We are privately owned and not affiliated or endorsed by any government agency.

Take the Benefits Quiz

Dependents’ Rate

Definition The Dependents’ Rate in VA benefits refers to the additional monthly compensation awarded to veterans with dependents. Dependents can include a spouse, children, or certain eligible parents. The rate, which varies based on the veteran’s disability percentage and number of dependents, helps provide financial support for the veteran’s family members. Key Takeaways The Dependents’ […]


The Dependents’ Rate in VA benefits refers to the additional monthly compensation awarded to veterans with dependents. Dependents can include a spouse, children, or certain eligible parents. The rate, which varies based on the veteran’s disability percentage and number of dependents, helps provide financial support for the veteran’s family members.

Key Takeaways

  1. The Dependents’ Rate refers to an increased monthly payment for eligible veterans with dependents, such as spouses, children, or dependent parents, which is added to the veteran’s standard VA disability compensation or pension.
  2. Dependency status has an impact on the amount of benefits a veteran can receive, with additional benefits provided for each additional qualifying dependent. This financial support helps veterans meet their family’s needs.
  3. In order to receive the Dependents’ Rate, veterans must provide documentation proving their dependents’ eligibility, such as marriage or birth certificates. VA Form 21-686c, Declaration of Status of Dependents, should be completed and submitted when applying for these benefits.


The VA benefits term “Dependents’ Rate” is important because it directly influences the level of support and financial compensation provided to the family members of veterans.

This rate takes into consideration the dependents, such as spouse, children, and in some cases, parents, who rely on the veteran for financial and logistical support.

By recognizing and factoring in the number of dependents tied to the veteran, the VA can more accurately calculate and distribute benefits to better address the needs of the entire family unit.

This ensures that the dependents receive appropriate assistance, enhancing their quality of life and alleviating potential financial burdens, ultimately contributing to the overall well-being and stability of veterans’ families.


The Dependents’ Rate in the context of VA benefits refers to the additional financial support provided to veterans who have dependents, such as a spouse, children, or dependent parents, in recognition of the added expenses that come with caring for loved ones. The purpose of the Dependents’ Rate is to acknowledge the financial strain that families of disabled or retired veterans may carry.

By offering this elevated level of compensation, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) aims to create a more balanced system that accounts for the unique needs and expenses of raising a family while caring for a veteran who is unable to work or requires support due to a service-connected disability. In addition to offering dependent spouses and children a higher rate of monthly benefits, the Dependents’ Rate also allows disabled veterans to enroll in healthcare, educational, and financial programs specifically designed to help ease their burdens.

The VA support system allows the veteran’s family to have better access to resources like healthcare, educational assistance, and vocational counseling. This enables both the veteran and their family to pursue a higher quality of life while still acknowledging the sacrifices made in service of their country.

Ultimately, the Dependents’ Rate serves as a vital tool in ensuring that the families of disabled and retired veterans receive appropriate support and assistance in adjusting to civilian life.

Examples of Dependents’ Rate

The VA Benefits term “Dependents’ Rate” refers to the additional compensation provided to eligible veterans with disabilities to assist with the financial needs of their dependents. Here are three real-world examples of how the Dependents’ Rate functions:

A veteran with a spouse: If a veteran with a 30% or higher disability rating is married, he or she may be eligible for additional compensation at the “Dependents’ Rate” to support their spouse. The rate is designed to help the veteran and their spouse address financial challenges due to the veteran’s disability.

A veteran with children: In addition to a spouse, a veteran may also be eligible to receive an increased rate for their dependent children. This added compensation can help provide financial support for housing, education, childcare, and other essential needs. To be eligible, children must be under 18, or between 18-23 and attending an approved educational institution, or be permanently incapable of self-support due to a disability that occurred before their 18th birthday.

A veteran with dependent parents: Some disabled veterans are responsible for the care and financial well-being of their parents. In such cases, the VA may award additional compensation at the Dependents’ Rate to help the veteran support their dependent parents. To qualify, a veteran must prove that their parent(s) are financially dependent on them, and that their parent(s) have limited income and resources.In all these cases, the Dependents’ Rate aims to help veterans with disabilities meet the financial needs of their dependents, recognizing the potential added burden created by their service-connected disability.

FAQ: Dependents’ Rate

1. What is the Dependents’ Rate?

The Dependents’ Rate refers to the additional monthly benefits provided to veterans with service-connected disabilities who have dependents, such as a spouse, children, or parents, under their care. This additional amount is intended to help cover the costs associated with caring for a family. The amount varies based on the veteran’s disability rating and the number of dependents.

2. Who is considered a dependent for VA benefits?

Eligible dependents include a veteran’s spouse, unmarried minor children (under 18 years old), unmarried children between the ages of 18-23 who are attending school, children with certain disabilities, and dependent parents.

3. How can I apply for the Dependents’ Rate?

You can apply for the Dependents’ Rate by completing and submitting VA Form 21-686c (Declaration of Status of Dependents) if you are adding spouses or children. If you are adding parents as dependents, you will need to complete VA Form 21P-509 (Statement of Dependency of Parents). These forms can be submitted with your initial disability claim application or added later by mail or electronically through the eBenefits portal.

4. How much can I receive for the Dependents’ Rate?

The amount you receive as a Dependents’ Rate depends on your combined disability rating and the number of eligible dependents you have. The VA provides a table outlining the specific amounts on their website. Generally, the higher your disability rating and the more dependents you have, the greater the additional benefit amount will be.

5. Can I add or remove dependents in the future?

Yes, you can add or remove dependents at any time. When you add or remove dependents, it’s essential to notify the VA so that your benefits can be adjusted accordingly. This can be done through the eBenefits portal, mailing the appropriate forms, or contacting your local VA office for assistance.

6. How do I update my dependents’ information with the VA?

You must inform the VA if there are any changes in your family situation, such as a marriage, divorce, or birth of a child. You can update your dependents’ information through the eBenefits portal, submitting the appropriate forms by mail, or contacting your local VA office for assistance.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Survivors Pension
  • Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA)
  • Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
  • Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (FSGLI)
  • Post-9/11 GI Bill Transfer of Entitlement

Sources for More Information

Benefits.com Advisors

With expertise spanning local, state, and federal benefit programs, our team is dedicated to guiding individuals towards the perfect program tailored to their unique circumstances.

Rise to the top with Peak Benefits!

Join our Peak Benefits Newsletter for the latest news, resources, and offers on all things government benefits.

Related Articles