Eligibility for Disability Pension

Veterans with low incomes who are permanently and totally disabled, or are age 65 and older, may be eligible for monetary support if they have 90 days or more of active military service, at least one day of which was during a period of war. (Veterans who entered active duty on or after Sept. 8, 1980, or officers who entered active duty on or after Oct. 16, 1981, may have to meet a longer minimum period of active duty). The veteran’s discharge must have been under conditions other than dishonorable and the disability must be for reasons other than the veteran’s own willful misconduct.


Payments are made to bring the veteran’s total income, including other retirement or Social Security income, to a level set by Congress. Un-reimbursed medical expenses may reduce countable income for VA purposes.



Improved Disability Pension


Congress establishes the maximum annual improved disability pension rates. Payments are reduced by the amount of countable income of the veteran, spouse or dependent children. When a veteran without a spouse or a child is furnished nursing home or domiciliary care by VA, the pension is reduced to an amount not to exceed $90 per month after three calendar months of care. The reduction may be delayed if nursing-home care is being continued to provide the veteran with rehabilitation services.


The dates of eligibility are as follows:

12/07/1941 – 12/31/1946

World War II
06/27/1950 – 01/31/1955 Korean War
08/05/1964 – 05/07/1975 Vietnam War
08/02/1990Open Gulf War (includes: Gulf War on Terror, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom)


A VA Pension is NOT an entitlement. It is a benefit for which a veteran might be eligible. It is important that veterans not plan their financial circumstances around the potential approval of a VA pension. It can take up to a year or longer to obtain a decision on a claim, and nothing can be done to speed up this adjudication process.

Non Service-Connected Pension
What is it?

2014 VA Improved Disability Pension Rates
If you are a veteran...Maximum Annual Rate
Without Spouse or Child$12,868
With One Dependent$16,851
Permanently Housebound,
No Dependents
Permanently Housebound,
One Dependent
Needing regular aid and attendance,
No Dependents
Needing regular aid and attendance,
One Dependent
Two Vets Married to Each Other$16,851
Increase for each additional dependent child$2,198




Download Pension Brochure