WHAT IS A PENSION?

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, a Veteran 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 you entered active duty after September 7, 1980, generally you must have 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 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.

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.

Eligible Wartime Periods

Under current law, VA recognizes the following wartime periods to determine eligibility for VA Pension benefits:

Mexican Border Period (May 9, 1916 – April 5, 1917, for Veterans who served in Mexico, on its borders, or adjacent waters)
World War I (April 6, 1917 – November 11, 1918)
World War II (December 7, 1941 – December 31, 1946)
Korean conflict (June 27, 1950 – January 31, 1955)
Vietnam era (February 28, 1961 – May 7, 1975 for Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period; otherwise August 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975)
Gulf War (August 2, 1990 – through a future date to be set by law or Presidential Proclamation)