Disability compensation is paid to Veterans with disabilities resulting from a disease or injury incurred during, aggravated by, or resulting from active duty service. Compensation may also be paid for post-service disabilities related to or secondary to disabilities that occurred in service. The veteran must also have separated or been discharged from service under other than dishonorable conditions.
Disability compensation is paid monthly. The amount varies with the VA-assigned Combined Disability Rating and the number of dependents that the veteran has. Veterans with certain severe disabilities may be eligible for an additional Special Monthly Compensation(SMC). These benefits are not subject to federal or state income tax.
How the federal VA determines a veteran’s Combined Disability Rating is often misunderstood. Higher individual rating categories are considered first, with subsequent individual disability ratings counted toward their effect on the non-disabled percentage.
For instance, a veteran with a thirty percent and a twenty percent disability would not be fifty percent disabled but forty percent. The thirty percent disability leaves the veteran seventy percent able. Therefore, the 20 percent is applied against only that percent. Twenty percent of seventy percent is fourteen percent, which rounds to ten. For a more detailed explanation, please speak to a Department VSO.
See Disability Compensation Rates Here -
For assistance with your disability claim to the federal VA, you can find the state Department of Veterans Assistance office closest to you here (Link to Benefits Office Page).
VA Clothing Allowance
This benefit helps pay to replace clothing for veterans whose orthopedic devices or skin medications cause damage to their clothing when the device or medication is linked to a service-connected condition or injury. The allowance rate changes year over year. Check the VA website or contact your local WVDVA Benefits Office for the current rate.
Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant
If you own or will own your home and have a qualifying service-connected disability, you may be approved for an SAH grant. This grant can provide up to $109,986 to buy, build, or change your permanent home to accommodate your disability.
Qualifying service-connected disabilities include the loss or loss of use of more than one limb; the loss or loss of use of a lower leg along with the residuals (lasting effects of an organic (natural) disease or injury; blindness in both eyes (20/200 visual acuity or less); certain severe burns; the loss, or loss of use of one lower extremity (foot or leg) after September 11, 2001, which makes it so you can’t balance or walk without the help of braces, crutches, canes, or a wheelchair. If you don’t use the total amount of the grant in one year, you can access the remainder in subsequent years. You can access money from the grant six times or until all funds are exhausted. Please see a department VSO if you think you may qualify.
Special Home Adaptation (SHA) Grant
If you or a family member own or will own your home, and you have a qualifying service-connected disability, you may be approved for an SHA grant. This grant can provide up to $22,036 to buy, build, or change your permanent home to accommodate your disability. Qualifying service-connected disabilities include the loss or loss of use of both hands, certain severe burns, and certain respiratory or breathing injuries. The VA may adjust the total maximum amount each year based on the construction cost. If you don’t use the total amount of the grant in one year, you can access the remainder in subsequent years. You can access money from the grant six times or until all funds are exhausted. Please see a department VSO if you think you may qualify.
Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E)
The VR&E program is designed to assist Veterans who have service-connected disabilities to obtain suitable employment and achieve independent living goals. The program can provide job training, employment accommodations, resume development, and job-seeking skills coaching. Through this program, the VA also offers Career Counseling.
The VA also offers vocational counseling and support to qualified veterans' family members, including Education and Career counseling, Readjustment Counseling, Career assessments, Benefits for Children with Disabilities, Dependent Educational Assistance, and help choosing a school.
Special Monthly Compensation (SMC)
Veterans and surviving spouses or parents who are eligible to receive VA compensation due to a service-related disability or death and require aid and attendance of another person to perform personal functions required in everyday living such as bathing, feeding, dressing, attending to the wants of nature, adjusting prosthetic devices, or protecting oneself from the hazards of the daily environment may be eligible for Special Monthly Compensation. A veteran or a deceased veteran's surviving spouse may also be eligible for Special Monthly Compensation based on being housebound (substantially confined to the immediate premises because of permanent disability). For a veteran, the disability causing the need for aid and attendance or housebound status must be related to service. These benefits are paid in addition to monthly compensation or Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC). They are not paid without eligibility to compensation.
Death Indemnity Compensation
DIC is the primary monthly monetary benefit payable to the surviving dependents of a deceased Veteran. This benefit is payable if the Veteran died on active duty from causes other than misconduct, if the Veteran’s death occurred following discharge and was due to a service-connected disability, or if the Veteran had a 100 percent combined disability rating for a certain statute time limit. If you are the spouse of a deceased, disabled Veteran, please get in touch with a Department VSO as soon after the Veteran’s death as is practical.
We recommend a surviving spouse or dependent of any Vietnam, Desert Storm, or Post 9/11 veteran who died of an illness that wasn’t service-connected make an appointment with a Department Veteran Service Officer to review the circumstances of the Veteran’s death. The PACT Act of 2022 introduced several new presumptive conditions and illnesses. If we can service connect the Veteran’s death posthumously, the survivors may be eligible to receive DIC and other survivor benefits.
Find DIC rates for surviving spouses and children here -
Find DIC rates for surviving dependent parents here -