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December 4, 2019

We Analyzed 5.2 Million Veterans with a VA Rating: Here’s What We Learned About the Average VA Disability Rating for PTSD

Last updated on October 18, 2022

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We analyzed 5,225,420 veterans who have a current service-connected VA rating of 0% or higher to better understand the prevalence of mental health conditions and the average VA disability rating for PTSD.

We also looked at the 2022 data overall regarding the total veteran population in the US, which is currently 18.5 million veterans.

Digging in deeper, we wanted to know the average VA disability rating for PTSD.

With the help of the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) FY 2021 Annual Report to Congress and the National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics, we uncovered some very interesting findings.

And now it’s time to share what we discovered.

Table of Contents

Summary of Our Key Findings:

  • According to the National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics, the total U.S. military veteran population is predicted to decline from 20.8 million in 2015 to 12.0 million by 2045. The total annual change is -1.8%.
  • The veteran population is slowly declining and will reach a low of 12.0M by 2045.
  • California was the #1 state for veterans in 2017, but Texas will overtake California for the top spot by 2023.
  • The top 4 states where most veterans live are Texas, California, Florida, and Pennsylvania
  • 50% of all veterans live in one of the top 10 states, mainly in the Southern and Western parts of the US.
  • A total of 5,225,420 veterans out of an eligible 18,957,110 veterans or just 27.6% of veterans are currently receiving some sort of VA disability compensation benefits with a service-connected VA rating of at least 0%.
  • 72.4% of veterans do NOT receive any sort of disability compensation benefits from the VA
  • Tinnitus or “ringing in the ear syndrome” is the #1 most commonly claimed and service-connected disability.
  • The average VA disability rating for PTSD and other ratable mental health conditions is 70%

Total Number of Veterans in the US By Year Chart (Estimated)

Total Number of Veterans in the US by Year
Total Number of Veterans in the US by Year

How Many Veterans Are There in the US?

  • In 2017, the total US veteran population was 20.0M.
  • In 2019, the total US military veteran population in the US was 19.2M.
  • In 2021, the total US veteran population was 18.9M.
  • By 2037, there will be an estimated 14.1M veterans in the US.
  • The veteran population is slowly declining and will reach a low of 12.5M by 2045.
  • Baby Boomers (Born 1946-1964) are the largest veteran demographic but will be overtaken by Millennials (Born 1977-1995) in 2040.
VETERAN POPULATION DECLINE

Where Do Veterans Live by State?

  • 50% of all veterans live in one of the top 10 states, mainly in the Southern and Western parts of the US.
  • California was the #1 state for veterans in 2017, but Texas will overtake California by 2023.

Top 10 Veteran Populations by State

  • #1 California
  • #2 Texas
  • #3 Florida
  • #4 Pennsylvania
  • #5 Ohio
  • #6 New York
  • #7 Virginia
  • #8 North Carolina
  • #9 Georgia
  • #10 Illinois
WHERE VETERANS LIVE BY STATE

Where Veterans Live Chart

  • The top 4 states for veterans are Texas, California, Florida, and Pennsylvania. Virginia is projected to be part of the top 4 in 2040 replacing Pennsylvania.

How Many Veterans Are Receiving VA Disability Compensation Benefits?

  • As of the Fiscal Year 2021 (updated in 2022), a total of 5,225,420 veterans out of an eligible 18,957,110 veterans are receiving some sort of VA disability compensation benefits AND have a service-connected VA rating of at least 0%.
  • 27.6% of veterans receiving VA compensation benefits have a service-connected VA rating of 0% or higher.
  • 72.4% of veterans do NOT receive any sort of disability compensation benefits from the VA for a variety of reasons (e.g., didn’t know they are eligible, didn’t know how to file a VA claim, don’t want to deal with the VA, got frustrated with the VA and gave up, or filed for VA compensation benefits and got denied).

What is the Average VA Disability Rating?

Currently, 17.1% or 894,954 of the 5,225,420 veterans receiving VA disability compensation benefits have a 10% combined VA rating.

This is insanely low, and according to our data, 8/10 (80%) of veterans deserve a higher VA disability rating by law.

Per the 2021 Annual Benefits Report, the most common VA rating across all demographics is 100% or 18.6% of all veterans receiving VA disability compensation benefits.

On the other hand, the second most common VA rating across all demographics is 10%.

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Average Combined VA Disability Rating Chart by Gender

TOTAL NUMBER OF VETERANS WITH A DISABILITY RATING FROM THE VA

Average Combined VA Disability Rating by Body System

AVERAGE VA RATING FOR MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONS

List of Overall Average Combined VA Ratings by Body System:

The overall average combined VA disability rating for all body systems is 10% while the average VA disability rating for PTSD and other mental health conditions is 70%.

What Are the Most Common Service Connected VA Disabilities?

  • Tinnitus or “ringing in the ear syndrome” is the #1 most commonly claimed and service-connected disability.
  • 8% of veterans with a disability rating are service-connected for Tinnitus with a 10% VA rating.
  • Male veterans are more than 2x as likely to be service connected for Tinnitus than female veterans.
  • Male veterans are nearly 7x as likely to be service connected for Hearing Loss than female veterans.
  • Female veterans are more than 2x as likely to be service connected for Migraines than male veterans.

Did you know there are more than 833 ratable VA disability conditions under the law? Click >> HERE to download my FREE eBook, which contains the complete VA disability claims list. <<

Most Common Service Connected VA Disabilities for All Veterans

>> Click HERE to see the Top 10 Most Common VA Disability Claims in more detail <<

MOST COMMON VA DISABILITY CLAIMS DATA

Most Common VA Claims Data for World War II Veterans

MOST COMMON VA CLAIMS FOR WORLD WAR II VETERANS

List of the Top 10 Most Common VA Disability Claims in World War II Era Veterans:

Most Common Service Connected VA Disabilities in Korean War Veterans

MOST COMMON CLAIMS FOR KOREAN WAR VETERANS

Top 10 Most Common VA Disability Claims in Korean War Veterans:

Top Service Connected VA Claims in Vietnam Veterans

TOP VA CLAIMS FOR VIETNAM VETERANS

List of 10 Most Common VA Claims in Vietnam Veterans:

Most Common VA Disabilities Chart for Gulf War Veterans

MOST COMMON CLAIMS FOR GULF WAR VETERANS

List of 10 Most Common VA Disabilities in Gulf War Veterans:

10 Most Common VA Claims Chart for GWOT Veterans

10 MOST COMMON VA CLAIMS FOR GWOT VETERANS

Top 10 Service Connected VA Claims for GWOT Veterans:

Commonly Claimed VA Disabilities for Peacetime Veterans

MOST COMMON DISABILITIES OF PEACETIME VETERANS 1

10 Most Common VA Disability Claims for Peacetime Veterans:

What is the Average VA Disability Rating for PTSD?

AVERAGE VA RATING FOR MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONS 1

3 Most Common Service-Connected VA Mental Health Conditions:

3 MOST COMMON VA MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONS

Top 3 most common VA mental health conditions among all veterans are:


About the Author

Brian Reese
Brian Reese

Brian Reese

Founder & CEO

Brian Reese is a VA benefits expert, author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller You Deserve It: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Veteran Benefits You’ve Earned, and founder of VA Claims Insider – “The Most Trusted Name in Education-Based Resources for Veterans.”

His frustration with the 8-step VA disability claims process led him to create “VA Claims Insider,” which provides U.S. military veterans with tips, strategies, and lessons learned for successfully submitting or re-submitting a winning VA disability compensation claim.

Brian is also the CEO of Military Disability Made Easy, which is the world’s largest free searchable database for all things related to DoD disability and VA disability claims and has served more than 4,600,000 military members and veterans since its founding in 2013.

His eBook, the “9 Secrets Strategies for Winning Your VA Disability Claim” has been downloaded more than 300,000 times in the past three years and is the #1 rated free VA disability claims guide for veterans.

He is a former active duty Air Force officer with extensive experience leading hundreds of individuals and multi-functional teams in challenging international environments, including a combat tour to Afghanistan in 2011 supporting Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

Brian is a Distinguished Graduate of Management from the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO and he holds an MBA from Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business, Stillwater, OK, where he was a National Honor Scholar (Top 1% of Graduate School class).

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