A veteran's pension is a pension
In general, a pension is an arrangement to provide people with an income when they are no longer earning a regular income from employment. Pensions should not be confused with severance pay; the former is paid in regular installments, while the latter is paid in one lump sum.The terms retirement...
for veterans of the United States Armed Forces
United States armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...
, who served in the military but did not qualify for a retirement pension from the Armed Forces. It was established by the United States Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....
and given to veterans who meet the eligibility requirements. Along with payments veterans are also given additional benefits depending on their eligibility and needs.
The veterans' pension system is managed by the Department of Veterans Affairs
United States Department of Veterans Affairs
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs is a government-run military veteran benefit system with Cabinet-level status. It is the United States government’s second largest department, after the United States Department of Defense...
HistoryA pension plan for disabled veterans was established by congress in 1792.
Pension legislation for all surviving veterans was passed in 1818. This was unique to federal legislation. Money was shifted from the national treasury to individuals who were perceived as having the right to preferential treatment. The recipients were entitled to these payments because the pensions were viewed as delayed payments for the people who served during the American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...
EligibilitySomeone is generally eligible for veteran's pension if he or she
- Was not discharged for dishonorable reasons
- Served 90 days of active military duty, at least one of which was during a wartime period
- Had countable family income below a certain yearly limit
- Is 65 years or older, or is permanently disabled not due to willful misconduct
CalculationThe annual pension is calculated by adding all of the person's countable income. Any deductions are then subtracted from that total. The remaining total is deducted from the maximum pension limit (taking into account the number of dependents, spouse, etc.). This final number is the yearly pension; dividing it by 12 results in the monthly pension.
Income received per month
- Married veterans- up to $1949 per month
- Single veterans- up to $1644 per month
- Surviving spouses- up to $1056 per month
Additional benefitsIn addition to monthly payments, certain veterans may be eligible for additional benefits such as automobile grants, special adaptive housing, traumatic service members group life insurance, educational benefits and health care.
Aid and AttendanceAid and Attendance is an amount awarded in addition to the basic pension. This benefit takes into account a person's unreimbursed (out-of-pocket) medical expenses. These medical expenses are subtracted from a person's gross income to determine eligibility.
A veteran is eligible for Aid and Attendance when he or she
- Requires the regular aid of another person to perform everyday functions (bathing, eating, dressing, etc.)
- Is bedridden
- Is a patient in a nursing home
- Is blind or nearly blind
HousebondA veteran is eligible for Housebond benefits when he or she
- Has a single permanent disability that results in the veteran's confinement to his or her immediate premises
- Has a single permanent disability rated as 100% disabling and a secondary disability rated as 60% disabling