Unveiling the Updates: Key Highlights of the VA Disability Rates

Veterans who are ill or injured while serving or whose service-related condition worsened after duty are eligible for VA disability compensation, which is tax-free and paid to them every month. The price increases each year by a percentage tied to the SSA’s cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). The amount of your disability rating determines how much you’ll receive. Dependents can also increase your rate, which is determined using a complex system of VA math.

veteran disability

8.7% COLA

VA disability rates increase yearly based on a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). These adjustments are necessary to ensure that inflation does not slowly erode the purchasing power of veterans’ benefits. By law, COLAs for VA compensation and pension rates equal the increase in Social Security benefits. Congress designed these disability ratings to reflect the anticipated amount of income loss resulting from a particular condition, with a 30% rating providing the most support for a veteran without dependents. A 100% rating offers a much more significant loss and is rated the highest under the law. The increase in cost of living of 8.7% as of 12/1/22 is expected to impact retirees’ monthly pensions substantially. The 2024 COLA will be 3.2%, the same percentage increase that Social Security benefits are receiving. The chart below explains how this change will affect your monthly payments based on your disability rating and household. It also includes the additional compensation you can receive for having a dependent spouse, child or parent.

Increases for Children

Veterans with a service-connected disability can receive monthly compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs to help offset costs due to illness or injury. This tax-free monetary benefit can help with housing, food, transportation and medical expenses. The amount a veteran receives depends on their disability rating and whether or not they have dependent children. Each year, a COLA is added to the VA disability rates. This increases a veteran’s monthly check to account for inflation. This helps combat rising costs and keeps a disabled veteran’s buying power consistent. In 2023, there is a 2% increase for every school-age child a disabled veteran has. This is on top of the 8.7% COLA that will also be applied. This is the largest increase in COLA that has been seen for VA disability rates in 30 years. The official VA compensation rate chart is below, which reflects these changes.

Increases for Spouses

Each year, the Department of Veterans Affairs adjusts disability compensation rates based on the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). The Social Security Administration determines the COLA and considers market phenomena that increase or decrease prices for goods and services. These increases help counteract inflation, dramatically reducing the value of monthly benefits and payments. This is why disabled veterans need to understand the upcoming 2024 COLA and how it may impact their VA disability rates. The new rates will take effect on December 1, 2022, and veterans will start to receive their updated disability payouts in January 2023. It’s also important to note that these new rates will only affect those who receive a 10% or higher disability rating. Those with lower ratings will not see an increased rate regardless of whether or not they have children in the household or a spouse who’s also disabled. These disabled veterans should apply for special monthly compensation instead.

Increases for Disabled Veterans

VA disability compensation is a tax-free monthly payment from the Department of Veterans Affairs for veterans with disabilities caused or made worse by their service. These disabilities can include physical or mental health conditions. Annually, veterans who receive disability payments from the Department of Veterans Affairs are given a cost-of-living adjustment. This helps keep their benefits current and combats the effects of inflation that would gradually eat away at the buying power of their monthly checks. The VA’s COLA adjustment is determined yearly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA). Once the SSA announces its official COLA, the Department of Veterans Affairs will adjust the VA disability rates accordingly. The 2024 VA disability rates below are based on a single veteran with no dependents and reflect the 3.2 percent COLA increase. However, many veterans with higher VA disability ratings will receive increased compensation for dependents.

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