How Does the Veterans Affairs Disability Pay Scale Work?


The Veterans Affairs disability pay scale is based upon the degree or severity of disability, the number of disabilities and the existence of dependents such as children, spouse and parents. The cost of living adjustments for a veteran's disability pay are calculated using the same percentage as for social security payments.

Veterans are entitled to disability pay if they are at least 10 percent disabled. The amount of payment goes up on a graduated scale from 10 percent to 100 percent. For instance, as of December 1, 2013, a veteran without dependents receives $130.94 monthly for a 10 percent disability, $822.15 for a 50 percent disability, or $2858.24 for a 100 percent disability. Veterans with a 30 percent disability or more are entitled to additional compensation for dependents. If a veteran has multiple disabilities, a special combined ratings table is used to determine the degree of disability used to calculate compensation.

Veterans are eligible for disability pay for diseases or injuries acquired during active duty, active duty training or inactive duty training, as long as the veteran was not dishonorably discharged. Disabilities include both physical conditions and mental health conditions. Applicants must provide medical evidence of the disability and evidence of a link between the disability and the veteran's military service. Disability is presumed in certain cases, including former prisoner of war status, certain tropical or chronic diseases, exposure to toxic substances such as herbicides or radiation during service, or Gulf War veterans who served in Southwest Asia during the Gulf War beginning in 1990.

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