Veteran, Widowed Spouse, and Dependent or Disabled Child May Be A Claimant for VA Pension Benefits

  1. Veterans must have served ninety (90) days on active duty, one day of which was served during wartime. (Note: Those who enlisted after September 7, 1980 have a different active duty service requirement.)
  2. Veteran cannot have had a dishonorable discharge.
  3. Veteran’s physician must declare the veteran in need of assistance from another AND in need of a “protective environment” which may include services offered by a care facility.
  4. Claimant must have limited assets. All assets are countable except the primary home, car, and personal belongings which are excluded. If assets are jointly owned by other than dependent, only the claimant’s share is countable. In the case of a married veteran, all assets owned by both spouses are countable. There is no longer a limit on the total assets a claimant may own. Rather, the VA now considers the claimant’s life expectancy in determining how much a claimant may own. In the case of assets exceeding $50,000, claimants are advised to consult with an Elder Law Attorney. One should never transfer assets or add a name to an account without appropriate legal/professional advice.
  5. Claimant’s out-of-pocket annual medical expenses must equal or exceed the claimant’s total annual household income without deductions. (Total annual cost of a care facility may be considered a medical expense if claimant’s doctor states the claimant needs the care provided in the facility.)
  6. Surviving spouse must have been married to the veteran for at least one year OR have had a child by the veteran if married less than one year and never remarried (with possibly one exception). Surviving spouse must have been living with the veteran at the time of the veteran’s death. However, there are exceptions.
  7. Once awarded VA pension with aid and attendance or housebound status, a veteran may obtain free medications, medical equipment, incontinence supplies, glasses, and hearing aides from the VA hospital/clinic via home delivery. A separate application must be made through the VA Health Care System.

2013 Maximum Pension Rates for Pension Plus Aid and Attendance

  • Single Veteran – $1,732.00 Per Month or $20,795.00 Per Year
  • Married Veteran – $2,054.00 Per Month or $24,652.00 Per Year
  • Surviving Spouse – $1,113.00 Per Month or $13,362.00 Per Year
  • Veteran Married to Veteran (Both A & A) – $2,676.00 Per Month or $32,114.00 Per Year

* Note: Although each VA claim is unique, the above criteria is generic in nature and may not be applicable to each claimant. There are never any guarantees that any specific claim or specific benefit amount will be awarded.

**Base pension with or without housebound supplement may be awarded instead of aid and attendance supplement.

Shared with permission of Veterans Information Services, Inc. and the Creators of VisPro Software