Every year on December 1 the VA makes available on its website the disability compensation rates for the current year. These rates remain effective until November 30th of the following year.
Your VA disability compensation for any year depends on three general factors: the level of your disability from your active duty service, the dollar amount set for your disability rating, and whether you or your loved ones including your parents, spouse, and dependent children qualify for additional benefits.
Here are the 2023 VA disability rates for a veteran with no dependents:
Below, we will provide more information about calculating your own disability rating, as well as more charts with different dependent statuses.
The VA measures disability ratings on a percentage amount using 10-percent increments from 0 (non-compensable) to 100 (total disability). The higher the rating, the more compensation you will receive.
Calculating your VA disability rate for 2023 can be simple if you have only one disability. Most disabled veterans, however, have more than one disability.
If you have more than one compensable service-connection disability, then instead of compensating you separately for each, the VA uses calculation tables to combine your individual disability ratings into a single, combined rating.
Adding together multiple disabilities into a combined rating is not as easy as simple math. The VA uses a formula when combining ratings that some have nicknamed, “VA math.”
For example, if you have two disabilities—one at 40 percent and the other 30 percent—your combined disability rating will not be 70 percent. Instead, using the combined rating calculation tables the VA calculates your combined rating initially at 58 percent, then rounds the initial figure into the nearest 10 percent increment. So, in this case your VA math-based combined disability rating would be 60 percent.
Once you know what your single or combined disability rating is using the VA combined rating system, then you can use it to see how much you can possibly qualify for in monthly disability compensation.
Each disability increment level has a compensation amount. This amount changes annually every December 1, based on federal regulations that tie VA compensation cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) to the Social Security benefits COLA.
For 2023, for example, the Social Security COLA increase was 8.7 percent, so this is the amount by which the VA adjusted its disability compensation for the same year.
The 2023 VA disability pay charts on the VA website can help you find your disability compensation amounts. Or, if you know your single or combined VA disability rating, you can use our VA Disability Calculator to receive an estimate of what your 2023 disability compensation monthly benefits might be.
Generally speaking, your monthly disability compensation calculation will be at one of three levels:
Beginning with the 30 percent disability rating, your VA compensation rate for 2023 is $508.05. Depending on who else is living with you or who otherwise depends on you, this 30 percent-based compensation sum can rise as follows:
If you have no dependent children:
If you have children:
If we continue with our 30 percent monthly benefit analysis from above, then based on the dependent status of others living with you your 2023 monthly benefit amount starting with one dependent child and no one else starts at $548.05.
With one child, your spouse and both parents living with you, this amount can go as high as $708.05 monthly.
Each additional child after the first that you add to this calculation increases your 2023 monthly benefit amount by $30.00 or $97.00.depending on whether the child is 18 years of age or older and whether that child is studying in a qualifying school program.
You might qualify for one more monthly benefit additional amount if your spouse is receiving Aid and Attendance benefits.
The maximum disability rating you can receive is 100 percent, or total disability. Total monthly disability compensation for 2023 range from a minimum of $3,757 if you are by yourself up to $4,295 if your spouse, two parents, and one child live with you.
If you have more than one child, for each dependent child under age 18 you add $100.34 to your monthly benefit amount. For children older than 18 and who are participating in a qualifying school program, the additional amount for each is $324.12.
Also, if you have a disabled spouse who receives the Aid and Attendance benefit, in a total disability situation this can add another $185.21 to your monthly benefits.
In addition to adding up your disability ratings using the 2023 VA tables, there are two ways you can boost your combined disability rating if you qualify for them: the Bilateral Factor, and Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU).
The VA recognizes that if you suffer from disabilities in both arms or both legs, this can make it harder for you to perform daily life activities because it is more difficult or impossible to use one good limb to offset a disability in the other. The Bilateral Factor is how the VA adjusts your VA disability rate higher to compensate for these dual-limb disabilities.
Simply put, the Bilateral Factor works by dividing your body along the waist into upper and lower halves. If you have disabilities affecting both sides of one half, like in both legs or a leg on one side and a hip joint on the other, then this combination qualifies.
“Diagonal” disability combinations, like a disability to a leg on one side and a shoulder disability on the other side, do not qualify for the Bilateral Factor. The injuries must both be in the upper or lower half of your body and must affect both sides (that is, an injury to the knee and hip of one leg can be two disabilities, but if there is no disability to the other side then the Bilateral Factor would not apply).
If you qualify for the Bilateral Factor, its effect is to add 10 percent to the combined disability rating for the two affected limbs. You calculate this disability combination and add the 10 percent before you calculate any additional disabilities you have. This is a departure from the usual way you calculate a combined disability rating, when you typically begin with the highest single disability rating and then combine the others in a decreasing order of individual disability rating.
The VA understands that some disability combinations that do not add up to a 100 percent combined disability rating can still make it impractical to gain or keep what the VA calls “substantially gainful employment.” Basically, this means that your disabilities prevent you from earning an income that you can support yourself with by keeping you from steady work or from earning more income than the federal poverty level.
The TDIU benefit can apply if you have a single disability with a rating of 60 percent or more, or a combined 70 percent disability rating with at least one individual disability rating of 40 percent or more. If you qualify, then the VA will increase your monthly disability compensation to the same amount as if you qualify for total disability.
To learn more about how the Bilateral Factor and TDIU can possibly increase your 2023 monthly disability compensation, see our How to Get 100% VA Disability page.
Some disabilities are more severe than others, and if they interfere with your ability to perform basic life activities the VA allows for enhanced or “special benefits.” For example, losing the use of a hand, foot, or eye, or deafness in both ears, or joint paralysis, are all disabilities that can entitle you to Special Monthly Compensation.
The disability benefit calculations for Special Monthly Compensation can be complex. To learn the details of Special Monthly Compensation, see our VA Disability Calculator page.
Calculating how much you can receive in 2023 service-connected monthly disability compensation requires more than knowing how VA Math works and staying up with the VA’s annual COLA increases.
The federal laws and regulations that affect your disability eligibility, and how the VA determines your disability ratings, are always subject to changes that can affect you compared to the year before.
For example, VA disability benefit calculations for Agent Orange-related disabilities have changed as recently as 2020 to allow for more ways to establish a service-related, presumptive connection. If you were denied compensation for Agent Orange-related benefits in years past, this recent loosening of eligibility requirements could mean you qualify in 2023.
At Stone Rose Law, our mission is to be your advocates when it comes to getting everything you deserve for your honorable active military service.
If you are making a claim for service-connected disabilities for the first time in 2023, or if you need to make a supplemental claim for additional compensation based on changes in the law or how your disability is affecting you over time, we will help you to prepare your claim for free and help you track its progress through the VA system.
If the VA has denied your original or supplemental disability benefit claim, we can take you through the process to appeal that denial. You only pay us if we win for you, and then all we receive is a small percentage of any back-due compensation owed you – you keep all of your other VA disability monthly payments.
Make 2023 the year you receive all you have earned as a disabled military service veteran. Call us at (480) 498-8998 to speak with one of our highly experienced VA disability lawyers and to set up a free consultation for your VA disability claim.
Or, if you prefer, you can contact us online to ask a question about your VA claim or to set up an appointment.