As veterans and survivors consider applying for these benefits, VA would like to share important information about the pension program and organizations offering assistance with pension applications.
Pension is a needs-based benefit paid to a wartime Veteran and his/her survivor(s). A Veteran may generally be eligible if he/she:
- Was discharged from service under other than dishonorable conditions
- Served 90 days or more of active military, naval, or air service with at least 1 day during a period of war*
- His/her countable income is below the maximum annual pension rate
- Meets the net worth limitations
- Is age 65 or older, or is shown by evidence to have a permanent and total non-service-connected disability, or is a patient in a nursing home, or is receiving Social Security disability benefits
*Veterans who entered active duty after September 7, 1980, must also have served at least 24 months of active duty service. If the total length of service is less than 24 months, the Veteran must have completed his/her entire tour of active duty.
Aid & Attendance
Aid and Attendance (A and A) is an increased monthly pension amount paid to a Veteran or surviving spouse. You may be eligible for the increased A and A amount if you meet one of the following:
- You are eligible for basic pension benefits and you require the aid of another person in order to perform activities of daily living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, toileting, adjusting prosthetic devices, or protecting yourself from the hazards of your daily environment.
- You are bedridden, in that your disability or disabilities require that you remain in bed apart from any prescribed course of convalescence or treatment.
- You are a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity.
- You have corrected visual acuity of 5/200 or less, in both eyes, or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less.
Housebound is an increased monthly pension amount paid to a Veteran or surviving spouse who is substantially confined to his or her home because of permanent disability. You may be eligible if you meet one of the following:
- You are eligible for basic pension benefits and you have a single permanent disability evaluated as 100 percent disabling and, due to a disability or disabilities, you are permanently and substantially confined to your immediate premises.
- You have a single permanent disability evaluated as 100 percent disabling
- and another disability or disabilities, independently evaluated as 60 percent or more disabling.