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Veterans Law

2020 VA Disability Payment Schedule

April Donahower

December 6, 2019

Updated: June 20, 2024

stack of coins to represent va payment schedule

VA disability compensation is a tax-free monetary benefit paid to veterans with disabilities that are the result of their military service and is distributed to veterans on a payment schedule.  Disabilities subject to compensation can include physical injuries and illnesses (e.g. lung cancer, arthritis, hearing loss) or mental health conditions (e.g. depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder).  VA disability benefits are designed to ensure that veterans are compensated for any impairment in earning capacity that may exist due to their service-connected conditions.

How Does VA Determine the Amount of Monthly Compensation Veterans Receive?

In order to receive VA disability compensation, veterans must first establish service connection for the conditions they are claiming.  Generally speaking, service connection involves the following three elements:

  • A current, diagnosed condition;
  • An in-service event, injury, or illness; and
  • A medical nexus (i.e. link) between the current, diagnosed condition and the in-service event.

Once service connection is granted, VA will assign a disability rating based on the severity of the veteran’s condition.  Typically, the more severe a veteran’s condition is, the higher the disability rating they receive.  VA disability ratings range from 0 to 100 percent, in increments of 10.  A rating of 0 percent does not entitle veterans to monthly compensation; however, they may be eligible for other benefits, such as VA healthcare.  If veterans have more than one service-connected condition, their disability ratings will be combined to determine their combined disability rating.  Importantly, a veteran’s combined disability rating determines the amount of monthly compensation they will receive.

VA Disability Compensation Rates for 2020

Combined Disability Rating2020 VA Compensation Rates

Importantly, VA disability compensation rates typically increase each year as a result of a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) set by Congress.  The increase is usually announced during the month of October and then take effect in December. See our VA disability pay chart for dependent rates.

Anticipated Payment Schedule for VA Monthly Compensation in 2020

Usually, disability benefits for a particular month will be paid on the first business day of the following month.  It is important to note that if the first business day of the month falls on a holiday, then VA benefits will be paid on the last business day of the preceding month.  Therefore, the VA disability payment schedule for 2020 will likely be as follows*:

MonthPayment DateDay of Week
JanuaryJanuary 31stFriday
FebruaryMarch 2ndMonday
MarchApril 1stWednesday
AprilMay 1stFriday
MayJune 1stMonday
JuneJuly 1stWednesday
JulyJuly 31stFriday
AugustSeptember 1stTuesday
SeptemberOctober 1stThursday
OctoberOctober 30thFriday
NovemberDecember 1stTuesday
DecemberDecember 30thWednesday

*Disclaimer: The 2020 payment schedule has not yet been officially released by VA.  The figure above represents an estimate based on the dates used in 2019.

2020 VA Disability Pay Chart

About the Author

Bio photo of April Donahower

April joined Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick in August of 2016 as an Associate Attorney. She currently serves as the Appellate Supervisor in our Veterans Law practice. April’s practice focuses on representing disabled veterans before the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

See more about April