What is a veteran pension?
VA pension programs provide monthly benefit payments to certain wartime veterans with financial need, and their survivors.
To be eligible for veteran pension benefits, you must have served on active duty for 90 days and at least one of which must have been during a wartime era and “ under other than dishonorable” discharge. After 1980, the veteran must have served 24 consecutive months in a wartime era. You must also be 65-years-old or older, or be permanently/totally disabled. These pensions are income and asset based; yet most medical expenses can offset the income/assets. If you are applying for widow benefits, the veteran must have met the same criteria.
WWI: April 6, 1917 – November 1, 1918
WWII: December 7, 1941 – December 31, 1946
Korea: June 27, 1950 – January 31, 1955
Vietnam: August 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975
Persian Gulf: August 2, 1990 – present
Required documents needed:
- Date you last worked
- Dates and names/address of hospitals, if a patient within last year
- Death certificate (if applicable)
- Dependent children's social security number and dates of birth (if applicable)
- Discharge or separation papers (DD Form 214) (Report of Separation)
- Last employers name and address
- Marriage license (if applicable)/divorce decree (if applicable)
- Nursing home, assisted living or home health care name and address
- Other pertinent supporting medical evidence
- Physician's note/diagnosis for Aid & Attendance or Housebound (if applying for A&A or housebound)
- Previous marital information for veteran or spouse (if applicable)
- Proof of all income/assets (pensions, rental income, interest income, value of 2nd home, rental properties, stocks/bonds/CDs, and other income)
- Recurring unreimbursed medical expenses (Medicare, private health insurance, prescription insurance and co-pays, dental, eye care, doctor co-pays, in home health care, assisted living, nursing home)
- Social security award letter (if applicable)
- Spouse's social security number and date of birth (if applicable)
- Statement from facility or residential home (date of admission; statement showing medical necessity; cost per month)
Three levels of pensions
- Basic pension - Intended as a low-income supplement to any other personal income
- Housebound - Permanently housebound by reason of a disability. Substantially confined to his/her dwelling and the restriction will continue for life.
- Aid and Attendance - Must be incapable of self support and in need of regular personal assistance for daily living skills (feeding, cooking, dressing and undressing, care of one’s own bodily needs, special device help, physical or mental injury or illnesses in which protect from special hazards are needed).