Veterans Disability Compensation and Pension

Disability compensation is a monetary benefit paid to Veterans who are disabled by an injury or illness that was incurred or aggravated during active military service. These disabilities are considered to be service-connected.

Monthly disability compensation varies with the degree of disability and the number of eligible dependents. Veterans with certain severe disabilities may be eligible for additional special monthly compensation (SMC). Disability compensation benefits are not subject to federal or state income tax.

To be eligible for compensation, the Veteran must have been separated or discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.


  • 10 percent …..$130.94
  • 20 percent …..$258.83
  • 30 percent* ….$400.93
  • 40 percent* ….$577.54
  • 50 percent* ….$822.15
  • 60 percent* ….$1,041.39
  • 70 percent* ….$1,312.40
  • 80 percent* ….$1,525.55
  • 90 percent* ….$1,714.34
  • 100 percent* …$2,858.24

*Veterans with disability ratings of at least 30 percent are eligible for additional allowances for dependents, including spouses, minor children, children between the ages of 18 and 23 who are attending school, children who are permanently incapable of self-support because of a disability arising before age 18, and dependent parents.
The additional amount depends on the disability rating and number of dependents.

VA Pensions

Low-income wartime Veterans may qualify for pension if they meet certain service, income and net worth limits set by law; are age 65 or older, permanently and totally disabled, a patient in a nursing home receiving skilled nursing care, receiving Social Security Disability Insurance, or receiving Supplemental Security Income.

Generally, a Veteran must have at least 90 days active duty service, with at least one day during a VA recognized wartime period. The 90-day active service requirement does not apply to Veterans discharged from the military due to a service-connected disability.

(Veterans may have to meet longer minimum periods of active duty if they entered active duty on or after Sept. 8, 1980, or if they were officers who entered active duty on or after Oct. 16, 1981.)

The Veteran’s discharge must have been under conditions other than dishonorable and the disability must be for reasons other than Veteran’s own willful misconduct.
Payments are made to bring the Veteran’s total income, including other retirement or Social Security income, to a level set by Congress. Unreimbursed medical expenses may reduce countable income for VA purposes.

Source: Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors 2013 Ed.

2012 VA Improved Pension – Veterans Rates

  • Veteran without dependents $12,465 maximum annual rate
  • Veteran with one dependent $16,324
  • Veteran permanently housebound, No dependents $15,233
  • Veteran permanently housebound, one dependent $19,093
  • Veteran needing regular aid and attendance, No dependents $20,795
  • Veteran needing regular aid and attendance, One dependent $24,652