How to Acquire Veterans Pension and Survivors Pension

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides supplemental income through the Veterans Pension and Survivors Pension benefit programs. These are monthly benefit payments that go to certain wartime Veterans with financial need, and their survivors.

The Veterans Pension is a tax-free monetary benefit. It is also based on yearly income which can be explained on the VA website. There are several eligibility requirements:

  • Served at least 90 days in active duty with at least one day during a wartime period
  • After 9/7/80: Served at least 24 months or full period of active duty with at least one day during a wartime period

PLUS you must meet one of the following requirements:

  • 65 or older
  • In a nursing home receiving care
  • Totally and permanently disabled
  • Receiving social security disability insurance
  • Receiving supplemental security income

How to Apply?

When looking to acquire survivor benefits, you must first see if you are eligible.

The Survivors Pension is based on yearly family income so a good place to start is by visiting The VA’s website here.

The deceased Veteran must have also been eligible set by these requirements:

  • On or before 9/7/80: Served at least 90 days in active duty with at least one day during a wartime period
  • After 9/7/80: Served at least 24 months or full period of active duty with at least one day during a wartime period
  • Was discharged from the military (other than dishonorable discharge)

Who is eligible to receive the Survivors Pension Plan?

  • Un-remarried spouse
  • Under 18-year-old child of deceased wartime Veteran
  • Under 23-year-old child of deceased wartime Veteran only if attending a VA-approved school
  • A child of deceased wartime Veteran permanently incapable of self-support due to a disability before age 18

How to Apply?

Aid & Attendance

In order to receive aid & attendance benefits, Veterans must first be eligible for the Veterans Pension. You must meet one of the following conditions to be eligible:

  • You require aid from someone in order to perform basic personal functions (bathing, feeding, etc)
  • You are bedridden
  • You are a patient in a nursing home (mental or physical incapacity)
  • Your eyesight is 5/200 or less in both eyes or your visual field is 5 degrees or less

Housebound

You cannot receive Aid & Attendance and Housebound benefits at the same time. Housebound means you are confined to your immediate premises due to a permanent disability.

How to Apply?

  • In writing to the Pension Management Center (PMC) for your state or in person at your local regional benefit office
  • Include copies of evidence including reports from physicians validating the need for either type of care
  • Clarify whether the Veteran is confined to the home or immediate premises
  • Determine whether there is a disease or injury causing a physical or mental impairment
  • Report how well the claimant gets around, if they need assistance feeding and dressing, and what he or she does in a typical day

When you submit a VA compensation or pension claim, you may have to do a compensation and pension (C&P) exam. Check out our blog C&P Exam: Understand the Rights and Wrongs to prepare for this.

There are numerous ways to apply for VA benefits depending on the type of benefit you are seeking. We encourage you to work with an accredited representative who can assist you with the claims process.

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