Community Blog

Are You Eligible for a VA Pension?

By Ketan Patel

You may have heard that there is a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pension. The VA pension provides benefits to help veterans get the help they need. The VA pension provides tax free monthly benefit payments to wartime vets who meet eligibility requirements and have financial need. Pension payments can be used for an in-home caregiver, an assisted living facility or a nursing home.

The VA recommends enlisting the help of an accredited Veterans Service Officer who can assist in initiating your claim and guiding you through the application process. You will be asked to provide the right medical records and other evidence of need. Applicants are warned that there are pension poaching scams out there, so it is important to deal only with accredited individuals.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for a VA pension, you must have seen at least 90 days of active duty with at least one of those days during a qualifying wartime period. For veterans who entered active duty after September, 1980, 24 months must have been served in most cases. At least one of those days must have been during wartime.

In addition, you must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Age 65 or older
  • Totally or permanently disabled
  • A patient in a nursing home receiving skilled nursing care
  • Receiving Social Security Disability Insurance
  • Receiving Supplemental Security Income

The Application Process

There are several ways to apply for a VA pension. You can apply online, or you can download an official application form and mail it to your VA benefit office. You can also apply for a VA pension in person.

There are also yearly family income limitations, as well as net worth limitations. Your income includes sources such as earnings, dividends and retirement payments. Your net worth includes assets such as stocks and bonds, bank accounts, annuities and property outside of your residence.

  • Applying Online

Apply for a VA pension online by using the Veterans On-Line Application (VONAPP) and creating an account.

  • Applying by Mail

To apply by mail, download and complete the Application for Pension (form 21-527EZ). Click here for the link. Fill out the form, and mail it to your local regional benefit office. Click here for a list of regional VA offices. Scroll down below the map for the address of the facility.

  • Applying in Person

Another option is to fill out the Application for Pension form and bring it to your local regional benefit office.

Additional Pension Benefits

Veterans eligible for the VA pension may be eligible to receive an additional monetary benefit from the Department of Veterans Affairs. If you require the aid and attendance of another person to help you with activities of daily living you may qualify for Aid and Attendance (A & A) benefits. If your vision is limited or if you are bedridden and housebound, you may qualify for Housebound benefits. These additional payments can be used to pay for an in-home caregiver for veterans who qualify.

You can apply for Aid and Attendance (A & A) and Housebound benefits by writing to the Pension Management Center (PMC), or by visiting the local regional benefit office. Be sure to include doctor’s reports and other evidence of need.

Find the Pension Management Center that serves your state here.

Hiring a Caregiver

When you need a healthcare companion to help with caregiving responsibilities, contact Home Helpers of South Shore at 781-585-1244. Learn about the support we provide to make your life easier and improve your loved one’s quality of life.

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