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Veterans Law

VA Disability Benefits for 30 Percent Ratings

Lisa Ioannilli

May 29, 2024

VA Disability Benefits for 30 Percent Ratings

A 30 percent disability rating from VA entitles a veteran to both monetary compensation and addition benefits. In this article, we will discuss VA disability compensation, and appeal options for veterans with a VA disability rating of 30 percent.

Veterans should research the benefits from their VA rating carefully. If the compensation and benefits do not align with their needs, veterans may want to consider one of the various ways to increase their rating.

Who We Are: Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick is the largest veterans law firm in the US. For more than 25 years, CCK has argued many of the cases that shape veterans law today. With over 300 years of combined experience, our attorneys and advocates have secured more than $1 billion in benefits for our clients. Contact us if we can assist.

VA Disability Compensation for 30 Percent Ratings

The most well-known benefit for “compensable” ratings (above zero) is monetary compensation. Note: In 2024, the cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) saw an increase of approximately 3.2 percent, resulting in a rise in compensation for disabled veterans.

As of December 1, 2023, veterans rated as 30 percent disabled are entitled to the following monthly compensation:

  • Veteran alone (no dependents) — $524.31
  • With spouse (no parents or children) — $586.31
  • With spouse and 1 parent (no children) — $636.31
  • With spouse and 2 parents (no children) — $686.31
  • With 1 parent (no spouse or children) — $574.31
  • With 2 parents (no spouse or children) — $624.31
  • Each additional child under age 18 — $31.00
  • Each additional child over age 18 in a qualifying school program — $100.00
  • Spouse receiving Aid and Attendance — $57.00

Additional Benefits for 30 Percent Disabled Veterans

In addition to monthly compensation, 30 percent disabled veterans are entitled to several other VA benefits. Veterans can find and compare some additional benefits for different ratings using the VA’s Service Connected Matrix chart. These and other benefits are detailed below. Note that neither the VA’s list nor the list below is intended to be exhaustive.

VA Health Care Benefits

When veterans apply for VA health care, VA will assign them to one of eight priority groups. These priority groups are based on the following:

  • Military service history
  • VA disability rating
  • Income level
  • Eligibility for Medicaid
  • Other benefits veterans may be receiving (e.g., VA pension benefits)

Veterans with 30 percent ratings are assigned to Priority Group Two, the second highest priority group.

VA Health Care Eligibility and Priority Groups Explained

A veteran’s Priority Group determines whether the veteran will be responsible for copayments for medications and different types of care at VA Medical Centers. Priority Group Two does not require copays for inpatient or outpatient care, although it generally requires copayments for outpatient medication.

In addition, the following services do not require inpatient and outpatient copays, regardless of the veteran’s Priority Group:

  • Care related to a service-connected disability
  • Special registry examinations offered by VA to evaluate possible health risks associated with military service (for example, the Agent Orange Registry exam)
  • Counseling and care for military sexual trauma
  • Compensation and Pension (C&P) examinations
  • Care related to VA research projects
  • Readjustment counseling
  • Care for cancer of the head or neck caused by nose or throat radium treatments received while in the military
  • Individual or group smoking cessation or weight reduction services
  • Hospice care

VA also has a healthcare travel reimbursement program to reimburse veterans and caregivers for mileage and other travel expenses to and from approved healthcare appointments.

Vision Care and Hearing Aids

Veterans who receive compensation for service-connected conditions can also qualify for routine vision and hearing exams and preventative tests, as well as eyeglasses and hearing aids. More information about VA’s eyeglasses and hearing aid policy is available on this VA website.

Burial and Plot Allowance

As of 2014, VA pays surviving spouses of disabled veterans a flat fee toward burial and plot or interment. This is a change from older policies that require itemization and reimbursement for specific expenses.

The burial allowance for a non-service-connected death is $300, and $2,000 for a death connected to military service. However, the fee varies based on the time and circumstances of death.

Life Insurance for Disabled Veterans

The Service-Disabled Veterans Life Insurance (S-DVI) offers low-cost insurance coverage to eligible service members and veterans. Veterans who meet requirements for S-DVI can receive up to $10,000 of coverage and $30,000 of supplemental coverage. The premium amount that veterans pay for S-DVI coverage depends on age, type of plan (term or permanent), and the amount of coverage.

Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI) is a benefit that typically follows Service Members’ 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. 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.

Federal Hiring Preference

When applying for many federal jobs, an eligible disabled veteran can claim a hiring preference on their application or resume. This awards additional points to the veterans’ score on a civil service exam or application, giving them a higher ranking than non-veteran applicants.

Vocational Readiness and Employment (VR&E)

Veterans with service-connected conditions rated 10 percent or higher are eligible for VA’s Vocational Readiness and Employment (VR&E) program. VR&E helps disabled veterans and service members increase their likelihood of obtaining employment.

Chapter 31 VA Benefits: 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
  • On-the-job-training, apprenticeships, and non-paid work experience

Free Tax Preparation for Disabled Veterans

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.

Other Considerations for 30 Percent Disabled Veterans

State Benefits for Disabled Veterans

Veterans rated at 30 percent disabled should also look into state-offered benefits, which may include programs like:

  • Educational discounts or free tuition at local universities
  • Homeowners tax exemptions
  • Veteran housing programs (i.e., assisted living, retirement villages)
  • Long-term nursing facilities
  • Property tax exemptions
  • DAV state license plates/vehicle registration
  • Free admission to state parks
  • Discounts on hunting and fishing licenses
  • Waiver of certain state fees (e.g., tolls, parking, permits, business, or driver’s licenses, etc.)

It is important to note that every state has different qualification requirements and unique veteran benefits, so veterans should research their state specifically.

How to Increase Your Rating

There are a number of circumstances in which a veteran with a 30 percent disability rating may consider attempting to increase their rating.

How to Increase Your VA Disability Rating

For example, a service-connected condition may worsen, or a secondary condition may develop, or a veteran believes their rating should have been higher based on the severity of their disability. In these situations, a veteran has several potential options, including:

  • File an appeal: Veterans have one year from the date of VA’s initial rating decision to file an appeal. There are three appeal lanes to choose from: (1) Higher-Level Review, (2) Supplemental Claim, and (3) Notice of Disagreement.
  • File for an increased rating: Veterans may file an increased rating claim if they are already service-connected for a condition and feel as though it has worsened.
  • File for Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU): If a veteran’s service-connected condition prevents them from obtaining or maintaining substantially gainful employment, they may be eligible for TDIU. TDIU provides monthly VA compensation equal to the 100 percent rate. Veterans with a 30 percent disability rating can apply for extraschedular TDIU.
  • File for secondary service connection: Veterans who developed another condition as a result of their already service-connected disability can apply for secondary service-connected benefits. This can increase a veteran’s overall disability rating.

Many of these processes can be challenging. Veterans should consider enlisting a VA-accredited veterans advocate for assistance.

CCK Is Here to Help

If VA denied your claim for disability compensation, or if you are seeking an increased rating, Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD may be able to help. The accredited claims agents and attorneys at CCK have over 300 years of combined experience assisting veterans in securing the disability compensation they deserve.

Call CCK today at 800-544-9144 to learn more and schedule a free case evaluation with a member of the CCK team.

About the Author

Bio photo of Lisa Ioannilli

Lisa joined CCK in March 2012. Lisa is a Senior Attorney focusing on representing disabled veterans in claims pending before the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

See more about Lisa