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 2018, the VA Aid & Attendance benefit is $1,850 for a single veteran, $2,169 for a married veteran, $2,903 for two married veterans and $1,176 for the surviving spouse of a veteran (who has not remarried.