VA by the Numbers: A Big-Picture Look at Benefits

VA by the Numbers: A Big-Picture Look at Benefits
Kiyoshi Tanno/Getty Images

MOAA’s recent webinar on VA benefits provided a full recap of available programs – not just health benefits, but education, insurance, home loan, and other offerings from the department.



Need even more detail? The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) puts out an annual benefits report detailing the previous fiscal year’s outlays and other beneficiary statistics. The full 242-page FY 2021 report is available here, but you’ll find some highlights below, by the numbers.



The number of VA compensation recipients diagnosed with tinnitus, the most of any disability listed. It also topped the list of new compensation recipients for FY 2021 at 167,862 recipients, and was the most prevalent disability among Vietnam-era, Gulf War-era, and peacetime veterans – it ranked second, behind hearing loss, for World War II and Korean War-era veterans.



The number of loans guaranteed by the VA Home Loan Guaranty Program in FY 2021, for a total of more than $447 billion. That’s up from nearly 1.25 billion loans in FY 2020, worth more than $375 billion. The average loan amount of $310,174 in FY 2021 is up about $9,000 from FY 2020 and nearly $19,000 from FY 2019 ($281,226).


[RELATED: VA Home Loans Grow in Popularity, But Challenges for Buyers Remain]



The number of beneficiaries who received VA education benefits in FY 2021, to include more than 610,000 using the Post-9/11 GI bill. The Post-9/11 figure has declined in recent years, down 7.3% from FY 2020 (657,927) and down even more over a five-year span (755,476 in FY 2017).



The number of new life insurance policies issued by the VA in FY 2021, for a total coverage amount of more than $91 billion. More than 198,000 of the policies were for Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI), with a total coverage amount topping $69.5 billion.


[RELATED: MOAA Insurance Plans]



The average annual payment for all VA benefit recipients – veterans receiving compensation benefits averaged $18,858 per year, and survivors receiving service-connected death benefits averaged $17,161 per year.



The number of beneficiaries in FY 2021 who received dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC) resulting from a veteran’s service prior to 1918. Two of the recipient’s claims are connected to service in “Wars of the 1800s,” per the VA, which covers the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and actions in Mexico. The other 98 recipients are connected to World War I service. Sixty-three survivors of Pre-World War I veterans received a VA pension in FY 2021.


Being an Officer Isn’t Always Easy. Getting Advice From One Is. 

We’ve filmed some of the more than 360,000 members of our community speaking about the issues they’ve faced over the years. See the latest from our Officer to Officer series.  

Watch Now

About the Author

Kevin Lilley
Kevin Lilley

Lilley serves as MOAA's digital content manager. His duties include producing, editing, and managing content for a variety of platforms, with a concentration on The MOAA Newsletter and Follow him on X: @KRLilley