Pensions

If you are a low-income wartime Veteran who meets certain service, income, and net-worth limits set by law—or are a surviving family member of a Veteran who meets the criteria—you may be eligible to receive tax-free supplemental income.

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The fastest way to a benefits decision is to file a Fully Developed Claim (FDC). Each Pension has its own application:

  • Veterans' Pension – Print, fill out, and mail or bring VA Form 21-527EZ (Application for Pension) to your nearest VA regional office.
  • Survivors' Pension (or, "Death Pension") – Print, fill out, and mail or bring VA Form 21-534EZ (Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, Death Pension, and/or Accrued Benefits) to your nearest VA regional office.
  • Special Monthly Pensions for Veterans and Surviving Spouses – You may receive a higher pension if you can provide evidence (e.g., an attending physician or nursing home report) that you qualify for aid and attendance or housebound benefits. Print, fill out, and mail or bring VA Form 21-2680 to your nearest VA regional office.

Tips

  • Speed up the application by having the following information:
    • Proof-of-income and net-worth information (e.g., bank statements, paystubs)
    • Private medical treatment records and where to find any relevant treatment records that might be held by a federal facility, such as a VA medical center
    • Supplemental information for special circumstances related to pensions for survivors and children of Veterans
  • Learn how VA calculates Pension benefits at these two sites:
  • Note that pension claim decision times can vary depending on the complexity of the case and evidence.
You may be eligible for VA benefits if you were discharged from active duty under any condition other than dishonorable. Some benefits may be used by active-duty Servicemembers. Spouses, children, and survivors of Veterans or Servicemembers may also be eligible for VA benefits. Consult the VA benefits booklet or visit the nearest VA regional office for more detailed information.