What is VA Disability Compensation?
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 VA math to determine a veteran’s combined disability rating. Combined ratings range from 0 to 100 percent in 10 percent increments and can be found using VA’s Combined Ratings Table or our 2019 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.
Cost-of-Living-Adjustment (COLA) and VA Disability Compensation
VA adjusts monthly compensation amounts based on the yearly changes in the cost of living as determined by the Social Security Administration. These periodic changes made to VA compensation rates allow for VA benefit amounts to increase with the rate of inflation. The 2019 COLA involved a 2.8 percent increase, the largest since 2011. The VA disability compensation rates for veterans without dependents for 2019 are as follows:
|Combined Disability Rating||2018 VA Compensation Rates||2019 VA Compensation Rates|
2019 Payment Schedule
This change in VA compensation rates went into effect on December 1, 2018 and was reflected in veterans’ benefit checks starting on December 31, 2018. Going forward, 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 month. The VA disability payment schedule for 2019 is as follows:
|Month||Payment Date||Day of Week|