veterans also utilize Commissary and Exchange privileges. Ongoing entitlement amounts continue increasing through automatic yearly COLA adjustments.

Details on the Aid and Attendance Allowance

The VA Aid and Attendance allowance provides supplemental income to assist veterans, and eligible spouses, coping with significant disabilities requiring regular personal care assistance from others. Qualifying veterans must have already been rated permanently 100% disabled in addition to needing aid for bathing, feeding, dressing, etc.

However, veterans who received improvised pensions prior to needing Aid and Attendance can qualify without having a 100% rating. Clinical records must confirm the need for daily skilled home care, nursing home care, or hospital stays to apply. This tax-free benefit can provide up to $3,108 monthly for a single housebound veteran under the 2024 rate table.

Addressing Common Veteran Questions

How will the 2024 COLA increase impact my current benefits?

Your monthly entitlement is raised by 3.2% starting on December 1st, 2023 under the new. You can contact your regional VA office for specific details.

Are there any other options besides VA disability pay?

Other programs include Social Security disability income, worker compensation, retirement/pension programs, and private disability insurance.

Where can I estimate my new compensation amounts?

You can refer to the VA website or one of many VA Disability Payment Calculators that can be found online.

How far back can I claim retroactive disability pay?

You can receive back pay from your effective date, which is typically either the date the VA received your application, or the day after your separation from the military, if you file your application or intent to file within one year of separation.


The U.S Department of Veterans Affairs disability compensation program delivers valuable financial support to former military members disabled during active service. Updated rating decisions in 2023 will incorporate an 3.2 % COLA increase starting December 1st, 2023 to counter consumer inflation. Veterans should review their future monthly amounts and feel confident benefit rates will sustain real value thanks to automatic COLA indexation against rising costs. Reach out to accredited representatives with any additional questions or for assistance obtaining the disability pay earned by protecting America in uniform.