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VA Survivors Pension Rates

If you qualify for survivors pension benefits, the amount you get will be based on the difference between your countable income and a limit that Congress sets (called the Maximum Annual Pension Rate, or MAPR).

  • Your countable income is how much you earn, including your salary, investment and retirement payments, and any income you may have from your dependents. Some expenses, like non-reimbursable medical expenses (paid medical expenses not covered by your insurance provider), may reduce your countable income.

  • Your MAPR amount is the maximum amount of pension payable to a Veteran, surviving spouse, or child. Your MAPR is based on how many dependents you have and whether you qualify for Housebound or Aid and Attendance benefits. MAPRs are adjusted each year for cost-of-living increases. You can find your current MAPR amount using the tables below.

Example: You’re a qualified surviving spouse with 1 dependent child. You also qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits. Your yearly income is $10,000.

Your MAPR amount = $16,837
Your yearly income = $10,000
Your VA pension = $6,837 for the year (or $569 paid each month)

Find your Maximum Annual Pension Rate (MAPR) amount

Date of Cost-of-Living Increase: December 1, 2017
Increase Factor: 2%
Standard Medicare Deduction: Actual amount will be determined by SSA based on individual income.

For qualified surviving spouses with at least 1 dependent:

If you have 1 dependent child and… Your MAPR amount is:
You don’t qualify for Housebound or Aid and Attendance benefits $11,557
You qualify for Housebound benefits $13,514
You qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits $16,837
You qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits and you’re the surviving spouse of a Veteran who served in the Spanish-American War (SAW) $17,347

Notes:

  • The Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/Minimum Income Annuity (MIW) limitation is $8,830.
  • If you have more than one child, add $2,250 to your MAPR amount for each additional child.
  • If you have a child who works, you may exclude their wages up to $10,650 for 2018.
  • If you have medical expenses, you may deduct only the amount that’s above 5% of your MAPR amount ($578 for a surviving spouse with 1 dependent).

For qualified surviving spouses with no dependents:

If you have no dependents and… Your MAPR amount is:
You don’t qualify for Housebound or Aid and Attendance benefits $8,830
You qualify for Housebound benefits $10,792
You qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits $14,113
You qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits and you’re the surviving spouse of a Veteran who served in the Spanish-American War (SAW) $14,685

Notes:

  • The Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/Minimum Income Annuity (MIW) limitation is $8,830.
  • If you have medical expenses, you may deduct only the amount that’s above 5% of your MAPR amount ($442 for a surviving spouse with no dependent child).

For qualified surviving children:

If you’re… Your MAPR amount is:
A qualified surviving child $2,250

Get historic rate charts from past years.

Read the full regulations from Title 38 Code of Federal Regulations

3.23 Improved Pension Rates – Veterans and Surviving Spouses

3.24 Improved Pension Rates – Surviving Children

3.271 “Income” for VA Purposes (IVAP)

3.272 Exclusions from Income

3.272 Rate Computations