How much does a veteran get for 80%?

Veterans who are rated at 80% disabled by the VA are entitled to monthly compensation payments. The exact amount depends on several factors, which this article will explore in detail.

VA Disability Compensation Overview

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pays disability compensation to veterans who suffer from disabilities related to their military service. Disability ratings range from 0% to 100%, in increments of 10%. A higher rating corresponds to more severe disabilities and higher compensation payments.

To receive disability pay, a veteran must file a claim with the VA and provide evidence of a service-connected condition. The VA will review medical records, service records, and other evidence to determine if the disability is related to the veteran’s service. If approved, the VA assigns a rating from 0% to 100% based on the severity of the disability.

In addition to the disability rating, the amount of monthly compensation depends on whether the veteran has dependents and is unemployable due to service-connected conditions. Veterans with higher ratings who are unemployable and/or have dependents will receive more compensation.

80% VA Disability Compensation Rates

Below are the current VA compensation rates for a veteran with an 80% disability rating:

Disability Rating Monthly Rate (No Dependents) Monthly Rate (With Dependents)
80% $1,427.36 $1,551.54

As shown in the table, a single veteran rated 80% disabled receives $1,427.36 per month. A veteran with dependents receives $1,551.54 per month. These rates are effective as of December 1, 2022.

Rates typically increase slightly each year based on cost of living adjustments (COLA). Veterans do not need to apply for the COLA increases – they happen automatically for all VA compensation recipients.

Additional Allowances

In addition to the base rate, veterans rated 80% disabled may be eligible for additional allowances if they meet certain criteria.

Special Monthly Compensation

Veterans who are severely disabled or housebound may receive Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) in addition to their regular payment. SMC provides supplementary income if the veteran requires aid and attendance or is permanently housebound due to service-connected disabilities.

Unemployability Compensation

Veterans who cannot work due to service-connected conditions may be eligible for Individual Unemployability benefits. This program pays at the 100% rate even if the veteran’s disability rating is less than 100%. To qualify, the veteran must be unable to secure substantially gainful employment due to service-connected disabilities.

Dependent Benefits

Veterans with dependents – including a spouse, child(ren), or dependent parent(s) – receive additional monthly compensation. Benefits are paid for each eligible dependent. The amounts vary based on the dependent’s relationship to the veteran.

Factors That Determine 80% Disability Compensation

Several factors impact whether a veteran receives an 80% disability rating from the VA:

Number and Severity of Disabilities

The VA considers all service-connected disabilities when determining a veteran’s rating. Veterans who served in combat or hazardous duty often have multiple conditions that combine to reach a higher rating.

Impact on Earning Capacity

Ratings are based on how severely the disability impacts the veteran’s ability to work and earn income. Veterans with conditions that make them unable to work may receive a higher rating.

Official VA Rating Schedule

Each condition is assigned a percentage rating according to the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities. For example, a veteran with a 60% musculoskeletal disability and 30% mental health disability could be rated 80% disabled overall.

Medical Evidence

The VA reviews current medical evidence including doctors’ exams and test results to evaluate how disabilities have progressed over time. More severe symptoms and limitations documented by medical evidence can lead to a higher rating.

Sample Disability Ratings That Equal 80%

While every veteran’s circumstances are different, here are some examples of disability combinations that could add up to an 80% rating:

Disability 1 Rating Disability 2 Rating Total Combined Rating
Amputation of leg 60% Major depressive disorder 50% 80%
Blindness in both eyes 70% Chronic fatigue syndrome 20% 80%
Severe hearing loss 60% Degenerative arthritis of the spine 30% 80%

The VA uses a combined ratings table to calculate a veteran’s total disability rating based on all conditions. The combined values are not simply added together.

How Long Do 80% Disability Payments Last?

In most cases, veterans rated 80% disabled receive monthly payments for life. Payments continue as long as the disability persists. Veterans do not need to reapply or verify their disabilities after the initial claim is approved.

However, there are some circumstances where payments may be reduced or discontinued in the future:

  • Improvement of the disability – The VA regularly re-evaluates veterans to see if their conditions have improved. If disabilities become less severe, ratings and payment amounts may decrease.
  • Fraud – Veterans who falsify information or symptoms to get disability approved may have benefits reduced or terminated. There are serious consequences for disability fraud.
  • Active military duty – VA disability payments are discontinued if a veteran returns to active duty. Payments resume based on the disability rating when the veteran leaves service again.
  • Incarceration – Disability pay is reduced for veterans convicted of a felony and sent to prison. Payments usually resume when they are released.
  • Reserve/National Guard duty – Compensation is limited to the amount of active duty time served for veterans who have weekend drill requirements.

Barring any of the above situations, veterans rated 80% disabled continue receiving monthly VA disability payments for the rest of their lives.

Other Benefits for Veterans Rated 80% Disabled

In addition to monthly payments, veterans with an 80% disability rating have access to other programs and services including:

  • VA Health Care – Veterans rated 50% or higher qualify for comprehensive health services and medications at low or no cost.
  • Dental & Vision – The VA provides dental and vision benefits to veterans rated 100% disabled or those rated unemployable due to service-connected conditions.
  • Travel reimbursement – Veterans rated 30% or higher can be reimbursed for travel costs to medical appointments.
  • Property tax exemption – 100% disabled veterans and their spouses can receive a reduction or waiver of property taxes in many states.
  • Federal hiring preference – Veterans with a 60%+ rating get hiring preference for many federal jobs.
  • State benefits – Many states offer veterans with high disability ratings benefits such as free licenses, waivers of certain fees/taxes, education tuition assistance, and more.

Veterans rated 80% disabled should explore all of the VA and state programs available to them. Taking advantage of these benefits can significantly improve quality of life.

How to Apply for VA Disability Compensation

The process for veterans to apply for disability compensation includes:

  1. Determine eligibility – Confirm you have a current diagnosis of a disability related to your active duty service. Conditions must have occurred or worsened during service.
  2. Collect evidence – Gather medical records, service records, doctors’ statements, and other documents supporting your disability claim.
  3. File a claim – Submit an application for VA disability either online, by mail, or with a VA representative. Describe your disabilities, treatments, and their impact on your life and work.
  4. Medical exam – The VA will schedule you for a Compensation and Pension (C&P) exam by a VA doctor to evaluate your disabilities and functional limitations.
  5. Rating decision – The VA reviews all evidence and the C&P exam results to determine your disability rating and monthly compensation.
  6. Payment – If approved, you receive monthly tax-free VA disability payments deposited directly into your bank account.

This process can take 4-12 months depending on claim complexity. Many veterans choose to have an experienced advocate such as a Veterans Service Officer assist with the application process.

Appealing a VA Disability Rating Decision

Veterans who are assigned a lower disability rating than they expected can appeal the decision. Reasons to appeal may include:

  • The C&P exam was inadequate or incomplete
  • The rating does not seem accurate based on your disabilities
  • New evidence is available that was not considered
  • The VA made a clear mistake in reviewing the claim

The VA appeals process includes the following steps:

  1. File a Notice of Disagreement within 1 year of the initial decision.
  2. The VA will review your case again and issue a Statement of the Case.
  3. Submit a VA Form 9 detailing why you disagree with the decision.
  4. The Board of Veterans Appeals will review your appeal and make a ruling.
  5. If still denied, you can take your appeal to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

This complicated process can take years in some cases. Hiring an attorney familiar with VA appeals is advisable. Be prepared to regularly submit arguments supporting an increased rating.

Other Potential Options to Increase Disability Compensation

While appealing the rating decision, veterans may also consider these other avenues to get their rating increased:

  • Submit additional evidence – Provide updated medical records, doctors’ letters, and lay statements showing worsening of your condition.
  • Claim secondary conditions – File for new disabilities that are caused or aggravated by your existing service-connected disabilities.
  • Request a rating review – Ask the VA to review your rating due to clear errors or worsening of disabilities.
  • Reopen your claim – File a supplemental claim with new evidence if your initial claim was denied.
  • Claim Individual Unemployability – Apply for IU benefits that pay at the 100% rate if you cannot work due to service-connected disabilities.

Persistence is key – continue submitting evidence supporting a higher rating or unemployability to get the maximum compensation you have earned through your service.


Veterans with an 80% VA disability rating are entitled to monthly compensation between $1,400 – $1,550 depending on dependents. Actual payment amounts vary based on individual circumstances. In addition to monthly payments, veterans rated 80% disabled have access to healthcare, education, hiring preference, tax breaks, and other benefits.

Applying for VA disability compensation involves submitting evidence of service-connected disabilities. Veterans who are underrated can appeal the decision or pursue other avenues to potentially increase their rating and compensation. With persistence and effective representation, many veterans eventually receive the rating and benefits they deserve.

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