VA PENSION BENEFIT ELIGIBILITY
VA pension benefit eligibility does not require having served in combat. A surprisingly large number of veterans are eligible. You may be among them.
If it appears that you are eligible, talk with a VA-certified elder lawyer. VA pension benefit determinations are subjective. Qualifying should also be done with an eye to preserving financial eligibility for Medicaid. Most Texans who qualify for a VA pension benefit — or their spouse — will need both.
- Were you on active duty (not including training) for at least 90 days?
- Was at least one day during a period of war?
- December 7, 1941 through December 31, 1946;
- June 27, 1950 through January 31, 1955;
- August 5, 1964 (or February 28, 1961 if “in country”)
through May 7, 1975;
- after August 2, 1990
- Were you an officer on active duty on or after October 16, 1981? (a longer period may be required)
- Was your grade of discharge something other than dishonorable?
- Are you permanently and totally disabled?
- Are you over 65?
The Veteran’s Application for Compensation and/or Pension is VA Form 21-526, Parts A, B, C and D. While there are income limits, these are before out-of-pocket expenses for an assisted living facility or home health care. The maximum asset guideline of $80,000 for a married couple is adjusted downward based on age and life expectancy.
In 2017, the VA improved pension benefit, commonly called “Aid and Attendance” is $1,794 for a single veteran, $2,127 for a married couple (if the veteran needs benefits), and $1,153 for a surviving spouse who has not remarried.