Eligibility for Disability Pension
Veterans with low incomes
who are permanently and totally disabled, or are age 65 and older, may be eligible for monetary support if they have 90 days
or more of active military service, at least one day of which was during a period of war. (Veterans who entered active duty
on or after Sept. 8, 1980, or officers who entered active duty on or after Oct. 16, 1981, may have to meet a longer minimum
period of active duty). The veteran’s discharge must have been under conditions other than dishonorable and the disability
must be for reasons other than the veteran’s own willful misconduct.
are made to bring the veteran’s total income, including other retirement or Social Security income, to a level set by
Congress. Un-reimbursed medical expenses may reduce countable income for VA purposes.
Improved Disability Pension
Congress establishes the maximum
annual improved disability pension rates. Payments are reduced by the amount of countable income of the veteran, spouse or
dependent children. When a veteran without a spouse or a child is furnished nursing home or domiciliary care by VA, the pension
is reduced to an amount not to exceed $90 per month after three calendar months of care. The reduction may be delayed if nursing-home
care is being continued to provide the veteran with rehabilitation services.
The dates of eligibility
are as follows:
|World War II|
|06/27/1950 – 01/31/1955 ||Korean War|
|08/05/1964 – 05/07/1975 ||Vietnam War |
|08/02/1990||Open Gulf War (includes: Gulf War on Terror, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi
A VA Pension is NOT an
entitlement. It is a benefit for which a veteran might be eligible. It is important that veterans not plan their financial
circumstances around the potential approval of a VA pension. It can take up to a year or longer to obtain a decision on a
claim, and nothing can be done to speed up this adjudication process.
What is it?
|2009 VA Improved Disability Pension Rates|
|If you are a veteran...||Maximum Annual Rate|
|Without Spouse or Child||$11,830|
|With One Dependent||$15,493|
aid and attendance,|
|Needing regular aid and attendance,|
|Two Vets Married to Each Other||$15,493|
|Increase for each additional dependent child||$2,020|