Pension is a monthly payment to a veteran who has served honorably during the Mexican border period, World War I, World War II, Korean Conflict, the Vietnam era, or the Persian Gulf War, and to his or her surviving spouse and dependent children. Pension may be payable to a veteran who is permanently and totally disabled as a result of nonservice-connected disability. There are several requirements for VA pension: service requirements, disability requirements, annual income limitations and asset limitations. Each are described below.
Disability Requirements A veteran must be permanently and totally disabled to be eligible for disability pension. There are no disability requirements for a surviving spouse or child. A veteran who is over age 65, or a veteran under age 65 who has been determined to be permanently and totally disabled by Social Security Administration under any of their benefits programs, or a veteran who is confined to a nursing home because of disability which is reasonable to conclude will continue throughout the life of the veteran, will be considered to be permanently and totally disabled for VA pension purposes. All other veterans must be rated permanently and totally disabled by VA.
Determination with Respect to Annual Income Generally all income, regardless of source, of a veteran, the income of the veteran’s spouse and any child for whom pension is paid, shall be considered in determining the rate of pension. See charts at www.vba.va.govln21Rates
Corpus of the Estate-Net Worth This is the net value of all real estate and personal property owned by the claimant, except his or her home, furnishings and automobile. Improved Pension, provides for the denial or discontinuance of pension to a veteran when the corpus of estate of the veteran and the veteran’s spouse is such that under all circumstances, including consideration of the annual income of the veteran, the veteran’s spouse, and the veteran’s children, it is reasonable that some part of the corpus of such estate be used for the veteran’s maintenance. There is no specific dollar limitation. However, if a claimant has an estate of $80,000 or greater, development action will be taken by adjudication to determine if net worth is excessive and a bar to pension entitlement.
Special Monthly Pension (Aid and Attendance) A veteran will be considered in need of regular A&A (aid and attendance) if he or she is a patient in a nursing home or is helpless or blind, or so nearly helpless or blind as to need or require the regular A&A of another person. In determining the need for regular A&A, the following will be considered:
Special Monthly Pension (Housebound) A veteran will qualify for the housebound rate if he or she has a single disability rated as permanently 100 percent disabling and (a) has additional disabilities rated 60 percent or more or; (b) is permanently housebound but does not qualify for aid and attendance. A veteran will be considered “permanently housebound” when he or she is substantially confined to the house (ward or clinical areas, if hospitalized) or immediate premises due to a disability which it is reasonably certain will remain throughout his or her lifetime.