Veterans Disability Pension

Army Reserve: Retired

Benefit Fact Sheet

Summary

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) helps Veterans and their Families cope with financial challenges by providing supplemental income through the Veterans Pension benefit. Veterans Pension is a tax-free monetary benefit payable to low-income wartime Veterans.

 

Eligibility

Generally, retired Service members must have at least 90 days of active duty service, with at least one day during a wartime period to qualify for a VA Pension. If the Service member entered active duty after September 7, 1980, generally the Service member must have served at least 24 months or the full period for which the Airman was called or ordered to active duty (with some exceptions), with at least one day during a wartime period.

In addition to meeting minimum service requirements, the Veteran must be:

  • Age 65 or older, 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

Your yearly Family income must be less than the amount set by Congress to qualify for the Veterans Pension benefit. Learn more about income and net worth limitation , and see an example of how VA calculates the VA Pension benefit.

Benefit Highlights

Disability pensions are available to Veterans if the Veteran has qualifying service and there is financial need. Veterans must also have a qualifying disability, which need not be service-connected.

Annual pension is calculated by first totaling all the Veterans countable income. Then any deductions are subtracted from that total. The remaining countable income is deducted from the appropriate annual pension limit that is determined by the number of dependents, if any, and whether or not the Veteran is entitled to housebound or aid and attendance benefits (see chart below). This amount is then divided by 12 and rounded down to the nearest dollar. This gives the amount of the monthly payment. NOTE: An earned income exclusion is deducted if the Veteran is caring for a minor Child as a dependent. For 2018, the exclusion amount is $10,650. (Refer to 38 CFR §3.272 (j)(1) for details).

Family Income Limits (Effective December 1, 2018)

If you are:

Your yearly income must be less than:

Veteran with no dependents

$13,535

Veteran with a Spouse or a Child

$17,724

Housebound Veteran with no dependents

$16,540

Housebound Veteran with one dependent

$20,731

Veteran who needs aid and attendance and has no dependents

$22,577

Veteran who needs aid and attendance and has one dependent

$26,766

Two Veterans married to each other

$17,724

Two Veterans married to each other one H/B

$20,731

Two Veterans married to each other both H/B

$23,734

Two Veterans married to each other one A/A

$26,766

Two Veterans married to each other one A/A, one H/B

$29,764

Two Veterans married to each other both A/A

$35,813

Add for early war Veteran (Mexican Border Period or WWI) to any category above

$3,057

Add for Each Additional Child to any category above

$2,313

Maximum Annual Pension Rate information can be found via the following link: https://www.benefits.va.gov/PENSION/current_rates_veteran_pen.asp . There is no time limit to apply for Pension benefits.

Additional Pension Allowances:

Veterans or surviving Spouses who are eligible for VA pension and are housebound or require the aid and attendance of another person may be eligible for an additional monetary payment through the VA Aid and Attendance (A&A) and Housebound benefit.

How to Apply:

To apply for Veterans Pension, download and complete VA Form 21-527EZ , "Application for Pension". You can mail your application to the Pension Management Center (PMC) that serves your state. You may also visit your local regional benefit office and turn in your application for processing. You can locate your local regional benefit office using the VA Facility Locator .

To apply for increased pension based on A&A or Housebound payments, write to the PMC that serves your state and provide medical evidence, such as a doctor's report, that validates the need for an increased benefit.

Additional Information

For more information about VA Disability Pension, please call the VA toll-free at 1-800-827-1000, or visit the official Veterans Disability Pension website maintained by Veterans Affairs: https://benefits.va.gov/pension/vetpen.asp

For more information and examples of rate calculation, please visit: https://benefits.va.gov/PENSION/rates.asp

Document Review Date: 31 May 2019