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
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.
Protected Pension Programs
Pension beneficiaries who were
receiving a VA pension on Dec. 31, 1978, and
do not wish to elect the Improved Pension will continue to receive the pension rate they were receiving on that date. This
rate generally continues as long as the beneficiary’s income remains within established limits, his or her net worth
does not bar payment, and the beneficiary does not lose any dependents.
These beneficiaries must continue to meet basic
eligibility factors, such as permanent and total disability for veterans, or status as a surviving spouse or child. VA must
adjust rates for other reasons, such as a veteran’s hospitalization in a VA facility.
of Honor Pension
VA administers pensions to recipients of the Medal
of Honor. Congress set the monthly pension at $1,194 effective Dec. 1, 2009.