Disability Compensation

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You may be eligible for compensation for injuries or illnesses you suffer as a result of active duty or for any you had before service that were made worse because of your active duty.

What is VA Disability Compensation?
Disability Compensation is a benefit paid to a veteran because of injuries or diseases that happened while on active duty, or were made worse by active military service. The benefits are tax-free.

How Much Does VA Pay for Disability Compensation?
The basic benefits are based on how disabled you are. Your benefits may be increased if:

  • You have very severe disabilities to include loss of limb(s)
  • You have a spouse child(ren), or dependent parent(s)
  • You have a seriously disabled spouse.

Disability Compensation Topics:
Prisoners of War: Former prisoners of war who were incarcerated for at least 30 days are presumed to be eligible for disability compensation if they become at least 10 percent disabled from diseases associated with being held as a prisoner of war.

Agent Orange and Other Herbicides: Nine diseases are presumed by VA to be service related for compensation purposes for veterans exposed to Agent Orange and other herbicides in Vietnam. They are chloracne, porphyria cutanea tarda, soft-tissue sarcoma, Hodgkin's disease, multiple myeloma, respiratory cancers, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, prostate cancer, and acute and subacute peripheral neuropathy.

Veterans Exposed to Radiation: Veterans exposed to ionizing radiation while on active duty may be eligible for disability compensation if they have disabilities related to that exposure.

Gulf War Related Conditions: Gulf War veterans who suffer from chronic disabilities resulting from undiagnosed illnesses may receive disability compensation. The illnesses must have begun during active duty in the Southwest Asia Theater of Operations during the Gulf War or become manifest to a degree of 10 percent or more at any time through December 31, 2001.

Allowances for Dependents:
Veterans whose service-connected disabilities are rated at 30 percent or more are entitled to additional allowances for dependents. The additional amount is determined according to the number of dependents and the degree of disability. A disabled veteran evaluated 30 percent or more is entitled to a special allowance for a spouse who is in need of the aid and attendance of another person.

Incarcerated Veterans:
VA benefits are restricted if a veteran, surviving spouse, child, or dependent parent is convicted of a felony and imprisoned for more than 60 days. The disability compensation paid to an incarcerated veteran is limited to the 10 percent
disability rate. Any amounts not paid may be apportioned to eligible dependents. Payments are not reduced when the recipient is participating in a work-re1e"ase program, residing in a halfway house, or under community control.

For information on the above topics, visit V.A.'s web site at http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/index.htm. ​