Last month, the more than four million Veterans and survivors who receive compensation benefits from VA saw an increase of 1.7 percent in their total monthly payment.

The increase is due to an annual cost of living adjustment (a.k.a. COLA) that ensures compensation benefits for Veterans and survivors keep pace with inflation.

By law, COLA’s amount of increase is the same percentage as that of Social Security benefits. The Social Security increase is based on a Bureau of Labor Statistics calculation of the rise in the consumer price index for urban wage earners and clerical workers.

The new VA compensation rates range from $129 monthly for a disabled Veteran rated at 10 percent to $2,816 monthly for a Veteran without dependents rated 100-percent.  The increase also applies to amounts for additional dependents, Veterans and survivors pension, Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, and clothing allowances paid to certain disabled Veterans.

You can check your 2013 COLA increase amount online through eBenefits. If you don’t have an online eBenefits account already, this is a great reason to get one. Online access to your VA and DOD benefits information is just a click away and signing up takes just a few minutes.

Did you know?

  • VA disability compensation is not subject to federal or state income tax.
  • Veterans are rated at increments of 10 percent, reflecting degree of disability.
  • The largest category of Veterans on the compensation scale is at 10-percent disability ($129 per month), with 782,000 Veterans at this rate at the beginning of fiscal year 2013 among the total 2.9 million Veterans receiving disability compensation.
  • The largest category of service-connected disabilities for Veterans receiving VA compensation is musculoskeletal problems, accounting for about 40 percent of all disabilities. This includes such problems as impairment of the knee and arthritis due to trauma.

Samantha O’Neil is a communications specialist with the Veterans Benefits Administration.

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Published on Feb. 4, 2013

Estimated reading time is 1.6 min.

Views to date: 329


  1. Nicole February 25, 2013 at 12:36 am

    I am 100% disabled and receive benefits for my son, but I still receive the $2774. Why did I not get a cola increase?

  2. Arch Yeomans February 21, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    It is really worrying me about how my claim will go just seeing the nightmares others are dealing with here. Not to mention how many that are out there fully unaware of this blog site. Talk about having no faith in the system. What I find particularly interesting is that VA has the time to do blogs praising the VA but almost every comment is about how veterans are finding themselves getting the short end of the stick with no answers for years, FOR YEARS! What is going on here?

  3. Juan February 16, 2013 at 9:20 am

    I believe that the C&P Dr made a mistake, I went to the exam room, he didn’t ask me any question, just reading his past notes for two years ago and that’s it, I went to get the release of information and there it was, according to him is not change from the last visit!!!! I was very disappointed, I have soo many issues that contribute to my SC illness, I’m not mad just disappointed that he didn’t ask Me questions, he just past notes from two years ago to the new examination, with all my pains and illness and weather condition, I made a tremendous effort to make the examination for him to said that is no change, after a year without working due to all my SC conditions had hospitalized, being approve by SSA that I’m disable, why he didn’t ask me questions, that’s not right!!!!

  4. Ronald fava February 11, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Patience,patience after denials which I rebutted I finally got after 4 years which is retro upon date of application.

  5. Juan February 9, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Ok, I was out of work since February 2012, I had some money savings, pay my mortgage on time never miss a mortgage until October, I ask for the modification tru the bank and they denied it because according to them I can’t afford for modification, I was affected by hurricane Sandy on top of that and the bank send Me to their “disaster team” the gentleman somehow keep telling Me that the communication are interrupted wich I believe it was just lying but I didnt have proof, this is a VA Loan, just waiting for the VLJ to decide My Appeal since 2000, and pray God don’t have forclosure on My house and can have roof to My Family, it will be sad if I die before I see benefits, be another Veteran on that statistic. I can only wait and be calm that My Family taking care at least with My life insurance.

  6. Joe February 9, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Hey am ready willing and able to work, with any veteran or group of vets willing to effect change in the way we are slowly but surely being pushed aside. Maybe we need to start finding good ways resolves the overt disreguard of Honorably discharged Veterans. Lets form organizations that won’t take that stuff. There are too many civilians working in positions that can and should be filled by veterans, mostly because we can identify more directly with one another than, someone who has not actually been in the military.

    • don morby February 15, 2013 at 1:34 am

      I am with you good idea check your local area for VFW and American legion they have lists of groups you might be interested in

  7. Joe Hayes February 8, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Doesn’t do any good to complain, the only thing us Veterans can do is get out there with our wheelchairs and canes and March in the streets until they start seeing that we are suffering with the way they are treating us.

  8. J AU Buchon February 7, 2013 at 8:09 pm


  9. robert vann wilson February 6, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    cola is like a slap in the disabled/combat vets face while the politicans live like royality the vet has to scrape by with the scraps the gov/nation allowes them to have while gillions of dollars go over seas we are the ones that did the dieing/bleeding/suffering for life not the politicans that never put themself/children in harms way or who ever we are sendinh our money to in foreighn aid.

  10. Charles MacKenzie February 5, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    I am hopeful of achieving attention on a payment issue that is nearing 2 years.

    My issue is the inability to have my record and marriagal status corrected from “single” to “married”. I am a US Navy Vet of 28 years and multiple tours in Iraq.

    I have personally hand carried the appropriate documents to the VA office in
    Newington, CT. Additionally I have faxed the same information to Winston Salem, NC.

    I have called and left messages without any reply to my inquiries.

    Any information I have been able to obtain states how overloaded the
    VA is with resolving claims, etc. However from where I sit it is very difficult
    and frustrating given the time lapse and my attempts to resolve that absolutely nothing
    appears to be happening.

    Please reply with any direction you may be able to provide.

    Thank you

    Charlie MacKenzie
    2 Joshua Lane
    Clinton CT. 06413

    • don morby February 15, 2013 at 1:29 am

      Are you on the VA ebenefits page ? It is not the answer you want but it does help you track documents you have submitted. It also gives you email contact with VA that has worked for me in that I get to “feel” like I am doing something

  11. Alberto Barnett February 5, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    I am a veteran, I submitted my paperwork for disability twice and was denied both times. I was discharged in 1976 from the USAF as a firefighting sargeant. I have lost my complete vision in my left eye, hearing in my left ear is very diminished, I am now a diabetic beeing treated at the VA hospital in Washington DC, constantly have ulcers on both of my legs that are very painful, but yet still they denied my requests for disability. Can someone please tell me who can I contact to to get some sort of assistance and compensation? When they needed us, we were there, because we wanted to do the right thing for our country, but to thrown away as trash after you have been used up is inhuman. Thanks in advance.

  12. Dan F February 5, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Wow, a whole 1.7%. Meanwhile, the actions of our Federal Reserve with Quantitative Easing has saw the dollar decline in vale by 27%. The only fortunate thing is that other larger countried are just printing money.

    Look at prices of food. although the government says it has risen only 2%, does anyone really believe that. OJ up 23%, Peanut Butter up 19%, bread up 10% and I could go on and on. My electic per KWH went up 14%. The only thing that has either gone down or stabilized is housing and if you haven’t moved you have not benefited by that. CPI is BS and if you really study it, you will see how insignifican the increase is.

    The next thing is the timliness of the article. I have already received two deposits at the inclreased rates….this is suppose to be news or more of the VA bragging about doing their job?

    Oh thank you , thank you government employees……………….not.

  13. George February 5, 2013 at 11:05 am

    I worked with Jet Aircraft for 15 years in the Navy, the VA finally passed allowing a claim for tinniness depending on rating. my rating ABE was on top of list was told by VA rep at my local VA field office, it would take 30 days to verify my sea service record to show that I did in fact work as an ABE and work around jet aircraft. and the claim would be processed, this was August 2012. I was told in October when I called My VA rep about my claim to see what was going on that I would need a hearing test. it is now February 2013 and they have canceled 6 appointments from November 2012 to February 2013. Now this is what you call out and out delaying a claim!

    • Arch Yeomans February 21, 2013 at 2:05 pm

      Go figure. This is something I would contact my local Congressman about. Your VA rep is failing you and you shouldn’t have to have a VA rep for anything–that is a joke.

  14. stevenson February 5, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Does anyone know if the bills passed that gives medical retirees with less than 20 yrs va pay an retirment.

    • George February 5, 2013 at 11:12 am

      I did read something on the VA site some where there are some cases depending on your amount of disability % and age you can request retirement pay conversion. I do not remember where I read it at. I was Hit by a car walking threw a parking lot last March 2012 so I had nothing better to do so I sat here for weeks on the VA web site and this was one of the things I looked for on the site. it’s there just search for it,


  15. thomas gomez sr February 4, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    thank you va. i am truly greatful for all you do for us veterans.i cant tell you how good it feels to know our government realy cares about us! we are the best treated vets in the world and i know that! again thank you. thomas gomez sr.

  16. Jeffrey Lynn Dodson February 4, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    I had 30% disability when I left the Navy December of 75. Under the Reagan Admin, they cut me to 10%. The Navy had to issue me glasses because my 20/20 vision was destroyed by staring at the Radar SPS10 CRT from 10 inches for 3 years on a port and starboard watch. My perfect hearing was destroyed by wearing the high frequency squelch radio communication head sets for 3 years. There are Navy records, they had to issue me the glasses and they verified my hearing loss. My Top Secret clearance required it. I went to the VA for years after the Reagan admin. To receive nothing but a quick denial every year. WHY DO I HAVE THE BURDEN OF PROOF, THE NAVY AND THE US GOVT. HAVE THE RECORDS. I SAW THE CORMAN TAKING PAPERS OUT OF MY FILE AND TOLD HIM TO STOP, I EVEN HAD TO THREATEN HIM TO STOP. Now I’m deaf and half blind and the country I defended during Viet Nam and the Yam Kippur couldn’t care less. There are records of this and yet for 30+ years, they have crapped all over me! I am ashamed of my country for doing this to me!


    • alvin thomas February 5, 2013 at 10:40 am

      WELCOM to the crowd! i am us navy Vietnam, veteran also…ischemic heart problems and they wont pay me for it either, even after the Minneapolis VA hospital said i was service connected!! AFTER they sent me for the exam!!!!!!!

    • Joseph Klimasara February 5, 2013 at 1:45 pm

      Contact your “VA REGIONAL OFFICE” and ask how to proceed.

    • Dot09 February 7, 2013 at 5:55 pm

      I am a disable vet myself and offer my assistance like many others on The VA Regional Office ignores regulations and information in your service medical records. Therefore, they usually return it with a denial. Often veterans are unaware what they are able to do. I strongly urge you to come to the site.

      Good luck

      • Anthony Knox February 13, 2013 at 10:57 am

        Just went to the hadit site and tried to register but the app form had some registration question at the bottom of it with absolutely no explanation and rejected the app. Sent a mail and got a automatic reply that was no help at all. If I can’t contact a flesh and blood person at the site what good is it? Another dead end for vets!

  17. Teresa Duggan February 4, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    My late husband was declared 100% disabled before he died July 16 2007
    I receive $1215 per month and my daughter receives
    Educational benefits of approx $1000 a month,
    1. Are Ed benefits counted as DIC?
    2. Why do I not receive $2816 as stated above?
    3. Are the 2 benefits combined ? If so there is still a discrepancy
    Would you please help me clarify this as I am now
    Disabled and every little bit helps.
    Teresa W Duggan
    Xc 25 161 020

    • Russell February 5, 2013 at 1:27 pm

      DIC is a benefit for widows (and in some cases parent) of veterans who died of service connected conditions. It has it’s own payment rate here
      Education is separate issue, that in certain cases can be passed to dependents.

  18. Carmen A Cantalupo February 4, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    VA has not done anything for me Each and every time they just ignore me I am going to the News this is lies you tell.

    • Brett Daniels February 17, 2013 at 1:07 pm

      Carmen, I know how difficult the VA system can be. I’m working with my parents right now, who are in their 70’s, to find out things like what benefits they qualify for, what services are available to them, etc. and it’s hasn’t been an easy task. They don’t use the internet so when they alone were trying to get answers, they just got so frustrated that about gave up. That’s when I stepped in to help. I want to recommend a book to you, I’m not sure what you’re looking for exactly, but it’s a pretty good book. It’s specific to children of Vets, like me, who are aiding their parents in figuring out the VA system, but it’s a wonderful handbook and it might be worth checking out. It’s called “Crack the VA” by Barbara Steinberg. You can check out her site and the book at I hope it can help you and I hope you have some better luck in getting the answers you need.

  19. Jack Angelo Territo February 4, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    do you know what 1.7% will buy????? Yeah ,not too much?? and your fraud president also took away2 years of COLA

    • Anthony Knox February 13, 2013 at 9:25 am

      1.7% BFD! I’m still at risk of homelessness because the social workers at Pettis-Loma Linda VAMC are too lazy or don’t understand the McKinney-Vento, HEARTH Acts and refuse to get me on the HUD-VASH vouchers unless I sleep in my car for a year! A year? Cummon man, that’s rediculous. I’ve been chronically homeless for fifteen years because I’m disabled.

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