Disabled Veterans Benefits

Veterans Benefits
Veterans of all U.S. branches of the military are potentially eligible to receive disabled veterans benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA offers disability compensation only to qualifying veterans.

According to VA, a qualifying veteran must suffer a disability that resulted from his or her military service and must have received an honorable discharge. In other words, a disabled veteran who received a dishonorable discharge wouldn’t qualify for VA disabled veterans’ benefits.

Disabled Veterans Benefits and Disability Ratings

The VA says that the amount of disability compensation benefits is dependent upon two factors: 1) the degree of the veteran’s disability, and 2) if he or she has a dependent spouse and/or children.

Disability ratings of the VA range from a minimum of 10 percent to a maximum 100 percent disabled condition:

  • The disability is measured with increments of 10 percentage points.
  • VA doctors assign disability ratings to all veterans who wish to apply for disabled veterans benefits.
  • The disabled vet’s disability rating qualifies him or her for a specific level of monthly comp benefits.
  • For instance, a single veteran (no dependents) with a 10 percent disability rating may receive USD 17 in disabled veterans’ benefits each month.
  • In comparison, a disabled singled veteran with a 30 percent rating (no spouse or children) qualifies for USD 407.75 per month.
  • A disabled single veteran who’s considered 70 percent disabled is eligible to receive 1,334.71.

Disabled Veterans Benefits and Dependents

Disability compensation for veterans benefits rise if the disabled veteran has a spouse, parent(s), and/or children as dependents. Each dependent increases the amount of disabled veterans’ benefits the honorably discharged and disabled veteran may receive from the VA:

  • A veteran with a wife and one child who’s classified with a 30 percent disability rating receives $491.75 per month in benefits.
  • A 70 percent disability classification qualifies the disabled veteran with a wife and child for $1,530.71 in compensation benefits.

Disabled Veterans Benefits and Automatic Disability Rating

Disabled veterans benefits are calculated in part on the type of disability, but there are additional programs to benefit disabled veterans in special circumstances. For instance:

  • VA automatically provides disability status to those veterans who were imprisoned by enemy forces during war time (prisoners of war).
  • VA automatically grants disability status to those veterans who were exposed to toxic Agent Orange when they served in Viet Nam between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975.
  • VA grants automatic disability status to Gulf War Veterans who served in SW Asia Theater of Operations during the period of August 2, 1990 to July 31, 1991, or from July 31, 1991 and December 2011 at any point.

Apply for Disabled Veterans Benefits

To apply for disability benefits, the disabled veteran must complete VA Form 21-526 at a regional VA office or via the Veterans On-Line Application (VONAPP).

VA requires the veteran to list his or her illnesses and/or medical conditions which were acquired during military service and for which the veterans wants to claim disabled veterans benefits:

  • The disabled veteran should include medical records and supporting evidence concerning his or her medical condition with the VONAPP or VA Form 21-526.
  • The disabled veteran should include his or her DD215 discharge, marriage and/or birth certificates to substantiate dependents for whom he or she wants to claim benefits.

Taxation of Disabled Veterans Benefits

Veterans with serious disabilities may be eligible for extra supplemental benefits from the VA. Veterans who qualify for special disability or standard compensation benefits aren’t required to pay federal or state taxes on disabled veterans’ benefits compensation.

Of course, if the disabled veteran receives income from sources other than the VA, this income isn’t considered free from taxes.