Any Veteran who served our country in any branch of the military and was injured (either physically or mentally) during service may qualify for veteran disability benefits. Disabled veterans can and should apply for VA benefits as soon as possible regardless of how long ago they were in the military.
Veteran Affair Disability Ratings
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) gives out veteran disability benefits in monthly payments that correlate with your degree of disability. The BVA or Board of Veterans Appeals assigns the degree of disability (also known as a disability rating) to you when you are approved for VA benefits initially. They will rate your disability in 10% intervals between 10% and 100% while each percentage corresponds with a VA pre-determined monthly payment. A veteran may receive a larger monthly payment if the individual has a particular severe condition such as blindness or if the veteran has a rating 30% or more and has a dependent child and/or spouse. Below are the disability ratings with their corresponding monthly benefits for veterans (effective since 12/1/14).
Disability rating = Monthly benefits
Veterans without any dependents:
- 10% = $133.17
- 20% = $263.23
- 30% = $407.75
- 40% = $587.36
- 50% = $836.13
- 60% = $1,059.09
- 70% = $1,334.71
- 80% = $1,551.48
- 90% = $1,743.48
- 100% = $2,906.83
Veterans with spouse and a child:
- 30% = $491.75
- 40% = $699.36
- 50% = $976.13
- 60% = $1,227.09
- 70% = $1,530.71
- 80% = $1,775.48
- 90% = $1,995.48
- 100% = $3,187.60
How Long It Takes to Receive A Decision From The VA
The time it takes to receive a decision on your VA claim depends on several factors:
- Your disabling condition(s)
- The severity of your condition(s)
- The amount of documentation for evidence provided (medical and/or military related) about your condition
- Which state you live in
- Whether or not you qualify for the VA’s Fast Track program
Generally, all you can do to speed up the process on the applicant’ end is to make sure that your application is filled out correctly with all necessary paperwork to prove your condition is disabling and service-related. If a veteran is denied, the appeal process takes considerably longer (almost years) to obtain a final decision. Overall be prepared to wait anywhere in between a couple months to a few years before an absolute decision is made.
What Do I Do If My Claim Is Denied?
If a veteran’s initial claim is denied, they may appeal the decision by filing a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) with the VA within one year after receiving the denial letter. Although there is no official form, generally the VA Form 21-4138 (Statement in Support of Claim) is used to file a Notice of Disagreement. For more information on the VA appeals process, read our VA Appeals page.
Common reasons for denial
A veteran will not receive disability benefits if:
- The veteran was dishonorably discharged.
- The disabling condition was incurred outside of duty (veteran failed the service-connection requirement)
- The disabling condition was incurred from the misconduct of the veteran during service.
If a veteran feels the VA’s decision for denial is incorrect, they can then appeal by filing a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) with the VA. To help prevent an initial denial make sure that your application is filled out correctly with all necessary medical and military paperwork to prove your condition is disabling and service-related.
Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits
Many disabled veterans are unaware that they can receive both VA disability benefits and Social Security Disability benefits at the same time. The Social Security Administration has a different application and the process for a final decision can be much faster. If you are a disabled veteran and would like to know more about Social Security Disability, please read our Social Security Disability for Veterans page.