Last year, changes were approved regarding veterans disability benefits. Confirmed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, these changes include an increase in disability payments to account for changes in cost of living. If you’re a disabled veteran, these payments are automatically applied on top of your current disability rating. Learn more about what this change means for you and when you’ll see an increase in your disability check. 

VA disability changes

Changes to VA Disability in 2024

The biggest change to VA disability benefits in 2024 is the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) of 3.2%. Last year, Presiden Biden signed the Veterans Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act, which directs the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide an increase to disability benefits. The increase is equal to the percentage determined by the Social Security Administration to keep up with inflation and give disability recipients the same buying power as the previous year.

Each year, the COLA amount varies due to inflation rates as calculated by the SSA. Last year, veterans received an 8.7 COLA increase, the largest percentage since 1981. The amount differs from year to year and is determined by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers in the third quarter. From there, the SSA compares this year’s CPI-W to last year’s, and as long as the amount is higher, there will be a COLA. 

How Are VA Disability Benefits Calculated?

Each disabled veteran receives a rating from the VA based on how severe his or her service-related condition is. That rating is represented by a percentage from 10-100 in increments of 10. The VA takes other factors into consideration to determine the disability rating. When applying for VA disability, the department asks for evidence of one’s disability, such as doctor’s reports, medical testing results, results from a VA claim exam, and any other supporting factors. VA disability benefits rates can include more than one disability as well as preexisting conditions that were worsened during a veteran’s time in service. 

After receiving a rating, a veteran has the chance to appeal if he or she feels the rating is unfair or rejected in error. Many VA disability applications are rejected the first time for simple reasons – missing information, incomplete data, or even a typo. A VA benefits lawyer can help you file an appeal and increase your chances of being accepted for VA disability benefits. 

When Will Veterans Receive Their COLA Adjustment?

All COLA increases for VA disability and other benefits went into effect in December of 2023, which is reflected on the first disability check in January of 2024. Whether you have a 10% or 100% VA disability rating, you should already see the increase on your checks.  

Get Help With Your VA Disability Application and Appeals

If you’re new to the VA disability process or need assistance with filing an appeal after being denied benefits, the American Disability Action Group can help. We’re a team of skilled and compassionate attorneys who understand the rules and laws regarding VA disability. Whether you’re getting ready to apply for the first time or have already received a benefits denial, we are ready to advocate for you to receive the benefits you’re entitled to. Our team operates nationwide getting veterans the help they deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation and to learn more about what we can do for you.