Program Description

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

General Program Requirements

Veterans may be eligible if he or 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 or if you entered service after September 7, 1980 at last 24 months or the full period for which you were called or ordered to active duty (a minimum of 90 days is required) with at least 1 day during a period of wartime, 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, AND
  • is age 65 or older, OR
  • has a permanent and total non-service connected disability(ies), OR
  • is a patient in a nursing home receiving skilled nursing care, OR
  • is receiving Social Security disability benefits.

Wartime Service Requirements

World War I World War II Korea Vietnam Gulf War
04/06/1917 to 11/11/1918

If the veteran served with the United States military forces in Russia, the end date is April 1, 1920
12/07/1941 to 12/31/1946 06/27/1950 to 01/31/1955 02/28/1961 to 05/07/1975 for Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period; otherwise 08/05/1964 to 05/07/1975 08/02/1990 through a date to be prescribed by Presidential proclamation or law

Income and net worth limits apply. Higher income limits may apply if the Veteran is severely disabled. In addition, unreimbursed medical expenses paid by the Veteran may help to reduce the Veteran's countable income.

For more specific information, refer to the Veterans Pension factsheet.

Your Next Steps

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

Application Process

To complete an application, use VA Form 21-526, "Veteran's Application for Compensation and/or Pension or VA Form 21-527EZ, "Application for Pension", and mail it to the Pension Management Center (PMC) having jurisdictions over your claim. Check the PMC Locator to find  the PMC having jurisdiction over the claim.  You can also complete a VA Form 21-526 using the Veterans On-Line Application (VONAPP) website.

Program Contact Information

If you have questions:

To apply for additional 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, Servicemembers and their family members 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.