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Veterans Law

Projected 2023 VA Disability Pay Rates

August 23, 2022
Updated: August 24, 2022
Projected 2023 VA Disability Pay Rates

The 2023 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will likely be anywhere from 9.3 percent to 11.4 percent, according to recent projections.  This may lead to a significant increase in 2023 VA disability rates and monthly compensation for veterans.  It is important to note that the 2023 COLA rate has not yet been determined; this is only an estimate and, as such, is subject to change over the next few months.

What Is the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)?

Every fiscal year, the Social Security Administration (SSA) sets forth an updated cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), based on the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earnings and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).  The CPI-W measures the change in prices of goods and services over time.

After the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) calculates the monthly CPI-W, the SSA will pull data from the third quarter (i.e., July, August, and September) of the previous fiscal year to the third quarter of the current year to determine the COLA for the upcoming year.

Following this, the Senate will pass new legislation to allow a cost-of-living increase for veterans’ benefits.  The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will then adjust veterans’ monthly compensation to reflect the updated cost of living.  This typically leads to an increase in veterans’ benefits each year.

COLA and VA Disability Rates Over Time

2020 COLA

The 2020 1.6 percent COLA increase led to a small jump in veterans’ benefits.  The 2020 VA compensation rates went into effect on December 1, 2019 and veterans received their newly adjusted benefits starting December 31 of the same year.

2021 COLA

In 2021, the COLA increase was 1.3 percent, slightly less than the previous year.  This lower rate was due, in part, to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on economies worldwide.  Veterans still saw a boost in their VA disability benefits beginning December 1, 2020.

2022 COLA

The 2022 5.9 percent COLA increase led to a substantial boost in benefits beginning on December 1, 2021.  Veterans will continue to receive 2021 VA benefits until 2022 COLA rates take effect this December.

2022 VA Disability Pay Chart and Compensation Rates

Projected 2023 Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)

Predictions from reliable sources can provide veterans with a frame of reference for the potential VA monthly disability benefits they will receive in 2023.

The nonpartisan group The Senior Citizens League projects that the 2023 COLA may be as high as 9.6 percent.  In July, the Kiplinger Letter, a weekly economic and business forecasting periodical, predicted a 9.7 percent COLA increase.

In addition, BLS calculated a Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) of 8.5 percent for the year ending in July 2022.  The CPI-U is the measure of the change in retail prices affecting all urban consumers, a more general index than the CPI-W.  This offers a small glimpse into how quickly the prices of consumer goods and services have been rising over the past year.

The actual COLA increase for 2023 will depend on the rate of inflation in the coming months.  Although still subject to change, the 2023 COLA will likely experience its biggest increase since 1981.

Will Disabled Veterans Get a Raise in 2023?

Yes, veterans will most likely get a raise in their monthly disability benefits in 2023.  When VA applies the 2023 COLA to disability benefits, veterans may see a significant increase reflected in their monthly compensation come December.  Although the 2022 adjustment of 5.9 percent was already substantial, the 2023 adjustment is likely to be even higher.

If the COLA rate does increase between 9.3 percent and 11.4 percent come fall, veterans with a 100 percent disability rating and no dependents may see an extra $309.88 and $379.85 added to their disability compensation, yielding a potential $3,641.94 to $3,711.91 per month.  In comparison, the current 2022 rate for 100 percent disabled veterans is $3,332.06.

Potential 2023 VA Disability Compensation Rates

The 2022 compensation rates can be used as a baseline to calculate estimates for VA disability payments in 2023.  However, since the SSA has not yet determined the 2023 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), we can only provide tentative figures based on projections from reliable sources (see below).  Although the 2023 numbers will likely change, the figures can still serve as an approximation of your 2023 disability payments when compared to previous years.

The pay rates in this chart reflect the changes in compensation over the years based on a single veteran with no dependents.  Since the SSA has yet to release the 2023 COLA, the rates listed use the most recent COLA projection of 9.6 percent.

Combined VA RatingEstimated 2023 VA Compensation Rates (9.6% increase)2022 VA Compensation Rates2021 VA Compensation Rates

To calculate the rates above, we took the most recent 2023 COLA estimate of 9.6 percent, multiplied it by each 2022 compensation rate, and then added that number to the rate.  The adjusted figures are potential 2023 VA monthly payments.

Dependents and VA Disability Pay Chart

Veterans with a combined disability rating of 30 percent or higher and one or more qualifying dependents are eligible for additional compensation.  Qualifying dependents include:

  • A spouse
  • Dependent parents
  • Children under the age of 18
  • Children between the age of 18 and 23 who are in school

Veterans receive different pay rates depending on the type and number of dependents.  For reference, see the 2022 VA disability pay chart below.  The amounts displayed in each box represent a veteran’s monthly compensation based on their combined VA disability rating and dependency status.

VA Pay Chart 2022 5.9% COLA

When Will Veterans Receive Updated VA Pay Rates?

After SSA announces the 2023 COLA and VA adjusts disability rates accordingly, veterans should begin receiving their updated benefits on December 1, 2022.  These changes will be reflected in veterans’ monthly payments at the end of the month (i.e., December 30, 2022).

Do You Need Help Appealing Your VA Claim?

If you have a service-related condition but VA denied you disability compensation, Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD may be able to help.  The experienced and knowledgeable veterans’ advocates at CCK have decades of demonstrated success in representing veterans before VA and the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC).  For a complimentary consultation, reach out to CCK today at 800-544-9144.