VA Disability Rates 2021 Explained – The Definitive Guide

VA disability rates 2021 are expected to be released on October 10, 2020, with the implementation of the Social Security Administration’s announcement of a 2021 Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA).

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) adjusts veteran’s monthly disability compensation amounts based on the yearly change in the cost of living as determined by the Social Security Administration (final COLA adjustment is based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report of September 2020 inflation data).

Now I’ve probably got you wondering, “will veteran’s get a VA disability pay increase in 2021?”

Yes, I think so, although next year’s VA disability pay increase is likely to be small due to low inflation and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.

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2021 COLA Increase for Disabled Veterans

If there is a COLA increase in 2021, the new 2021 VA disability rates will be effective December 1, 2020, and disabled veterans will see the new increase, which VA Claims Insider projects to be a 1.3% increase on their January 1, 2021 VA compensation payment.

If our prediction holds true, this means Disabled Veterans with a current VA disability rating of 10% of higher would receive a 1.3% increase in their VA disability pay rate for calendar year 2021.

For example, if you were previously getting $1,000 per month tax-free, a 1.3% VA pay increase is $13, so a veterans VA disability compensation pay in 2021 would go up to $1,013 per month.

Did you know 80% of Veterans (8/10 of you reading this right now…) are being shortchanged nearly $1,000/month tax-free on your 2021 VA disability pay?

>> Click HERE to learn “HOW to Increase Your Service-Connected VA Disability Rating!” <<

The complete 2021 VA disability pay chart table (projected) along with footnotes is shown below for reference.

These rates assume a 1.1% increase over the 2020 VA disability rates.

VA Disability Pay Chart 2021 (Projected)

10% – 20% VA Rating (No Dependents)
PercentageVA Pay Rate
10% VA Pay Rate$144.14
20% VA Pay Rate$284.93
30% – 60% VA Rating (Without Children)
Dependent Status30%40%50%60%
Veteran Alone$441.35$635.77$905.04$1,146.39
Veteran with Spouse Only$493.02$705.67$992.16$1,250.73
Veteran with Spouse & One Parent$534.55$761.38$1,062.06$1,334.81
Veteran with Spouse and Two Parents$576.08$817.10$1,131.96$1,418.89
Veteran with One Parent$482.89$691.48$974.94$1,230.47
Veteran with Two Parents$524.42$747.20$1,044.84$1,314.55
Additional for A/A spouse $48.62$63.82$81.04$97.25
70% – 100% VA Rating (Without Children)
Dependent Status70%80%90%100%
Veteran Alone$1,444.71$1,679.35$1,887.18$3,146.42
Veteran with Spouse Only$1,567.28$1,819.15$2,044.19$3,321.85
Veteran with Spouse and One Parent$1,665.54$1,931.59$2,170.82$3,462.64
Veteran with Spouse and Two Parents$1,763.81$2,044.03$2,297.44$3,603.42
Veteran with One Parent$1,542.97$1,791.79$2,013.80$3,287.21
Veteran with Two Parents$1,641.23$1,904.24$2,140.43$3,427.99
Additional for A/A spouse $112.44$128.65$144.86$160.88
30% – 60% VA Rating (With Children)
Dependent Status30%40%50%60%
Veteran with Spouse and Child$532.52$757.33$1,056.99$1,328.73
Veteran with Child Only$475.80$682.37$962.79$1,216.29
Veteran with Spouse, One Parent and Child$574.06$813.04$1,126.89$1,412.81
Veteran with Spouse, Two Parents and Child$615.59$868.76$1,196.79$1,496.89
Veteran with One Parent and Child$517.33$738.08$1,032.68$1,300.37
Veteran with Two Parents and Child$558.86$793.80$1,102.58$1,384.45
Add for Each Additional Child Under Age 18$25.33$34.44$43.56$51.66
Each Additional Schoolchild Over Age 18 $84.08$112.44$139.79$168.16
Additional for A/A spouse $48.62$63.82$81.04$97.25
70% – 100% VA Rating (With Children)
Dependent Status70%80%90%100%
Veteran with Spouse and Child$1,657.44$1,922.47$2,160.69$3,450.32
Veteran with Child Only$1,526.76$1,772.55$1,992.53$3,263.73
Veteran with Spouse, One Parent and Child$1,755.70$2,034.91$2,287.31$3,591.11
Veteran with Spouse, Two Parents and Child$1,853.96$2,147.36$2,413.94$3,731.89
Veteran with One Parent and Child$1,625.02$1,884.99$2,119.16$3,404.52
Veteran with Two Parents and Child$1,723.29$1,997.43$2,245.78$3,545.31
Add for Each Additional Child Under Age 18$60.78$68.88$78.00$87.17
Each Additional Schoolchild Over Age 18 $196.52$224.89$253.25$281.57
Additional for A/A spouse $112.44$128.65$144.86$160.88
2021 VA Disability Pay Rates
  1. VA disability rates 2021 for each school child are shown separately. They are not included with any other compensation rates. All other entries on this chart reflecting a rate for children show the rate payable for children under 18 or helpless. To find the amount payable to a 70% disabled veteran with a spouse and four children, one of whom is over 18 and attending school, take the 70% rate for a veteran with a spouse and 3 children and add the rate for one school child.
  2. Where the veteran has a spouse, who is determined to require Aid and Attendance (A/A), add the figure shown as “additional for A/A spouse” to the amount shown for the proper dependency code. For example, veteran has A/A spouse and 2 minor children and is 70% disabled. Add $112.44, additional for A/A spouse, to the rate for a 70% veteran to calculate the total amount.

VA Disability Rates 2021 – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

VA Disability Rates 2021
VA Disability Rates 2021

Is VA Disability Pay Tax Free?

Yes! 2021 VA disability pay is tax free at both the state and federal level.

VA disability compensation is a tax-free monetary benefit paid to Veterans with disabilities that are the result of a disease or injury that was caused or made worse during active duty military service.

VA disability benefits require that your disability conditon be “service connected.”

This is legally referred to as the “Nexus,” which simply means a logical link or connection.

Did you know one of the best ways to get a VA disability service connected is to get a doctor to write an evidence-based VA Nexus Letter?

You must also have separated or been discharged from service under other than dishonorable conditions (e.g., honorable discharge, under other than honorable discharge, general discharge). 

However, veterans who have received undesirable, bad conduct, and other types of dishonorable discharges may qualify for VA benefits depending on a determination made by VA. 

Click >> HERE to read the VA’s factsheet regarding Character of Discharge and eligibility for VA benefits <<

VA compensation may also be paid for post-service disabilities that are considered related or secondary to disabilities occurring in service and for disabilities presumed to be related to circumstances of military service, even though they may arise after service.

Generally, the degrees of disability specified are also designed to compensate for considerable loss of working time from exacerbations or illnesses.

At VA Claims Insider, we refer to this as “severity of symptoms,” meaning Veterans must explain HOW their disabilities are negatively impacting their work, life, and/or social functioning.

How Do I Increase My VA Rating?

So many veterans are stuck, frustrated, and underrated by the VA.

And we’re on a Mission to change it so you and your family get the veteran benefits you deserve by law.

You might be interested in my FREE video to learn about how to increase your service connected VA rating:

>> Click HERE for instant free access to learn 3 VA Disability SECRETS to getting a higher VA disability rating in less time. <<

What is Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)?

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (aka, DIC) is a tax-free monetary benefit generally payable to a surviving spouse, child, or parent of service members who died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training or survivors of Veterans who died from their service-connected disabilities.

DIC for parents is an income-based benefit.

Click HERE to learn more about this hidden benefit.

What is VA Special Monthly Compensation?

VA Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) is an additional tax-free benefit that can be paid to Veterans, their spouses, surviving spouses and parents.

For Veterans, Special Monthly Compensation is a higher rate of compensation paid due to special circumstances such as the need of aid and attendance by another person or a specific disability, such as loss of use of one arm or leg.

For spouses and surviving spouses, this benefit is commonly referred to as aid and attendance and is paid based on the need of aid and attendance by another person.

Click HERE to read about Special Monthly Compensation from A to Z.

How to Apply for VA Disability Compensation

The easiest way to apply for VA disability compensation is by creating a free eBenefits or VA.gov account and applying online.

When applying for VA disability benefits in 2021, you must have access to the following information:

  • Discharge or separation papers (DD 214 or equivalent)
  • Medical evidence (service treatment records, VA medical records, and/or private medical records)
  • Dependency records (marriage and children’s birth certificates)

Alternatively, you may print and mail-in VA Form 21-526EZ, Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits or call VA at 1-800-827-1000 to have the form mailed to you.

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) VA Form 21P-534EZ, Application for DIC, Death Pension, and/or Accrued Benefits and mail it to your nearest VA regional office in your state.

If you do receive a VA disability rating of 10% or higher, the new VA disability rates 2021 will be automatically adjusted in your January 2021 VA disability pay.

How to Apply for VA Special Monthly Compensation

The VA will automatically award Special Monthly Compensation if your disability qualifies.

To apply for SMC if you are housebound or required the aid and attendance of someone to perform daily living functions complete VA Form 21-2680 and mail it to your nearest VA Regional Office in your state.

How to Find the VA Regional Office in Your State

If you’ve ever tried to search for a “VA Regional Office Near Me” you’re in the right place Veterans!

Each state has a VA Regional Office in a specific city.

Click HERE to search for and find the VA Regional Office in your state.

How to Find VA Locations Near Me

Veterans can now search for VA locations near you with the VA’s new facility locator tool.

You can search for your nearest VA medical center as well as other health facilities, benefit offices, cemeteries, community care providers and Vet Centers.

You can also filter your results by service type to find locations that offer the specific service you’re looking for.

Click HERE to find VA locations and VA resources now.

About the Author

Brian Reese is a VA disability claims expert and founder of VA Claims Insider“The Most Trusted Name in Education-Based Resources for Veterans.”

Learn more About VA Claims Insider HERE.

Brian’s frustration with the 8-step VA disability claims process led him to create “VA Claims Insider,” which provides disabled veterans with tips, strategies, and lessons learned to win their VA disability compensation claim in less time.

Brian Reese, Capt, USAF, about to leave Afghanistan
Brian Reese, Capt, USAF, about to leave Afghanistan

He 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, and has served more than 6,000,000 military members and veterans since its founding in 2013.

Veterans can download one of his #1 most downloaded FREE eBooks right here right now: “The Secret Guide to 833 Ratable VA Disabilities” by clicking HERE now.

Brian 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 southern Afghanistan in 2011 in support of 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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VA RATERS REVEAL
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Hi Veterans, how would you like to learn 3 VA disability claim SECRETS from actual VA Rating Officials, aka, the people who determine your final VA rating?

Brian Reese here, USAF 100% disabled veteran, and founder of VA Claims Insider.

Part of the reason we call ourselves VA Claims “INSIDER” is because we get access to information that nobody else does…

In my brand-new 30-minute video training you’ll hear from “Actual VA Raters Who Reveal 3 VA Claim SECRETS (Learn What the VA Doesn’t Want You to Know…)”

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Dear Veteran, here’s the brutal truth about VA disability claims:

According to our data, 8/10 (80%) of veterans reading this message right now are underrated by the VA…

This means you do NOT currently have the VA disability rating and compensation YOU deserve, and you could be missing out on thousands of dollars of tax-free compensation and benefits each month.

As a fellow disabled Veteran this is shameful and I’m on a mission to change it.

Brian Reese here, Air Force service-disabled Veteran and Founder @ VA Claims Insider.

Since 2016, VA Claims Insider has helped thousands of Veterans just like you get the VA rating and compensation they deserve in less time.

If accepted into our ELITE membership program, you’ll get free up-front access and permission to use $13,119 worth of proprietary VA claim resources, including access to our network of independent medical professionals for medical examinations, disability evaluations, and credible Medical Nexus Letters, which could help you get a HIGHER VA rating in LESS time.

It’s FREE to get started, so click “Go Elite Now” below to complete our 3-step intake process.

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VA Claims Insider, LLC is NOT an accredited agent, VSO, attorney, or entity recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and is not affiliated with the VA in any way. VA Claims Insider, LLC does NOT assist veterans with the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of VA disability claims for VA benefits. Veterans shall prepare and file their own claim or work with an accredited representative, many of which offer services for FREE. Veterans may search for and appoint an accredited VSO by clicking HERE. Veterans may also search and find Accredited Attorneys and Claims Agents by clicking HERE. By using this website or VA Claims Insider, LLC’s Mastery or Elite program, you acknowledge that there are completely FREE services available to assist veterans with VA disability claims for VA benefits. Veterans always have the option to utilize the free services provided by entities such as National Service Organizations (e.g., DAV, VFW, AMVETS, American Legion, among many others), Service Organizations, State Sponsored Veteran Service Officers, and/or the paid services of VA accredited agents or attorneys. Utilization of VA Claims Insider, LLC’s website or services is NOT required to submit a claim for VA disability benefits, and you may achieve a positive VA disability claim outcome with these other free or paid organizations. Information listed on this website, including but not limited to, success percentages, disability rating increases, and processing timelines are averages and not specific to any one claim. VA Claims Insider, LLC MAKES NO GUARANTEE OF RESULTS BY USING THIS WEBSITE OR OUR SERVICES, AND YOUR INDIVIDUAL RESULTS MAY VARY. Under no circumstances does VA Claims Insider, LLC, provide medical or legal advice. This website is solely for marketing purposes and contains no medical or legal advice. The VA Claims Insider® name and logo are registered trademarks of VA Claims Insider, LLC.