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Veterans Law

70% VA Disability Rating, Benefits, and Pay

October 7, 2022
70% VA Disability Rating, Benefits, and Pay

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a variety of disability benefits to veterans with 70 percent disability ratings.  Read on to learn about what these benefits are and how much VA monthly compensation you will receive.

VA Disability Ratings Explained

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) assigns a disability rating in the form of a percentage to a veteran’s service-connected condition based on frequency, duration, and severity of symptoms.  Overall, VA disability ratings are meant to compensate veterans for the average impairment in earning capacity caused by their service-connected condition(s).

Veterans must have a combined disability rating of at least 10 percent for the veteran to qualify for VA monthly compensation.  The highest schedular disability rating VA can assign to a veteran’s condition is 100 percent, which yields the highest amount of monthly disability compensation.

5 Ways to Establish VA Service Connection

VA Compensation for 70% Disability Rating

As of December 1, 2021, veterans with a 70 percent VA disability rating receive $1,529.95 per month in VA compensation.  This monetary benefit is tax free at both the federal and state levels.  The exact amount of compensation may increase or decrease each year depending on the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).

For reference, the other disability benefit amounts as of December 2021 are as follows:

  • 0 percent disability rating: $0.00 per month
  • 10 percent disability rating: $152.64 per month
  • 20 percent disability rating: $301.74 per month
  • 30 percent disability rating: $467.39 per month
  • 40 percent disability rating: $673.28 per month
  • 50 percent disability rating: $958.44 per month
  • 60 percent disability rating: $1,214.03 per month
  • 70 percent disability rating: $1,529.95 per month
  • 80 percent disability rating: $1,778.43 per month
  • 90 percent disability rating: $1,998.52 per month
  • 100 percent disability rating: $3,332.06 per month

Additional Compensation for Dependents

Veterans with a combined disability rating of 30 percent or higher and one or more qualifying dependents are eligible for additional monthly compensation for each dependent.  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 (must be unmarried)
  • Children who were severely disabled prior to reaching the age of 18

Veterans can reference this 2022 VA disability pay chart for the current disability rates for 70 percent disabled veterans based on dependency status.

70% VA Disability Benefits

In addition to monthly VA compensation, veterans with this rating may also qualify for other 70 percent VA disability benefits, including the following:

VA Health Care Benefits for 70% Disabled Veterans

VA uses priority groups to categorize veterans and the different types of health care benefits they receive.  Each priority group has a different copay.

In order to be placed in VA Health Care Priority Group 1, the highest priority group, veterans need to be service connected at 50 percent or more or be receiving total disability based on individual unemployability (TDIU).  Based on this criteria, veterans with a 70 percent VA disability rating are eligible for enrollment in Priority Group 1.

Veterans in Priority Group 1 are eligible to receive all their health care services through VA with no copays.  Some of these services include:

  • Preventive care
  • Inpatient (hospitalization) services
  • Ancillary services
  • Mental health care
  • Geriatrics and extended care
  • Medical equipment/prosthetic items and aids
  • Medication/supplies
  • Dental care
  • Nursing home placement
  • Medically related travel benefits
  • Eyeglasses
  • Hearing aids
  • Automotive adaptive equipment (under certain conditions)
  • Home improvement and structural alteration grants (under certain conditions)
  • Clothing allowance benefits (under certain conditions)
  • Dependents’ health care (if not eligible under TRICARE)
  • Emergency care at a non-VA facility (under certain conditions)
  • Foreign medical care (for service-connected and secondary conditions)
VA Health Care Eligibility and Priority Groups Explained

Vocational Readiness and Employment (VR&E)

Veterans with a 70 percent VA disability rating, as well as all veterans with service-connected conditions rated 10 percent or higher, are eligible for Vocational Readiness and Employment (VR&E).

VR&E provides a range of career services, including career counseling and rehabilitation planning for employment; job training, job-seeking skills, résumé development, and other work-readiness assistance; and on-the-job-training, apprenticeships, and non-paid work experience.

VA Home Loan Guarantee Benefits

VA provides home loan guarantees to help veterans buy, repair, rebuild, or keep a home.  In general, VA home loans are provided by private lenders (i.e., banks and mortgage companies), and are guaranteed by VA so that veterans or service members can get more favorable terms on their mortgage.  Veterans can qualify for lower interest rates on their loans and may be able to pay lower down payments for their homes as guaranteed by VA.

Free Tax Preparation Services

The IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs assist thousands of veterans in preparing their taxes for free every year.

The IRS works with local community groups to train and certify VITA and TCE volunteers.  These volunteers then help qualifying disabled veterans prepare their taxes.  VITA and TCE also provide free electronic filing.

Concurrent Retired and Disability Pay

Concurrent Retired and Disability Pay (CRDP) restores veterans’ service pay by eliminating the VA waiver (i.e., the amount the veteran receives in VA disability compensation subtracted from the amount they receive in retired pay to avoid “double-dipping.”)  Veterans with a disability rating of 50 percent or higher may qualify for this benefit.

Life Insurance for Disabled Veterans

Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI) is a benefit that typically follows Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI), provided the veteran meets certain qualifications.  Veterans who continue to pay the premiums for VGLI after leaving service can keep their insurance.  The premium amount depends on age, type of plan (term or permanent), and the amount of coverage.

Veterans can receive between $10,000 and $40,000 in life insurance benefits, based on the amount of SGLI coverage they had when they left the military.

Training Programs Under the Post 9/11 GI Bill

Eligible veterans with 70 percent disability ratings may qualify programs under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.  These programs include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Entrepreneurship training
  • Flight training
  • Institutions of higher learning (i.e., undergraduate and graduate degrees)
  • Licensing and certification reimbursement
  • On-the-job training
  • Tutorial assistance
  • Vocational/technical training

70% VA Disability and Social Security

Veterans with a 70 percent disability rating may qualify for Social Security benefits, although it depends on the type.  There are two different types of Social Security benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

SSDI only counts earned income; therefore, VA disability benefits have no effect on entitlement to SSDI.

However, SSI is need-based, meaning any contribution from VA disability benefits will count towards income for the month.  The SSI income limit for 2022 is $841 per month.  Since 70 percent disabled veterans receive $1,529.95 per month in 2022, they are most likely not eligible for SSI.

How to Increase 70% VA Disability Benefits to 100%

If you believe your service-connected condition(s) warrant a higher disability rating than the one currently assigned, there are several ways to increase your rating:

  • File an appeal within VA’s deadlines (one year for most types of appeals);
  • File a new claim for an increased rating;
  • File a claim for secondary service connection if you have symptoms or conditions resulting from an already service-connected disability.

When trying to go from a 70 percent disability rating to a 100 percent disability rating, veterans should be mindful of the rating criteria for each service-connected condition for which they are seeking an increase.  Veterans can read through the rating criteria and determine how their symptomology lines up with what is listed.

TDIU for 70% Disabled Veterans

Veterans who are unable to work due to a service-connected condition(s) can apply for total disability based on individual unemployability (TDIU), a benefit that compensates veterans at the 100 percent rating level.  Veterans with a 70 percent disability rating may be able to qualify for TDIU on a schedular basis if they prove that they cannot obtain or maintain substantially gainful employment.

The schedular requirements for TDIU, outlined under 38 CFR § 4.16, are as follows:

  • The veteran has one service-connected disability rated at least 60 percent disabling; or
  • The veteran has a combined rating of at least 70 percent, with one condition rated at least 40 percent.

Do I Qualify For TDIU Benefits

Need Assistance Getting Disability Benefits?

If your claim for benefits was denied or if you are seeking to increase your disability rating, Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick is here to help.  Our expert team of accredited attorneys and claims agents may be able to help you secure the disability benefits you deserve.  For a free case review, call our office today at 800-544-9144.