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. It is also paid to certain veterans disabled from VA health care. The benefits are tax-free.

Who Is Eligible?

You may be eligible for disability compensation if you have a service-related disability and you were discharged under other than dishonorable conditions.

How Much Does VA Pay?

The amount of basic benefit paid ranges, depending on how disabled you are.
Note: You may be paid additional amounts, in certain instances, if:
  • You have very severe disabilities or loss of limb(s)
  • You have a spouse, child(ten), or dependent parent(s)
  • You have a seriously disabled spouse

Please see the Compensation Rate Tables for specific percentages of disability and the rates paid.

How Can You Apply?

You can apply by filling out VA Form 21-526, Veterans Application for Compensation and/or Pension. If you have any of the following material, please attach it to your application:
  • Discharge or separation papers (DD214 or equivalent)
  • Dependency records (marriage & children’s birth certificates)
  • Medical evidence (doctor & hospital reports)
You can also apply online through their web site at http://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp.

Related Benefits


  • Priority Medical Care
  • Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Clothing Allowance
  • Grants for Specially Adapted Housing
  • Automobile Grant & Adaptive Equipment
  • Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance
  • Federal Employment Preference
  • State/Local Veterans Benefits
  • Military Exchange & Commissary Privileges