Under limited circumstances, veterans without service connected disabilities are eligible for financial support. The criteria for this support is as follows:
- Either permanently and totally disabled (not of your own misconduct), or 65 years of age and older.
- Minimum term of service:
- Service requirement for enlisted members prior to September 8, 1980, is 90 days of service, with at least one of those 90 days being during a time of war.
- Service requirement for officers prior to October 16, 1981, is 90 days of service, with at least one of those 90 days being during a time of war.
- Service requirements for veterans after the above dates may be longer.
Currently, there are three pension programs in existence, the old law/protected pension, Section 306, and the Improved Pension. At this time only the Improved Pension is available for new applicants. Those under the older two pension programs can change to the Improved Pension if they so desire, but the change is irrevocable.
Since this is a pension and not disability, it is based upon your income. The VA starts it's computations at the maximum benefit allowed for the pension programs and then deducts the amount of income that you have coming into your household (this includes a spouses income). If you make more than the maximum benefit allowed, you will not receive a pension. If you make $50 less than the pension amount, you will receive $50.
Note: Regular social security benefits are part of your income.
Aid & Attendance Benefits
If a veteran is in a nursing home or experiences enough helplessness that he/she needs the regular aid and attendance of another person they may be eligible for a special monthly pension.
If a veteran has a single, permanent disability of 100% and had another disability of 60% or greater and is permanently housebound but does not qualify for aid and attendance benefits, he/she may be eligible for a special monthly pension.