VA Disability Payment Schedule for 2021
VA’s 2021 payment schedule determines the dates on which a veteran’s monthly VA disability compensation payments are received.
VA Disability Compensation Explained
VA disability compensation is a tax-free monetary benefit paid to veterans with service-connected conditions (i.e., a disabling condition that is related to a veteran’s military service). Generally speaking, the amount of monthly compensation a veteran receives depends on his or her combined disability rating.
Specifically, veterans are assigned disability ratings for each of their service-connected conditions. VA uses its Schedule for Rating Disabilities to assign a disability rating based on the severity of the veteran’s condition. These separate ratings are then combined using the 2021 VA Disability Calculator.
Veterans with a combined rating of 30 percent or higher may be eligible for additional compensation for qualifying dependents, including:
- A spouse
- Children under 18 years old
- Children ages 18-23 years old and still in school
- Dependent parents
Monthly compensation amounts for veterans based on dependent status can be found using our VA Disability Pay Chart.
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 condition(s) 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 will 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 2021
VA disability compensation rates typically increase each year as a result of the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) set by Congress. This year, compensation rates are seeing a 1.3 percent increase effective December 2020. The VA disability compensation rates for 2021 are listed in the table below.
|Combined VA Rating||2021 VA Compensation Rates|
Anticipated VA Disability Payment Schedule for 2021
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 2021 will likely be as follows*:
|Month||Payment Date||Day of Week|
|January 2021||February 1st||Monday|
|February 2021||March 1st||Monday|
|March 2021||April 1st||Thursday|
|April 2021||April 30th||Friday|
|May 2021||June 1st||Tuesday|
|June 2021||July 1st||Thursday|
|July 2021||July 30th||Friday|
|August 2021||September 1st||Wednesday|
|September 2021||October 1st||Friday|
|October 2021||October 30th||Monday|
|November 2021||December 1st||Wednesday|
|December 2021||December 31st||Friday|
*Disclaimer: The 2021 payment schedule has not yet been officially released by VA. The figure above represents an estimate based on the dates used in 2020.
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