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August 20, 2012: By the Numbers

August 20, 2012: By the Numbers

$34 billion

The amount spent annually by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on compensation to more than three million veterans with service-connected disabilities (SCDs), according to a new report from the RAND Corporation -- Is Military Disability Compensation Adequate to Offset Civilian Earnings Losses from Service-Connected Disabilities?

The report points out that the VA's compensation program "has grown substantially in recent years." Roughly 2.3 million veterans received benefits in 2001, compared with about 3.1 million in 2009, and the report cites several possible reasons for the dramatic increase, including the addition of diabetes to the list of included SCDs.

According to the report, 10 disabilities account for 41 percent of "rated SCDs." These areas include:

Tinnitus - 77,486: 9.5% of total

Hearing loss - 54,450: 6.6% of total

Post-traumatic stress disorder - 33,129: 4.0% of total

Lumbosacral or cervical strain - 30,086: 3.7% of total

Tendon inflammation - 29,079: 3.6% of total

Limitation of flexation, knee - 27,578: 3.4% of total

Degenerative arthritis of the spine - 25,682: 3.1% of total

Diabetes mellitus - 23,508: 2.9% of total

Scars, general - 20,089: 2.5% of total

Traumatic arthritis - 18,334: 2.2% of total

August 20, 2012: By the Numbers | Center for Deployment Psychology

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