2022 VA Disability Pay Chart and Compensation Rates
Christian McTarnaghan: Hi everyone, and welcome to another edition of CCK Live. Today, we’re going to be reviewing VA disability pay rates based on the 2022 Cost-of-Living Adjustment.
First, let’s just take a step back and let’s talk about what Cost-of-Living Adjustment or COLA is. COLA is short for a cost-of-living adjustment. And that’s the rate that’s determined each year by the Social Security Administration. And basically, what it is, is it’s Congress has told VA that it needs to adjust the VA monthly compensation based on that year’s change in the cost of living, right?
We’re going to go through how the cost of living percentage increase is determined but if goods cost more, if things cost more, you should be really getting more each month for your VA disability benefits. Or else if the cost of living goes up your rates stay the same, you’re not even going to be having the same purchasing power as you would before.
How was COLA determined? Like I said, the Social Security bases COLA off the rates of percentage increase in the consumer price index for urban wage earnings then clerical workers from the 3rd quarter — July, August, and September — of the previous year and they compare it to the 3rd quarter of this year. That’s why it comes out around this time of year.
What is the other acronym? The CPI-W. It’s a statistical measure, like I said, of the change of price of goods and services over eight major expenditure groups. You have food and beverage, housing, apparel, transportation, medical care, recreation, education, and communications, and then a few other goods and services are lumped in there too.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics basically calculates that the CPI-W, on a monthly basis, and then the Social Security Administration compares the data to accurately reflect the change in the cost of living in their compensation rates. So, VA then uses that COLA from the Social Security Administration to adjust the veterans’ monthly disability compensation amounts.
So what’s the COLA rate for this year? Maybe some of you have read, inflation is on the rise a little bit, in the recent past, so the COLA this year is actually going to be 5.9 percent.
That’s the biggest adjustment since 2009 when it was 5.8 percent. So, what that means is on December 1, VA is going to adjust all veterans who receive monthly compensation to reflect the updated cost of living. So you can expect, if you’re a veteran, you get a monthly check, monthly payment, disability benefits, you can expect to collect these newly adjusted benefits starting December 31, 2021.
So, this is like I said, this is a big jump, especially compared to the increase last year, which was only 1.3 percent. Basically, the 2021 compensation rates are going to be used as a baseline to calculate VA disability payments in 2022. So, they take the 2022 COLA 5.9 percent, they multiply it by the 2021 compensation rate, they add that number to the 2021 rate and that’s your 2022 rate. You don’t have to do any math. Here are the numbers for some of the most common disability rating benefits.
With the 5.9 percent increase, if you have a 100 percent disability rating, a 100 percent scheduler, a 100 percent TDIU, and no dependents, you’re going to get an extra $185.64 a month. Yielding a total of $3332.06 a month. Obviously, the 100 percent rating is the biggest payment amount so that’s going to increase the most. But, let’s just run through down the line and do the others.
The 70 percent rating is going to receive $1,529.97. That’s an increase of $85.23. The 50 percent rating, you’re going to get $958.43, that’s a $53.39 increase. The 30 percent rating, you’re going to be now getting $467.38, that’s an increase of $26.03. And then for the 10 percent rating, if you have a dime, it’s going to be a $152.64 a month now, which is an increase of $8.50.
This also impacts veterans with dependents. Veterans with a combined disability rating of 30 percent or higher in one or more qualifying dependents are eligible for additional monthly compensation. Qualifying dependents are a spouse, dependent parents, children under the age of 18, children between 18 and 23 who are in school.
For an example, a single veteran who’s rated at 40 percent with a single dependent child under the age of 18 would get an additional $40.26 per month based on the 5.9 percent COLA increase.
So, this is a lot of information for you to digest. We hope that the numbers and the increased payments that you’re going to be getting are helpful.
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