Pensions for Veterans

by Levi Newman on August 13, 2010

There are pensions available to veterans that pay them each month, yet not every veteran knows about this benefit.
Disabled veterans aren’t the only ones who earn pensions. Those who served may be eligible for pension if they’re 65 or older. You may be eligible for a pension if:

-You served at least 90 days of active duty, and one day during war time.
-You received any discharge other than a dishonorable one.
-Your disability is permanent or you’re at least 65-years-old.
-Your countable family income falls below a yearly limit set by law.

Countable family income varies based on your marital status, the number of dependents you claim and any aid and attendance you need. The income includes earnings, net income from family business or farming, interest, dividends, disability payments and retirement payments.

The VA determines pensions by subtracting the annual income limit from your countable income. That difference divided by 12 and rounded to the nearest dollar calculates your monthly payment. Unreimbursed medical payments can reduce your countable income, thus increasing your pension. Other deductions include public assistance, education expenses for you or your child who is at least 18-years-old and other sources of income excluded by law. The VA will exclude as many sources of income as laws allow.

Monthly payments range from $123 to more than $3,100 per month based on your disability and number of dependents. You may earn additional payments for:
-a severe disability or loss of limb(s);
-dependent children, parents or a spouse; or
-a seriously disabled spouse.

Though there is not set limit on net worth by the VA, each veterans’ case is analyzed to determine whether or not it is excessive. Net worth includes stocks, bonds, mutual funds and bank accounts of a veteran and his or her spouse. The VA may deem net worth large enough for a veteran to live off for a long amount of time, and therefore not reward a pension.

Veterans who are eligible for pension may also be eligible for aid and attendance or housebond benefits. Eligibility for aid and attendance benefits is based on how much assistance a veteran needs because of a disability. To earn housebond pensions, veterans must have a disability that is 100-percent disabling and preventing them from leaving their residence. If one disability is 100-percent disabling and others disabilities are at least 60-percent disabling, a veteran may be eligible for housebond benefits.

To apply for Veterans Disability Pension or Veterans Pension, complete VA form 21-526. Include copies of dependency records in the form of marriage and birth certificates if available. Also include any evidence of medical care, such as doctor and hospital reports. Veterans can apply electronically on the Veterans Online Application (VONAPP) website.

Photo thanks to jowo under creative common license on Flickr.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Bob Reeves June 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm

I am 100% non service connected disability. I receive workman’s compensation, Social Security, are these benefit payments counted as income, if I apply for a pension. If I have income over $3000 a month because of my disability only, would I be over the income cap for a pension.


Audrey Beebe June 20, 2011 at 11:48 am

Bob, yes these would be counted as income and you would be over the cap. Currently the cap is $11,830 per year, which is $985 per month.

You can view the full table for this information here:


Rich December 3, 2011 at 10:55 am

is there a web site that shows whats not countable income like Supplemental Security Income


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