Veterans Disability Pension

Army National Guard: 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

Retired Service members may be eligible for the Veterans Pension program if they meet the requirements listed below.

Both of these must be true:

  • You didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge, andwhite van with wheelchair lift ramp out the back

  • Your yearly Family income and net worth meet certain limits set by Congress. Your net worth includes all personal property you own (except your house, your car, and most home furnishings), minus any debt you owe. Your net worth includes the net worth of your Spouse.

And at least one of these must be true about your service. You:

  • Started on active duty before September 8, 1980, and you served at least 90 days on active duty with at least 1 day during wartime, or

  • Started on active duty as an enlisted person after September 7, 1980, and served at least 24 months or the full period for which you were called or ordered to active duty (with some exceptions) with at least 1 day during wartime, or

  • Were an officer and started on active duty after October 16, 1981, and you hadn’t previously served on active duty for at least 24 months

And at least one of these must be true. You:

  • Are at least 65 years old, or

  • Have a permanent and total disability, or

  • Are a patient in a nursing home for long-term care because of a disability, or

  • Are getting Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income

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.

Date of cost-of-living increase: December 1, 2020

For Veterans with no dependents:

Date of cost-of-living increase: December 1, 2020

If you have no dependents and…

Your MAPR amount is:

You don’t qualify for Housebound or Aid and Attendance benefits

$13,931

You qualify for Housebound benefits

$17,204

You qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits

$23,238

Note: If you have medical expenses, you may deduct only the amount that’s above 5% of your MAPR amount ($687 for a Veteran with no Spouse or Child).

For Veterans with at least 1 dependent Spouse or Child:

Date of cost-of-living increase: December 1, 2020

If you have 1 dependent and…

Your MAPR amount is:

You don’t qualify for Housebound or Aid and Attendance benefits

$18,243

You qualify for Housebound benefits

$21,337

You qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits

$27,549

Note:

  • If you have more than one dependent , add $2,382 to your MAPR amount for each additional dependent.

  • If you have a Child who works , you may exclude their wages up to $12,550 for 2020.

  • If you have medical expenses , you may deduct only the amount that’s above 5% of your MAPR amount ($912 for a Veteran with 1 dependent).

For 2 Veterans who are married to each other:

Date of cost-of-living increase: December 1, 2020

If you’re 2 Veterans who are married to each other and:

Your MAPR amount is:

Neither of you qualifies for Housebound or Aid and Attendance benefits

$18,243

One of you qualifies for Housebound benefits

$21,337

Both of you qualify for Housebound benefits

$24.428

One of you qualifies for Aid and Attendance benefits

$27,549

One of you qualifies for Housebound benefits and one of you qualifies for Aid and Attendance benefits

$30,635

Both of you qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits

$36,861

Note:

  • If you have more than one dependent , add $2,382 to your MAPR amount for each additional Child.

  • If you have a Child who works , you may exclude their wages up to $12,550 for 2020.

  • If you have medical expenses , you may deduct only the amount that’s above 5% of your MAPR amount ($912 for a Veteran with 1 dependent).

Maximum Annual Pension Rate information can be found via the following link: https://www.va.gov/pension/veterans-pension-rates/. 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://www.va.gov/pension/eligibility/

For more information and examples of rate calculation, please visit:
https://www.va.gov/pension/veterans-pension-rates/

Document Review Date: 24 February 2021