Eligibility for Veterans Pension
The Veterans Pension program provides monthly payments to wartime Veterans who meet certain age or disability requirements, and who have income and net worth within certain limits. Find out if you’re eligible for this benefit.
Am I eligible for Veterans Pension benefits?
You may be eligible for the Veterans Pension program if you meet these requirements.
Both of these must be true:
- You didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge, and
- Your yearly family income and net worth meet certain limits set by Congress. Your net worth includes all personal property you own (except your house, your car, and most home furnishings), minus any debt you owe. Your net worth includes the net worth of your spouse.
Find out about Veterans Pension rates
And at least one of these must be true about your service:
- You started on active duty before September 8, 1980, and you served at least 90 days on active duty with at least 1 day during wartime, or
- You started on active duty as an enlisted person after September 7, 1980, and served at least 24 months or the full period for which you were called or ordered to active duty (with some exceptions) with at least 1 day during wartime, or
- You were an officer and started on active duty after October 16, 1981, and you hadn’t previously served on active duty for at least 24 months
And at least one of these must be true:
- You’re at least 65 years old, or
- You have a permanent and total disability, or
- You’re a patient in a nursing home for long-term care because of a disability, or
- You’re getting Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income
How do I know if I served under an eligible wartime period?
Under current law, we recognize the following wartime periods to decide eligibility for VA pension benefits:
- Mexican Border period (May 9, 1916, to April 5, 1917, for Veterans who served in Mexico, on its borders, or in adjacent waters)
- World War I (April 6, 1917, to November 11, 1918)
- World War II (December 7, 1941, to December 31, 1946)
- Korean conflict (June 27, 1950, to January 31, 1955)
- Vietnam War era (November 1, 1955, to May 7, 1975, for Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period. August 5, 1964, to May 7, 1975, for Veterans who served outside the Republic of Vietnam.)
- Gulf War (August 2, 1990, through a future date to be set by law or presidential proclamation)
What should I do if I received an other than honorable, bad conduct, or dishonorable discharge?
If you’ve received one of these discharge statuses, you may not be eligible for VA pension benefits.
There are 2 ways you can try to qualify:
How do I apply?
You can apply by mail, in person, or with the help of a trained professional.