Benefit Details
Veterans Pension
Managing Agency Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)

Program Description

The Veterans Pension is a needs-based benefit paid to wartime Veterans who meet certain age or non-service connected disability requirements.

General Program Requirements

Veterans may be eligible if he/she:
  • was discharged from service under other than dishonorable conditions, AND
  • served 90 days or more of active duty with at least 1 day during a period of war time*, AND
  • is age 65 or older, OR
  • is permanently and totally disabled (not due to own personal misconduct), OR
  • is a patient in a nursing home receiving skilled nursing care, OR
  • is receiving Social Security disability benefits, AND
  • has countable family income that is below the amount set by Congress (unreimbursed medical expenses may reduce countable income), AND net worth is not excessive.
*Generally, if you enlisted after September 7, 1980, you must have served at least 24 months or the full period for which you were called or ordered to active duty. You need not have served 24 months if you have a service connected disability, were released under and early out or were given a hardship discharge.

Wartime Service Requirements
World War I World War II Korea Vietnam Gulf War
04/06/1917 to 07/01/1921 12/07/1941 to 12/31/1946 06/27/1950 to 01/31/1955 02/28/1961 to 05/07/1975
*Between 02/28/1961 to 08/04/1964 had to have served in country Vietnam
08/02/1990 through a date to be prescribed by Presidential proclamation or law

National Guard and Reserve members may meet the criteria for establishing Veteran status if he/she performs full-time duty in the Armed Forces other than active duty for training. There are some exceptions.

Commissioned Officers of the Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are considered to be active duty members and veterans, once discharged.

Your Next Steps

The following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this benefit.

Application Process

To complete an application, use VA Form 21-526, "Veteran's Application for Compensation and/or Pension." You can complete the application online at

For more specific information, visit

Program Contact Information

If you have questions:
  • Visit the Inquiry Routing & Information System (IRIS) website to search Frequently Asked Questions or ask a question on-line
  • Call 1-800-827-1000
  • Call 1-800-829-4833, if you are hearing impaired
To apply for additional Veterans' benefits and view your benefit status, open an eBenefits Premium account. eBenefits is a one-stop source for information on Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs benefits and services. With a free Premium level eBenefits account, Veterans and Servicemembers can conduct self-service transactions such as checking claim status information, GI Bill enrollment, and obtaining copies of civil service preference letters, DD214, and other personal information. For further information and to register for a free Premium level account, visit the eBenefits website.