You’ve got a service-connected disability rated at 50 percent. Now what? This guide covers everything you need to know about your VA disability benefits, including what they are, how they work and when disabled veterans are eligible for them.
In this post, we will cover the following topics – updated for 2023:
- What is a VA Disability Rating?
- What is the compensation for a 50% VA Disability Rating?
- What compensation is available for dependents at the 50% VA Disability Rating?
- What are the top 50% VA Disability Rating Benefits?
- Social Security with 50% VA Disability
- 50% VA Disability and Extraschedular TDIU
- How do you increase a 50% VA Disability Rating?
Ready to learn all about 50% VA Disability Benefits? Let’s dive in!
What is a VA Disability Rating?
VA Disability Ratings are assigned to you by The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), based on the severity of your service-connected condition. Your disability rating will determine how much disability compensation you will receive each month, as well as your eligibility for other VA disability benefits.
If you have multiple disability ratings, they use them to calculate your combined VA disability rating. Calculating your combined disability rating involves more than just adding up your individual ratings. That’s why when you combine ratings, it may be different than the sum of your individual ratings.
What is the compensation for a 50% VA Disability Rating?
The 2023 compensation rate (an 8.7% increase) for a 50% VA disability rating is $1,041.82. For more information about compensation for dependents, our 2023 VA Disability Rates and Compensation article covers all the updates for the year.
It is important to consider that, even a 20% rating increase, which at 70% VA disability rating is $1,663.06, could have you receiving over $600 a month more in compensation benefits.
Ultimately, a higher disability rating equates to a greater amount of monthly benefits. Therefore, it’s a very important thing to consider when you are at a 50% rating.
How do I increase my 50 VA Disability Rating?
If you are considering trying to increase your 50% VA Disability Rating, you have a few options to consider. They include:
- Filing for an appeal within the VA’s deadlines (before one year of your rating decision)
- Filing a new claim for an increased rating
- Filing for Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU)
- Filing for secondary service connection
If you are considering filing for an appeal, our knowledgeable team at Hill & Ponton, P.A. would be happy to assist you with this process.
What are Some of the Top 50% VA Disability Rating Benefits?
In addition to the aforementioned VA disability compensation benefits and compensation for dependents, veterans may also be entitled to different types of VA benefits.
Health Care Benefits
Veterans at a 50% VA Disability Ratings are eligible to be placed in VA Health Care Priority Group 1, which is the highest priority group for receiving health care benefits.
Members of Group 1 will receive health care services with no copays. Some of the services they are entitled to include:
- Preventative care
- In-patient services
- Mental health care
- Medical equipment
- Dental care, glasses and hearing aids
- Emergency care at non-VA facilities
- Medical travel benefits
Vocational Readiness and Employment (VR&E)
Individuals with 50 percent VA disability ratings, are eligible for VR&E benefits. These benefits provide career services and counseling, including training, resume development, and other assistance.
Concurrent Retired and Disability Pay (CRDP)
This benefit restores a veterans service pay by removing the VA waiver.
VA Home Loan Guarantee
The VA will guarantee a home loan by a private lender to ensure favorable terms on a mortgage. This means that veterans usually qualify for lower interest rates and down payments on their homes. These loans help veterans buy, repair, rebuild or maintain their present home.
VA Special Monthly Compensation
CHAMPVA Medical Insurance
Use of commissaries, exchange and morale, welfare and recreation (MWR) facilities
Social Security with 50% VA Disability
With a rating of 50%, you may also be qualified for Social Security income. There are two different types of Social Security benefits:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
SSDI counts toward earned income, so VA disability benefits do not impact SSDI. However, a veteran must have a condition that is totally disabling in order to qualify.
SSI is need-based, and counts towards a veteran’s income. Most likely, veterans who receive VA disability benefits will not be eligible for this, because they receive too much compensation.
50% VA Disability and Extraschedular TDIU
Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU) is a compensation benefit for veterans who are unable to work because of a service-connected condition.
While veterans at a 50% VA disability rating cannot apply for TDIU on a schedular basis because a 100% rating is required, they may still be eligible for an extraschedular basis.
Want to learn more about VA Disability Ratings?
If you are interested in learning more about filing for disability benefits and disability ratings, check out our FREE ebook The Road to VA Compensation Benefits.
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