VA helps Veterans and their families cope with financial challenges by providing supplemental income through the Veterans Pension and Survivors Pension benefit programs.
VA offers two broad categories of Pension benefit programs:
Veterans Pension: Tax-free monetary benefit payable to low-income wartime Veterans.
Survivors Pension: Tax-free monetary benefit payable to a low-income, un-remarried surviving spouse and/or unmarried child(ren) of a deceased Veteran with wartime service. The survivor did not have to be married tot he veteran while he was still in the military to file a DIC or pension claim.
Veterans and survivors who are eligible for Pension benefits and are housebound or require the aid and attendance of another person may be eligible to receive additional monetary amounts.
Pension benefits are needs-based and your “countable” family income must fall below the yearly limit set by law. Veterans must have least 90 days of active duty, including one day during a wartime period.
Wartime periods include:
- December 7, 1941 – December 31, 1946
- June 27, 1950 – January 31, 1955
- February 28, 1961 – May 7, 1975
- Persian Gulf
- August 2, 1990 – present
If the active duty occurred after September 7, 1980, you must have served at least 24 months or the full period that you were called up (with some exceptions). You must also be:
- Age 65 or older with limited or no income, OR
- Totally and permanently disabled, OR
- A patient in a nursing home receiving skilled nursing care, OR
- Receiving Social Security Disability Insurance, OR
- Receiving Supplemental Security Income
The Veteran must have met the service requirements above for surviving spouses and children applying for the Survivors Pension.
How to Apply for Veterans Pension
To apply for Veterans Pension make an appointment with your Veterans Service Officer who will explain the entire process and packet to you.