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Am I Eligible for VA Pension Benefits?

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.

  1. Were you on active duty (not including training) for at least 90 days?
  2. 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
  3. Were you an officer on active duty on or after October 16, 1981? (a longer period may be required)
  4. Was your grade of discharge something other than dishonorable?
  5. Are you permanently and totally disabled?
  6. 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.

It’s never too early to plan for your future.

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