Pension Benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
for Non-Service Connected Disabilities
The VA Pension is a disability benefits program available to compensate veterans for non-service-connected disabilities. Like the VA compensation program, the pension program is based upon disability. However, unlike the VA compensation program, the pension program is also based on income and need, and the veteran’s disability must be total and permanent (but need not be “service-connected”).
There are three (3) types of benefits available through the VA pension program: (1) the basic pension, (2) “Housebound” benefits and (3) “Aid and Attendance” benefits.
1.The Basic Pension.
Pension “is a benefit paid to wartime veterans who have limited or no income, and who are age 65 or older, or, if under 65, who are permanently and totally disabled.”
To qualify, the veteran must be discharged under other than dishonorable conditions; must have wartime service (in general, for those entering military service before September 7, 1980, consisting of at least 90 days of active service, one day of which was during a war-time period); must have limited or no income; and must be age 65 or older, or be permanently and totally disabled.
With respect to income eligibility, the person’s countable family income must be below a yearly limit set by Congress. The veteran’s net worth, or the net value of the assets of the veteran and his/her dependents, is also considered by the VA and, although there is no specified resource limit, net worth cannot be “excessive.”
In addition to the basic pension, more severely disabled veterans may also qualify for Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits.
2. Housebound Benefits.
Housebound benefits are paid in addition to the monthly pension for a veteran (or eligible surviving spouse) who qualifies for the pension and who:
- has a total permanent disability and, as a result, is permanently and substantially confined to his/her premises; or,
- has a total permanent disability plus another disability or disabilities that are 60% or more disabling.
3.Aid and Attendance Benefits.
Aid and Attendance (“A&A”) is a benefit that is paid in addition to the monthly pension. A&A is available to a veteran (or eligible surviving spouse) who qualifies for the pension and who:
- is bedridden, or
- requires the aid of another person to perform activities of daily living, or
- is a nursing home resident, as a result of mental or physical incapacity, or
- is blind or nearly blind in both eyes.
2017 Veterans Pension Rate Table
The 2017 Veterans Pension rates saw 0.3% increase over 2016. The increase was effective December 1, 2016.
The table below shows the Maximum Annual Pension Rates. The VA pays the difference between countable family income and the yearly income limit based on the veteran’s marital status, family situation and number of dependents. The amounts shown below are annual amounts, and the actual payments are made monthly.
|MAXIMUM ANNUAL PENSION RATE (MAPR) CATEGORY||AMOUNT|
|If you are a veteran…||Your yearly income must be less than…|
|Without Spouse or Child||$12,907|
|To be deducted, medical expenses must exceed 5% of MAPR, or, $ 645|
|With One Dependent||$16,902|
|To be deducted, medical expenses must exceed 5% of MAPR, or, $842|
|Housebound Without Dependents||$15,773|
|Housebound With One Dependent||$19,770|
|A&A Without Dependents||$21,531|
|A&A With One Dependent||$25,525|
|Two Vets Married to Each Other||$16,902|
|Two Vets Married to Each Other One H/B||$19,770|
|Two Vets Married to Each Other Both H/B||$22,634|
|Two Vets Married to Each Other One A/A||$25,525|
|Two Vets Married to Each Other One A/A One H/B||$28,385|
|Two Vets Married to Each Other Both A/A||$34,153|
|Add for Early War Veteran (Mexican Border Period or WW1) to any category above||$2,932|
|Add for Each Additional Child to any category above||$2,205|
A table prepared by the Veterans Information Services, Inc. is attached here –
For additional information concerning VA compensation and pension benefits, visit: http://vanarellilaw.com/va-benefits/